Both Canada and the U.S. require Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) for almost all trucks that transport the $Trillions of goods within Canada and across our shared border. The U.S. mandate began in December 2019 so Canadian cross-border truckers had a head start in ELD adoption vs. some Canada-only operators. Canada imposed its initial phase of the ELD requirement in June 2021, with its final phase coming up on January 1, 2023, when full enforcement begins.
Still deciding which ELD solution is right for you? There’s still time and resources to make that decision easier. Let’s talk about the mandate, why it’s important, and how we can help you get started if you need some help choosing. If you have already selected and deployed your ELD solution for Canada, we’ve got some valuable tips regarding cross-border ELD compliance and the cost/benefits for your ELD solution.
Let’s discuss a few high-level topics to help make the transition to ELD implementation and deployment easier.
Canadian ELD Mandate in a Nutshell
The Canadian ELD requirements do not come with new regulations for driver hours of service (HOS); however, they do automate the capture of records of duty status (RODS) and eliminate the hassle and time spent dealing with paper logbooks (I think we’re all ready for a more efficient process).
The ELD objectives are simple:
- Enforce HOS in a consistent, verifiable way, something that paper logbooks fell short on
- Make the roads safer by reducing driver fatigue
- Enhance the driver’s work-life balance by ensuring HOS compliance is free from pressure to drive unsafe hours without sufficient rest
Beginning January 1, 2023, Canada will fully enforce its ELD mandate. Trucks will be required to have a certified ELD device connected to the engine that automatically captures operating parameters along with approximate location information in a form that can be immediately shown/provided to any compliance officer when requested. (There are some categories of trucks that are excluded and the means of “showing” HOS to officers varies. This link is a useful source of those details.)
ELDs a Threat? – Move on, Chicken Little is in the Rear View Mirror
When ELDs were initially proposed, there were concerns within the transportation communities regarding the potential threat it presented: privacy concerns, the potential for loss of income, or ELD costs would bankrupt truckers. Fortunately, both Canadian and American truck drivers can see from years of experience with ELD deployment in the U.S. that the “fears of the unknown” have been laid to rest.
Demonstrated benefits include:
- Driver surveys confirm that ELD automated HOS records are way better than the hassle of paper logbooks
- Automated means to show Record of Duty Service saves inspection time
- Drivers and fleet managers save considerable administrative time dealing with HOS
- Good ELD records support higher CSA scores which can improve business opportunities
- Competition among ELD providers has led to a range of cost-effective solutions
On January 1, 2023, all trucks operating in the U.S. and Canada must utilize an ELD that complies with both countries’ requirements.
The U.S. and Canadian requirements are nearly the same, but there are some differences to be aware of:
- Canadian ELDs must be certified by a third party (review the list here).
- U.S. ELDs are self-certified by the manufacturer; however, certified devices are required (review the list here).
When choosing your ELD solution a few things to verify will make your selection easier:
- Is the device certified for use where you drive?
- Does the provider allow seamless operation when crossing the border?
- If you have an ELD for your U.S. transportation needs, verify that the device and its software version are certified in Canada.
- Can your ELD tablet support two-way messaging, document storage, or equipment malfunction alerts?
- Are over-the-air updates supported by your ELD device (as regulations can and do change)?
- Do you need your ELD application to support tax reporting or driver inspections?
Act Soon, but Think Long-Term
While ELDS have already replaced the standard paper logbook with an easy-to-use, automated platform; the technology offers substantial opportunities for far greater benefits. Like having a smartphone, you could just use it to make calls and share text messages, but you’d be missing out on the advanced technology within the phone. The same is true for your ELD solution.
ELDs have many of the same capabilities as smartphones, making them “Internet of Things” or IoT platforms for your truck. Capabilities like high-speed wireless data connections, GPS location, data storage, security features, imaging and cameras, and more can be leveraged in telematics solutions to save fuel, optimize route management, and enhance dispatch/driver communications when your ELD is integrated into a telematics and fleet management system.
(We’ll discuss this more in an upcoming blog.)
Conclusion: ELDs are your Friend
ELDs may be new to you and your operations, but they are now a mature technology with proven benefits that make a trucker’s life better. As you adopt ELDs to your own driving experience or manage it for a fleet, take the time to understand the value you expect, train users to make adoption go smoothly, and keep your eyes open to opportunities to use your investment in ELDs to make your business even more efficient and profitable.