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Canada's ELD Mandate: What you Need to Know and How to Prepare

The new ELD mandate will be enforced in June 2021, and its implementation is going to change the transportation industry in Canada for good.

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Jessica Voigt

Jessica is currently the Documentation Specialist at Trans Plus. She has spent the last 3 years learning the ins and outs of the software as a Customer Support Representative and is now using her English degree to create content that showcases anything and everything that Trans Plus has to offer. When she isn’t typing at her desk she enjoys shopping, watching movies and tending to her extensive collection of houseplants.

Understanding ELDs

Electronic logging devices of ELDs are a type of equipment that will automatically record and log driving time for commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks. These devices are quite helpful for transportation companies who want to ensure that their drivers are not being overworked and improve administration efficiency. For drivers, ELDs reduce driver fatigue and create a safer environment for roads in Canada. Essentially, ELDs do this by tracking in real-time how long a driver has been on the road.

Understanding the Mandate

The newest Canadian mandate tackles many of the same issues that the U.S. mandate on ELDs. Essentially, the goal of the mandate is to enforce effective and transparent procedures for manage how long a driver has been working. This is largely a response to ineffective and obsolete paper records that many fleets still utilize, which often do not cover the full scope of how long a driver has been working.

The goal of the mandate is simple-- reduce driver fatigue, reduce accidents, and save as many lives as possible.

Canadian fleets must now implement electronic logging devices to ensure the safety and well-being of drivers. The Canadian transport ministry announced that this rule will apply to any and all fleets in the transportation industry that employs or contracts drivers.

Just as well, Canada also has a third-party ELD certification process in place. Transport Canada recently partnered with Standards Council of Canada to help identify certification bodies (or CBs), which are the third-party groups that are responsible for certifying ELDs for use in transport companies in Canada. The certification process will ensure that a company’s ELDs will mean ISO protocols to ensure efficiency, quality, and safety.

How the ELD Mandate Will be Implemented

The ELD mandate will roll out on June 12th, 2021. By this date, all carriers and fleets must have ELDs implemented that are compliant with established regulations. The Standards Council of Canada recently created the ELD Vendor Technical Committee for the purpose of ensuring regular monitoring of ELD processes. From now to June, the council will follow a number of different steps:

  • Regularly test different ELD products for certification via CBs.
  • Open applications from about twenty vendors to produce ELDs.
  • Certify those vendors’ products.
  • Create third-party-certified ELD offerings that are accessible through software updates and downloads, including as an app to use on mobile devices.

From there, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and relevant stakeholders will address a number of additional processes to make the transition easier. These include:

  • Invest in speed enforcement to reduce time compression.
  • Continue to enforce electronic hours of service devices that make cheating possible.
  • Focus on carriers that are struggling to transition from paper logs to ELDs.
  • Provincial adoptions of ELD regulations.
  • Enforcement plan to reduce to creation, sale, and operation of ELDs that are not certified and built to facilitate cheating.
  • Creating better ELD education and awareness campaigns.

As of now, commercial bus and truck drivers in Canada must self-report their clock-in, clock-off, and daily driving hours as per the Commercial Vehicle Driver Hours of Service Regulations. Drivers are also required to keep a daily log of their driving records. Until June, drivers can continue to use paper logs or not-certified ELDs.

However, June is coming up quickly. Once more information is available on the types of ELDs that are to be distributed and permitted, it’s vital for carriers to adopt this new technology as quickly as possible.

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