Canada is all set to follow its neighbour (the U.S.) and introduce the ELD, or the electronic logging device, mandate. It will put an end to the use of paper logbooks, often called the “cheat sheets” by truck drivers, and make installation of ELD in commercial buses and trucks mandatory. The mandate aims to make the roads safer.
History of ELD Mandate in Canada
In the U.S, the ELD mandate came into effect on December 18, 2017. On the same day, the Canadian Transport Department proposed its version of ELD regulations, which almost mirror the American mandate.
The proposed regulations, first published in Canada Gazette 1, Volume 151, No. 50 under the title “Regulations Amending the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations (Electronic Logging Devices and Other Amendments),” would amend the regulations related to hours of service (HOS).
HOS requires commercial bus and truck drivers to report their driving hours daily, on-duty hours and off-duty hours in a paper logbook. The ELD regulations do not intend to make changes to the HOS, but make it mandatory for the drivers to use the electronic logging devices, instead of paper logbooks, to record their daily duty status.
Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has been pushing the Canadian government to adopt ELD rules for years. Last year, it started an e-letter campaign “Let’s Get ELDs on Trucks across Canada Soon,” to persuade the government to do everything possible to implement and enforce the ELD regulations across all provinces without any delay.
Following the deadly accident involving a transport truck and Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus in 2018, which killed 16 junior hockey team members, Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) has been urging the federal government to implement ELD as soon as possible, to prevent future crashes due to driver fatigue.
What ELD Mandate Means for Commercial Truck Drivers?
Commercial truck drivers often fudge the paper logbooks and drive beyond the driving-hours limits set by HOS regulations, which allow the drivers to be behind the wheel for only 13 hours per day. It is also seen that the drivers are pressured by fleet operators to drive for long hours, without taking the mandatory rest break, so deadlines are met.
Fatigue-related accidents happen because drivers do not adhere to the rules and spend long hours on the roads. The review of the logbook of Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the driver who was responsible for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, found that there were “incomplete log dates” entries and “mileage inconsistencies.”
Truck drivers, or fleet operators, are unlikely to break the rules if the installation of ELD in commercial buses and trucks becomes mandatory. ELDs electronically track drivers’ activity, eliminating the need for handwritten entries.
ELD mandate will ensure:
- Safe working conditions for drivers.
- Protection of drivers’ rights.
- Compliance with Canadian HOS regulations.
- Accurate reporting of driving hours; no fabrication of information by drivers.
- Drowsy drivers are off the road.
- Significant drop in commercial vehicle collisions due to driver fatigue.
- Less paperwork.
- Consistent cross-border regulations, helping drivers move across the borders seamlessly.
Canadian ELD vs. American ELD Mandate
The Canadian ELD regulations are almost similar to the American version. The similar regulations will help those drivers who make cross-border deliveries. Here are some of the aspects where the Canadian ELD mandate differs from the U.S.:
- In Canada, drivers will not have to send detailed reports to enforcement, while the U.S. ELD mandate requires drivers to send detailed reports or files, consisting of eight-day log data, to enforcement. The Canadian version will require drivers to share, or transfer, PDF of a 14-day log data.
- The U.S. ELD regulations do not require ELDs to measure rules that come with the device; however, the proposed Canadian regulations require the electronic device to measure Cycle 1, 2 above the 60th parallel HOS rules separately.
- The rules set by the U.S. do not put a restriction on how far the drivers can drive, while the Canadian ELD proposes distance restrictions; ELD suppliers will have to measure 75 km within 24 hours.
When Will Canada Implement ELD?
Canada has not yet set an exact date for the implementation of the ELD mandate. Some reports suggest the new regulations would be introduced next year.
Be ELD-Ready with GFI’s Solution
Drivers should not wait for implementation of the ELD mandate, but install the electronic logging device in their commercial trucks now. GFI offers a device that ensures drivers’ driving hours are accurately monitored and reported.