On June 12, 2021, new Canadian electronic logging device (ELD) requirements will take effect. After that date, all commercial motor vehicles over a certain weight threshold will have to operate using an approved, certified ELD. In order to obtain certification, ELDs must be submitted to a third-party certifying body that will review and either approve or reject them based on governmental standards.
The Switch to an Electronic Logging Device (ELD)
In June 2019, Transport Canada announced that any commercial motor vehicle currently required to keep a record of duty status will be required to switch to an ELD.
Canadian truck drivers who follow hours of service (HOS) regulations will now be mandated to switch to ELDs. The current HOS rules in place limit drivers to 13 hours of consecutive driving in a 16-hour driving day. In addition, there must be a minimum of eight consecutive off-duty hours documented. While this new ELD mandate will not change HOS regulations, it will help monitor and increase driver compliance.
With the deadline fast approaching, it’s imperative for fleet managers to begin the preparation process now in order to meet the compliance deadline with confidence. Keep in mind the following:
- Processing times—There is currently only one certifying body in Canada, and the certification process can take anywhere from three to six weeks to complete. Carriers also need to take into consideration the time it takes to research, integrate and train drivers on ELDs.
- Canadian requirements—ELDs approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the United States may not comply with ELD rules set forth by Transport Canada. An ELD needs to undergo Canadian certification and approval in order to comply with Canadian rules and regulations.
- Inventory access—Approximately 30 percent of Canadian carriers aren’t currently using ELDs. As the deadline approaches, high demand, inventory shortages, and the ongoing supply chain challenges brought about by COVID-19 are going to impact the ability to get certified devices in time.
Benefits of the ELD Mandate
The Canada Gazette estimates that the total benefits have a present value of $225.4 million, with an annualized value of $36.4 million. Along with the monetary benefits, the following are ways ELDs can offer both driver and operational advantages:
- Improved quality of life for drivers
- Reduced risk of crashes, leading to less property damage, and fewer injuries and fatalities
- Reduced risk of HOS violations and out-of-service detention time for drivers
- Minimized administrative burdens by reducing manual paperwork
- Fairer and more level competition for federally regulated motor carriers
- Greater harmonization with U.S. regulatory requirements
- Improved compliance with HOS rules
- Improved route management
- Automatically monitored fault codes, allowing for real-time alerts and detailed reports of any vehicle maintenance issues
Exemptions for ELDs
There are four main exemptions to the ELD mandate, according to the Canada Gazette. The exemptions are for commercial vehicles that:
- Are operated under a permit issued pursuant to the regulations by a director under the regulations
- Are operated under a statutory exemption
- Are subject to rental agreements for a term of 30 days or less
- Were manufactured before the year 2000
ELDs can streamline operations, reduce operational costs, maximize productivity and increase profits. For more information on ELDs and the ELD mandate, contact our commercial insurance team today.