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Compliance, ELD, Electronic Logging Device, Rules, RODS, Canadian ELD Mandate

How are ELD Malfunctions Managed Differently in Canada?

Considering the upcoming ‘Made in Canada ELD’ rule on June 12, 2021, I thought it would be timely to write a blog on what a driver and motor carrier must do differently when ELD malfunctions north of the 49th Parallel. This is particularly significant for motor carriers that have drivers traveling North-South, as the malfunction protocols are somewhat different from those in the United States.

If an ELD Malfunctions in Canada, a driver of a commercial motor vehicle that is not otherwise exempt may compliantly revert to using a daily paper log according to specific requirements in the ‘Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices.’

To begin, a motor carrier in Canada must ensure that any ELD installed or used in a commercial vehicle that it operates has been certified by an accredited certification body. As many of you likely know by now, the United States follows an ELD self-certifying model.

The ELD must be in good working order and calibrated and maintained according to the ELD manufacturer’s or seller’s specifications.

Truck driver focused on the road.

If a commercial vehicle driver becomes aware of an ELD displaying either a malfunction or a data diagnostic code, the driver in Canada must notify the motor carrier as soon as the commercial vehicle is parked. This is different than in the United States, where a driver must provide written notice of the malfunction to the motor carrier within 24 hours.

The driver must then annotate the record of duty status (RODS) of the paper log on the day in which he or she noticed the malfunction or data diagnostic code to follow the specific information below.

The driver must also reconstruct the RODS for the current 24-hour period and the previous 14 consecutive days and record it on graph-grid paper logs or electronic logging software that comply with the Federal Hours of Service regulation SOR/2019-165, unless the driver already has the records or retrieves them from the ELD.

This is also different than in the United States, where a driver must reconstruct the RODS for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days and record the RODS on graph-grid paper logs or electronic logging software that comply with 49 CFR 395.8, unless the driver already has the records or retrieves them from the ELD.

The driver in Canada must also annotate the specific malfunction or data diagnostic code in the RODS. Next, they must record the date and time when the malfunction or data diagnostic code was noticed. This is followed by the time that the driver transmitted the notification of the malfunction or data diagnostic code to the motor carrier. The driver must then record this specific information in each RODS paper log following the day the malfunction or code was noticed until the ELD is either repaired or replaced.

The motor carrier must then, within 14 days after the day it was notified of an ELD malfunction or data diagnostic code by the driver or otherwise became aware of it, or at the latest, upon return of the driver to the home terminal from a planned trip if that return exceeds the 14-day period, repair or replace the ELD. There are no ELD extension provisions, as described in 49 CFR 395.

Truck driver looking at his mobile device and hours of service.

There is also a different maximum number of days where the recording of the driver's hours of service on a paper log or electronic logging software can be done, as a driver in the U.S. cannot continue for more than 8 days after the malfunction. A driver that continues to record his or her hours of service on a paper log or electronic logging software beyond 8 days risks being placed out of service by DOT in the U.S.

A commercial vehicle with a malfunctioning ELD in Canada can not be dispatched by a motor carrier on another trip once a driver returns to the home terminal from a planned trip.

Another ‘Made in Canada ELD’ requirement is for a motor carrier to maintain a register of ELD malfunction or data diagnostic codes for devices installed or used in commercial vehicles that it operates in which a malfunction was noticed.

This includes the name of the driver who originally noticed the malfunction or data diagnostic code. It also includes the names of each subsequent driver that may have used the commercial vehicle following the discovery of the malfunction or data diagnostic code until the ELD was repaired or replaced.

The register must also contain specific ELD information, including the make, model, and serial number. It must also contain specific commercial vehicle information, including the licence plate or the vehicle identification number (VIN) in which the ELD is installed or used.

The register must list the date when the malfunction or data diagnostic code was noticed. They also must list the commercial vehicle's location on that date along with the date when the motor carrier was notified or otherwise became aware of the code. The register must then be updated to include when the ELD was subsequently replaced or repaired.

Finally, the motor carrier must provide a concise description of the actions they have taken to repair or replace the ELD.

From a record-keeping and retention perspective, the motor carrier must retain and surrender this prescribed registry information for each ELD for which a malfunction was noticed to a Safety Official upon request for a period of 6 months from the day on which the ELD is replaced or repaired.

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