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How to Be Prepared For The Canadian ELD Mandate

By Verizon Connect January 25, 2021

The deadline to meet Canadian ELD requirements is fast approaching. As of the June 12, 2021 effective date, all commercial motor vehicles over a certain weight threshold will have to operate using an approved, certified ELD.

For an ELD device to receive certification in Canada, it must be submitted to a third-party certifying body who then reviews and either approves or rejects it based on whether it meets standards set forth by the Canadian government. Only then can that ELD be offered for sale.

That doesn't leave a lot of time for fleet managers  to comply, and it's urgent to start the preparation process now. Here's what you need to consider and the steps you need to take to help you meet the Canadian ELD compliance deadline with confidence.

Key considerations 

  • Don't wait until the last minute. If you currently use an ELD, you have less than six months to get confirmation from your ELD supplier about whether they plan to submit for Canadian certification. This certification process can take anywhere from three to six weeks to complete. Also, keep in mind that there is currently only one certifying body in Canada. If your supplier doesn't plan to get certified, you need to finalize a new solution ASAP—one that is, or plans to get a third-party certification in Canada. 
  • The odds are not in your favor. As Jim Park, Equipment Editor for Heavy Duty Trucking explains, "Right now, there are about 400 to 500 ELD devices on the approved U.S. list. According to Canadian officials I've spoken to, about 50 of those devices will likely be submitted for certification in Canada at some point, though that may not be by the June deadline." 
  • ELD Mandate doesn't mean Canadian ELD mandate. Carriers in the United States must be aware that the FMCSA approved ELD they're currently using may not comply with ELD rules set forth by Transport Canada. Unless an ELD has undergone Canadian certification and approval, it won't be considered valid and carriers will be charged with not operating an ELD in compliance with Canadian rules and regulations. 

Find out how the right ELD solution can help you build an efficient and compliant fleet.

What you need to do to prepare 

  • If you're a Canadian trucking company without an ELD, get on it now. Park explains, "I've heard estimates that about 30% of the carrier population in Canada isn't currently using ELDs. For heavy trucks, dump trucks, construction trucks and other trucks that don't cross the U.S. border or are strictly Canadian point-to-point carriers, ELDs are new to them. That means they're more pressed to play catch up between now and June." 
  • For all motor carriers with current ELDs, don't wait another day. Getting a new ELD into a fleet can take six months to a year. This includes device research, back office systems integration and driver training. You don’t have that kind of time. Contact your provider today to learn whether they plan to certify your device. If they don’t, you need to find a new device provider who does plan to get certified ASAP so you can give your drivers a fighting chance to get familiar with the new technology. 
  • Act fast in case inventory is an issue. Whether investing in an ELD for the first time of switching to a provider who plans to get certified, there’s no guarantee that right now you’ll be able to buy the 100s or 1000s of ELDs you’ll need at the same time. High demand, inventory shortages and the ongoing supply chain challenges brought about by COVID-19 could all impact your ability to get the certified devices you need in time. So, look into purchasing them now to have your best chance of being in full compliance by June. 

The Canadian ELD mandate: The time is now 

The bottom line is that carriers must talk to their ELD providers to see if they plan on submitting their devices for Canadian certification. If you’re a carrier with a device that won't be submitted for certification, you’ll have to find another supplier or stop operating in Canada. Especially because you won’t be allowed to run more than one ELD within a single fleet. Every truck and vehicle within a fleet will have to have the same compliant ELD device, even if only a few trucks run in Canada. This means changing your entire ELD environment because of those Canadian-traveling trucks, or possibly giving up your Canadian business. 

And, as of now, it does not appear that there will be a "soft enforcement" grace period. All signs currently point to full compliance rules going into effect on June 12, 2021, despite the final technical standard not being released until December 2020. 

That means time is of the essence. The right ELD solution can help you simplify compliance and increase efficiency for your fleet. Find out more about what an ELD can do for you. And check back here regularly for an updated list of certified electronic logging devices in Canada.


Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.


Tags: ELD & Compliance

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