Upcoming Canadian ELD Mandate: Have We Learnt from Our Neighbours?

September 26 2018

In a few months, Transport Canada is expected to release the final rule requiring electronic logging devices (ELDs) to be used on all commercial vehicles and by all commercial drivers in Canada.  Given the issues that continue to arise in the United States after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) put into full enforcement similar rules in December 2017, Canadians need to approach the implementation of ELDs cautiously. What exactly is the state of affairs regarding the implementation of ELDs in Canada? What do fleets need to be aware of when choosing ELDs? PIT Group is well positioned help Canadian fleets prepare.

An ELD is a device which is connected to the engine of a commercial motor vehicle and is able to automatically obtain a driver’s records of duty status. ELDs ensure more accurate recording and reporting of a driver’s working and driving hours. They make it easier to enforce Hours of Service (HoS) regulations, thereby increasing the safety of commercial drivers and the general public.

The ELD mandate in the United States, which has been in full enforcement since the end of 2017 after a two-year trail period, allows self-certification of ELDs. ELD suppliers can certify their products as compliant with FMCSA requirements, and register them on FMCSA’s website. To date, more than 300 devices are listed on the FMCSA’s registry. However, there have been reports that some devices may not be fully compliant with the functional requirements. The lack of rigour on the part of some suppliers leads to unexpected challenges for fleets using such non-compliant systems and ultimately translates to lost time and money.

As ELDs continue to be implemented in the United States, Transport Canada is working on developing the Canadian version of the ELD rules, with the first draft released in December 2017, followed by a sixty-day consultation period for feedback from the industry. Transport Canada has also consulted with various organizations for input in the development of the final ELD rule, including FPInnovations’ PIT Group, which was called upon for its expertise in evaluating technologies and products.

In both the United States and Canada, several transportation associations and organizations are advocating for independent ELD verification and certification, such as that offered by PIT Group, to ensure that carriers can be confident in their choice of compliant ELD solutions. PIT Group continues to work with suppliers in the United States to help them interpret the rules accurately and identify aspects of non-compliance, helping them to improve their systems and achieve full compliance through independent verification and certification.

At the present time, it is not likely that ELD rules will be in full enforcement in Canada before 2020. Although the final rule has not yet been released, the expectation is that the Canadian government will issue stricter measures to ensure that the suppliers who receive certification actually meet the requirements and are able to adequately support fleets and truckers.

PIT Group has extended its expertise and experienced gained from working with ELD providers in the United States to the Canadian market as Canada prepares for ELD implementation.

For more information, please contact Adime Kofi Bonsi of PIT Group.