Guides / Canadian ELD Mandate / 1. The basics

1. The basics

Let’s go over the facts and timelines of the Canadian ELD Mandate so you can start wrapping

your head around this massive change.

Although similar to the U.S. mandate, the Canadian version is still a complicated proceeding that you must understand. Non-compliance will cause hefty fines and out-of-service orders that are costly to the company and the driver.

To avoid delays and costly errors, let’s break down the mandate so you can:

  • Gain a better understanding of the differences between the ELD technical standards adopted by the two countries.
  • Outline a plan for fair competition between fleet operators.
  • Ensure HOS rules compliance.
  • Understand the goals of the ELD mandate.

What is the purpose of an ELD?

Many assume that ELDs only track a driver’s hours of service (HOS). But ELDs provide technology to help streamline workflow and communication.

An ELD is a piece of hardware that connects to the truck’s engine control module (ECM). The ELD tracks HOS compliance, mandating drivers and businesses to adhere to the strict safety and health rules in place. The days of recording hours on paper are gone. ELDs remove recording errors and illegal manipulation of driving hours.

An ELD can transfer its stored information to dispatch or DOT/MTO officers during an inspection. Police can use the device to investigate an accident since the ELD stores its information in a standardized format no one can alter.

Regulations require drivers of most commercial motor vehicles to keep a record of duty status (RODS) and must use an ELD to show they follow the HOS rules.

Does the Canadian ELD Mandate apply to me?

If you are a Canadian trucker, own a Canadian trucking company, or a U.S.-based company that operates in Canada, you must prepare for the upcoming Canadian Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate. Full enforcement is set for January 1, 2023.

What is the Canadian ELD Mandate, and why is it required?

The mandate requires that most fleets in Canada transition from using outdated paper logs to computerized logs to track the driver’s hours. A third party will certify ELD devices to ensure that the technical standards are met.

Comparing the Canada and U.S. ELD Mandate

In the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) drafted and established the technical standard for ELDs. In Canada, that job was left to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).

When you compare the two standards, you find a substantial overlap between the technical specifications, which will allow for cross-border carriers to use the same device in both jurisdictions.

The Canadian ELD mandate will not change the HOS rules already in place. But by requiring ELDs, the mandate will help monitor most drivers’ and carriers’ compliance with the HOS rules.

ELDs make enforcing compliance easier and level the playing field for all industries which rely on safe and efficient transportation of goods.

Safety is not the only thing ELDs increase. Transport Canada has conducted research showing the benefits of an ELD outweigh the costs 2:1. You can find this in the Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 153, Number 12.

These cost savings include:

  • Less driver downtime
  • Quicker roadside inspections by enforcement officials
  • More efficient deliveries that reduce customer costs

Knowing these ELDs benefits, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has been lobbying for these devices for over 10 years.

How does the ELD mandate affect Canadian carriers?

Carriers in Canada that don’t cross the border are using Electronic Recording Devices under Section 83 or good old-fashioned paper logs. Carriers who cross international borders, likely already have ELDs installed as required by U.S. regulations and are using them. So, if your fleet is not using an ELD, you may need to quickly catch up before January of 2023 when Canada begins enforcement.

Avoid unnecessary stress on your staff and drivers by using a device like the Motive fleet management solution, which allows drivers to easily transition from Canadian-based regulations to U.S.-based ones.

Canadian ELD exemptions

There are four main exemptions from ELDs in Canada. Commercial motor vehicles will be exempt if:

  • Operating under a permit from a provincial or territorial HOS director.
  • They have a statutory exemption.
  • Subject to a rental agreement of no longer than 30 days.
  • The vehicle was manufactured before 2000.