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Everything You Need To Know About ELD in Canada | Pros and Cons

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

Everything You Need To Know About ELD in Canada | Pros and Cons

With ELD implemented in the United States, we wanted to take a look at its impact and what that means for Canada. Read on!


The U.S has implemented the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate across the country and Canada is certainly not going to be left behind. An ELD mandate for Canada is in the works and less than two years away from coming into effect. The ELD mandate news has received mixed responses from varied segments of the logistics and transportation sector in the country.

It is expected the Canadian version of the ELD mandate will include most of the provisions the American mandate has. Full compliance with the ELD mandate in Canada is expected to come into effect sometime towards the end of 2019 or early 2020, though trucking associations are lobbying for an earlier implementation date. Lawmakers, regulating agencies, and trucking associations are going all out to ensure the transition happens as smoothly as possible. A large number of Canadian carriers who operate between the two countries have already made the switch or are in the process of doing so.

What is the ELD mandate?

The mandate, which is being developed by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), refers to electronic logging device regulations that will be applicable to commercial drivers of buses and trucks, as well as federally managed motor carriers. As per existing rules, Canadian drivers cannot be at the wheel for over 13 hours each day so as to avoid driver fatigue. Currently, these hours of service (HOS) or record of driver status (RODS) are manually logged in books by the drivers. But, in an attempt to meet deadlines, a lot of drivers end up manipulating the data. Making ELD compulsory will help eliminate this kind of ‘cheating’ while minimizing the possibility of genuine logbook errors, too.   Some salient features likely to be seen in the Canadian ELD mandate are:

  1. No changes in HOS regulations, only a different means of collecting and recording HOS data.

  2. Keeping privacy concerns in mind, only drivers will control their HOS data and fleet manager will not be able to make modifications without authorization.

  3. Provincial and territorial inspectors will enforce ELD implementation in compliance with the regulations.

  4. Existing e-logging devices might have to be updated or replaced.

Going by the U.S. ELD mandate news, it is likely the following exceptions might find a place in the Canadian version, too:

  1. Drivers of vehicles manufactured prior to 2000.

  2. Vehicles operating under a permit from a territorial or provincial HOS director.

  3. Those vehicles subject to rental agreements and having terms under 30 days.

  4. Vehicles with statutory exemption.

Why the need for an ELD mandate?

Accountability and safety in the trucking industry are the two key factors behind the ELD mandate. Also, with the United States having adopted an ELD mandate, it makes prudent business sense to bring in similar regulations, especially looking at the continuous movement of massive volumes of goods across either side of the border. Trade between the two nations amounts to a staggering $662 billion annually. Such a mandate will help Canadian drivers and goods unfettered movement across all of North America without having to be anxious about regulations.

What is ELD?

Simply put, ELD is a kind of electronic hardware that is linked to the vehicle’s engine to track driving hours, distance driven, engine status and hours, vehicle status and location. Usually, such devices feature a screen to enable the driver to monitor their hours, as well as get prints of time logs whenever necessary. Linking ELD to fleet management software also enables transmission of driving logs in real-time to a back-office system. The shift to an ELD mandate comes with a hefty price tag:

  1. The process is expected to result in a $975 million annual cost, which covers equipment for carriers and commercial truck inspectors, as well as the expenses involved in driver and inspector training.

  2. The average annualized price of ELD is pegged to be somewhere between $165 and $832.


A big commercial truck plies on a hilly road in the evening while further Canada ELD mandate news is awaited.

What does ELD bring to the table?

Besides the impact on finances and safety, ELD is expected to offer non-quantifiable benefits such as better quality of life for drivers given the mandatory rest periods to be adhered to, and also fewer HOS violations to worry about. Recently, Canadian transport minister Marc Garneau was quoted as saying, “We’re constantly looking at how technology can improve road safety, and electronic stability control and electronic logging devices fit the bill. These new measures not only make trucks and buses safer, but they also have a trickle-down effect of making the roads safer for all Canadians.”

  1. Injuries, damage to property, and fatalities caused by overworked drivers and lack of adequate sleep is likely to come down significantly. ELD is expected to reduce crash rates by more than 11%.

  2. According to Transport Canada, benefits-to-cost ratio of an ELD mandate is at 2:1 with combined savings in benefits likely to be around $36.4 million annually.

  3. ELD is also expected to provide significant efficiency in terms of lesser time and money spent on administrative tasks, such as reconciling paper logs. This can also facilitate smoother audits and inspections.

Get the right ELD for your requirements

The average ELD is estimated to last, at minimum, for a decade. According to the current draft of the Canadian ELD mandate, the devices used must:

  1. Enable the carriers to keep information logged not just for the current day, but also for the 14 preceding days.

  2. Be tamper-proof.

  3. Help drivers generate reports in PDF format through Bluetooth, email, or a USB drive, during roadside inspections.

  4. Make provisions for changes in jurisdiction, cycle management, and off-duty time deferral.

This makes it imperative that you choose a fully compliant solution like the GFI ELD. Some features that distinguish the GFI ELD from its counterparts are:

  1. FMCSA certification and Canadian compliance (when the requirements for compliance are released).

  2. DVIR support, which ensure safety of your fleet with Schedule 1 inspection reports.

  3. User-friendly and easy for drivers to operate.

  4. Round the clock support with trained staff.

  5. Available on various platforms, such as Android, iOS, and desktop.

  6. Ability for carriers to see real time HOS status of entire fleet from the admin portal..

  7. Integrated IFTA data and reports for easy fuel reporting.

  8. Federal and Provincial specific drive cycles and exemptions are available, including oilfield related exceptions.

Based on this trend, ELD is just one of the initial steps in the transformation the logistics and transport industry is likely to see in the next few years. GFI is at the forefront of this trend and set to revolutionize the segment with its innovative solutions for fleet management.

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