Canadian ELD Mandate – What to Know

Canada finalized their ELD final rule in 2019, effectively bringing the Canadian ELD mandate into law. Drivers have until June 2021 to comply with the requirements of the mandate.

The ELD Mandate – What is it?

ELD stands for Electronic Logging Device. It is a device installed in a vehicle to automatically log the driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS). It also logs a driver’s Hours of Service (HOS) record automatically. It works by taking data from the vehicles Engine Control Module (ECM) and using it to determine when the vehicle is stationary and when it’s being driven.

The Canadian ELD Mandate is mostly the same as the U.S. version, which was introduced in 2017 with a December 2019 compliance deadline.

Read more details about the U.S.A ELD Mandate here.

Canadian ELD TimelineA

few Facts About the Canadian ELD Mandate

  • The requirements of the Canadian ELD Mandate seeks to eliminate the need for manual log entries. The system aims to prevent errors and stop drivers from tampering with logbook entries. It also stops drivers from getting harassed by managers. Those were the aims of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) when they adopted the technical specifications of the ELD Mandate.
  • It adopts almost all of the requirements of the U.S.A ELD Mandate.
  • The Canadian ELD Mandate maintains the old HOS limits for commercial drivers from Canada. The Mandate requires drivers to use a compliant ELD device to log HOS.
  • The Mandate requires drivers to stop using paper logbooks and replace it with a compliant ELD device. You will also be required to upgrade any current electronic logging device you use in your vehicle to a compliant ELD device.
  • One difference between the requirements of the Canadian ELD devices and the U.S. devices is the certification process. The U.S. requires providers to self-certify their devices while Canada requires providers to have their devices certified by a third party. The third-party entity must certify that the device meets the technical specifications outlined in the ELD Mandate. U.S. operators who drive into Canada may have to replace their current ELD devices with one that meets Canada’s certification requirements.
  • The Canada Mandate does not offer an exemption for those using a current electronic recording device until a later date. Those using non-compliant devices must also comply with the requirements of the Mandate by June 2021. The U.S. Mandate gave those using this type of device an additional two years after the initial deadline to be compliant.
  • We don’t think that Canada will give as many exemptions as the Americans did. Most of the Canadian HOS requirements for commercial drivers remain intact. There are still a few exemptions from having to use a compliant ELD device. These are outlined below:
    • Vehicles being driven under a permit
    • When the Motor Vehicle Transport Act has issued an exemption to the carrier operating the vehicle.
    • When the vehicle is under a rental agreement of 30 or fewer days. This does not include rental extensions or renewals of said vehicle. It only applies to new rental agreements.
    • If the model of the vehicle is 2000 or earlier. In most cases, this usually applies only to the engine of the vehicle.

A Preview of The Canadian ELD Mandate

The Need For A Canadian ELD Mandate

The main reason for the introduction of the Canadian ELD Mandate is to make the trucking industry safer and ensure drivers comply fully with HOS limits. However, there are a few other reasons why it was introduced.

There are thousands of trips across the United States and Canadian borders made by commercial drivers each year. Drivers and fleet owners face a challenge to comply with regulations from both countries. By introducing the Canadian ELD Mandate, authorities seek to make it easier to comply with regulations by adopting most of the regulations from the United States.

Drivers will now be able to drive across all borders in North America without worrying about having to comply with different ELD requirements.

Timeline For the Introduction of the Canadian ELD Mandate

  • Stakeholders in the industry were invited to submit comments by the end of September 2016.
  • The deadline for other stakeholder comments ended in April 2017
  • First deadline for comments from the public ended in 2017
  • The ELD Mandate final rule was published in June 2019
  • Deadline for full compliance is June 2021

ELD Device Specifications

  • Logbook Edits – Drivers can edit their logs as long as they annotate any such edits. All drivers must also certify their Records of Duty Status. Drivers must approve of any edits to their logs by their carriers.
  • Data Sharing: The device must make data available whenever requested by relevant authorities. For example, highway inspectors must be able to access the data logged by the device, in a standardized format, by the roadside. The data must be transferable in a single-step Electronic Record of Duty Status (ERODS) process.
  • Data Logging: In addition to the driver’s HOS, the device must also log engine power status, vehicle’s location data, driver’s Canadian Driver License (CDL) number, vehicle motion status, engine hours, the Vehicle Identification Number, etc.
  • In-Cab Alerts: The device must let the driver know of their available driving time and also warn them when the device malfunctions.
  • Driver Duty Status: The ELD device should also allow the driver to log On-Duty Yard Move and Off-Duty Personal Conveyance. This ensures that these two special driving conditions do not count towards the driver’s HOS limits.

The Benefits of ELD

The benefits of using an ELD device goes beyond just regulatory compliance. The other benefits include massive reductions in the cost of operating a fleet and increased safety on our roads. The Mandate ensures drivers don’t drive beyond their allocated driving time, which reduces incidents of driving while fatigued. ELDs also deliver more tangible benefits for drivers and fleet owners.

Benefits for the fleet include:

  • Easy and continuous automatic compliance with regulations like HOS
  • Improved messaging between the office and the driver.
  • Significant reduction in road accidents and an overall improvement in the safety of the fleet.
  • A significant reduction in the cost of running the fleet through increased fuel efficiency, increased efficiency of your drivers and other staff, and automation of many processes.
  • Access to a ton of useful tools that increase the productivity of your fleet

Benefits for the driver:

  • Eliminates the time spend filling out paper logbooks and other paperwork
  • Reduces inspection frequency and duration, giving the driver more time to drive loads.
  • Realtime communication allows the driver to get and send updates back to the base office.
  • Access to tools that help the driver to be more productive and maximize their earnings.
  • Stops managers and dispatchers from harassing drivers by preventing the manipulation of HOS logs.

What to do Next?

The Canadian ELD Mandate is here to stay, and drivers and fleet owners need to prepare for compliance. You should read more about the Mandate to know what the regulation requires of you. You already know most of the specifications if you’re already familiar with the requirements of the U.S.A ELD Mandate.


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