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How Trucking Companies Can Prepare for the Canadian ELD Mandate

If you’re a Canadian trucking company, you need to prepare for the Canadian Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate, which will come into effect on June 12, 2021.

Below, we’ll go through what a Canadian ELD is, the benefits of an ELD, and how you can prepare your company and drivers for the upcoming mandate. With this critical information, you’ll be able to avoid costly non-compliance fines and out-of-service orders.

What is the Canadian ELD Mandate? 

The Canadian ELD Mandate comes in on the heels of a similar mandate in the U.S. that came into effect in December 2017. This upcoming regulation states that those who are currently required to maintain a daily paper log must use electronic logging devices (ELDs). These are the following:

  • All federally regulated motor carriers and their drivers of commercial buses and trucks that require paper logs;
  • CMVs: A truck, tractor, trailer or any combination of them that have a registered gross vehicle weight in excess of 4500 kg;
  • A bus that is designed with a seating capacity of more than 10 persons, including the driver.


Existing HOS exceptions continue to apply as well, including the 160 km Rule:

a) Driver drives or is instructed by the motor carrier to drive a CMV within a radius of 160 km from the home terminal;
b) Driver returns to the home terminal each day to begin a minimum of 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time; 
c) Motor carrier maintains accurate and legible records showing, for each day, the cycle the driver followed and on-duty times, keeping those records and the supporting documents for a minimum period of 6 months after the day on which each record was recorded.

Fleets in Canada need to transition from outdated paper logs to electronic logs that will record data related to the vehicle and driver activity. Also, unlike in the U.S., there will be no grandfathering phase for the ERDs (Electronic Recording Devices), so the adoption should not be left to the last minute.

According to Marc Garneau, the Canadian Minister of Transport, “These new mandatory logging devices in commercial vehicles will improve safety for drivers and for all Canadians. Collaboration with stakeholders and partners was key to putting these regulations in place. We know that fatigue increases the risks of accidents, and that is why we are taking action across all modes of transportation.”

What are the Benefits of an ELD? 

Using an ELD can help drivers and fleet companies increase safety and ensure compliance with the hours of service regulation. Transport Canada believes that ELDs will save the trucking industry $81 million. 

According to Today’s Trucking, “Estimated savings of $380.33 million are based on factors such as fewer fatigue-related crashes, reduced detention time for hours of service violations, and administrative time. These are offset by costs of $299 million linked to factors like acquiring and installing the devices, training, and monthly monitoring services.”

For trucking companies, an ELD can give the company better National Safety Code (NSC) scores or their provincial equivalent (by avoiding HOS violations with accurate reporting), better insurance premiums (with a better NSC score),  reduced expenses on administrative work, and more customers due to higher credibility in the carrier name. 

As for drivers, an ELD can reduce the number of fatigue-related accidents, save time and money by eliminating paperwork, maximize drive time with shorter and fewer inspections, ensure seamless communication between driver and office, and avoid violations. 

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How to Prepare Yourself for the Canadian ELD Mandate

While the Canadian ELD Mandate adopted many provisions from the US ELD Mandate, here are a few key differences:

ELD devices in Canada require compliance with technical standards published in the Canadian ELD Mandate. If you’re a trucking company in Canada or a US-based carrier that travels into Canada, you need to search for an ELD product that is compliant with the Canadian ELD Mandate. BigRoad is a great example. BigRoad will continuously make efforts to ensure that the Canadian ELD technical standard is up-to-date and compliant with the Canadian regulatory regime. This includes supporting staff and driver training, necessary documentation, as well as addressing future Canadian regulatory changes.

Unlike the US ELD Mandate, which allows ELD Providers to self-certify their devices, the Canadian ELD Mandate needs to be third-party certified. BigRoad will be part of a third-party ELD certification program. Through BigRoad’s partnerships with Transport Canada, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administration (CCMTA), and Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), we are looking forward to providing trucking companies with a compliant ELD solution.

It’s vital to ensure your ELD solution is compliant with Canadian regulations. This not only includes Canadian trucking companies, but US-based carriers entering Canada as well. If you’re a US-based carrier and your ELD solution isn’t compliant with Canadian regulations, you have two options. You can rely on two ELDs—one for the US and one for Canada — which can be extremely confusing and costly for your company. Alternatively, you can make the switch to a solution that is compliant with Canadian regulations.

We recommend that you find a reliable ELD provider, and ensure adequate time to train your employees and test the device. Assess how long these activities will take and then backcast from a date you’d like to have your ELDs all properly set up.

If you haven't prepared for the Canadian ELD Mandate, we suggest you start today! Follow our regular webinars and don’t delay it, until it’s too late. If you’re keen to ease your team into an ELD solution and avoid potential non-compliance fines and out-of-service orders, learn more by requesting a demo

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