With the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate freshly in effect in the United States, Canada announces a proposal to implement the mandate as well. Chances are, it won’t come into full effect until 2020, but there are some important things to know in order to be prepared.
Why Is The Canadian Government Considering An ELD Mandate?
Currently, Canadian hours-of-service (HOS) regulations require drivers of commercial buses and trucks to manually record their hours on a daily basis using paper logs or electronic logbooks (eLogs). Unfortunately, these paper logs make it very easy for drivers to make honest mistakes when logging their hours-of-service (HOS) and very difficult for inspecting officers to catch less-than-honest falsified logs.
When drivers don’t comply with HOS regulations, it becomes a safety issue that can result in tired drivers and an increased crash risk. In fact, fatigued driving is associated with 15% to 20% of crashes in transportation, making it a legitimate concern. Plus, approximately 25% of HOS violations are for exceeding the maximum hours allowed. By implementing an ELD mandate, the Canadian Government hopes to make the roads safer and reduce HOS violation fines to save drivers money.
When Is The Canadian Mandate Coming Into Effect?
The Canadian Government released their first draft of the ELD mandate proposal on December 16, 2017. Currently, the ruling has not been finalized and no dates are set in stone. However, if passed, it sounds like the mandate will come into effect in 2020, with drivers permitted to use existing devices until 2022 (similar to the US automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) ‘grandfather’ clause).
Are There Exemptions To The Canadian ELD Mandate?
There are three proposed exemptions to the Canadian ELD mandate:
- Drivers operating under a permit: These drivers would be exempt because the terms of this permit can be complicated and temporary in nature, making it difficult to program an ELD to function properly with the vehicle.
- Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) that are subject to rental agreements for a term of 30 days or less: Because these vehicles are only under a driver’s control for such a short period of time, it’s impractical for them to install an ELD.
- CMVs that were manufactured before year 2000: The engines in most of these vehicles are not equipped to function with an ELD, making it very difficult to install one properly.
How Will The Canadian ELD Mandate Benefit The Trucking Industry?
- Less driver time spent filling out daily logs: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) did extensive research on this topic before implementing the ELD mandate in the US. According to their findings, paper logs take an average of 4.5 minutes to fill out per record of duty status. ELDs will significantly reduce this time, resulting in millions of dollars of savings.
- Less money spent on administrative tasks: FMCSA research suggests that it takes an average of 3.5 minutes to file each paper-based daily log. This time adds up quickly over a year, costing companies a lot of money in administrative fees. With ELDs, there is no need for administrative staff to handle paper-based logs manually, significantly reducing (and possibly completely eliminating) this cost.
- Less money spent on paper logbooks: A one-month supply of paper logbooks costs about $3.50 per driver, adding up to a yearly cost of $42 per driver. ELDs completely eliminate the need for paper logbooks, saving companies a significant amount of money each year.
- Fewer HOS violations: Because much of a driver’s daily log will be recorded automatically by the ELD, there is much less room for driver error. This will result in fewer HOS violations and fines.
- Reduced crash risk: It’s estimated that approximately 300 crashes occur each year because of driver fatigue. ELDs will ensure that drivers take their breaks when they need to which will hopefully reduce driver fatigue.
What Should I Do Now To Make Sure I’m Ready?
If you drive in or through the United States and don’t qualify for an exemption, you must have an ELD installed in your vehicle to be compliant with the US ELD mandate. If you only drive in Canada and don’t have an ELD yet, now is time to start looking at your options. We learned from the US ELD mandate that waiting until the last minute to purchase is not a good idea. Demand at that point is incredibly high and it can be very difficult to get your hands on an ELD. It’s a great idea to stay on top of things and start looking around now.
How Can BigRoad Help?
We’ve helped drivers through the ELD mandate in the United States and are fully prepared for the Canadian mandate when it hits. Our solution is simple, flexible, and affordable, making it the top choice for drivers.