The US government, under the direction of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), started the process of legislating ELDs (or Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRDs) ) back in the year 2000. Due to various impediments, it was 15 years later that ELD legislation came into effect. The timeline allowed motor carriers a full two years to implement logging devices and replace all paper Hours of Service (HOS) logbooks.
So while US transport agencies have been hammering out the details for many years, things have seemingly been quiet across the border, in government circles at least.
Strangely, while the FMCSA has been pushed back by private lobbyists, the opposite is true in Canada. While private groups, such as the Canadian Truckers Alliance (CTA), have been pressing the Canadian government to take action, there has been little to show for it – until now.
When is Canada’s ELD regulation coming?
It appears that since the ELD Canada mandate was finalized in the US on December 15, 2015, Canada has been moving quickly to adopt new legislation requiring truck drivers to replace paper hours of service logbooks with their electronic equivalent.
In fact, at a roundtable conference, Canada’s Minister of Transport publicly announced Transport Canada‘s support of ELD Canada.
On August 3, Transport Canada officially announced it was proposing to amend the HOS regulations to an ELD Canada mandate.
The final ruling will likely be published in spring 2017, with compliance dates announced at the same time.
Yet it could all come into effect much sooner as the Canadian Transport Agency has expressed a desire to align the compliance dates with those established by the FMCSA, which mandates that all drivers currently required to record hours of service use a compliant electronic device by the end of 2017.
This means Canadian trucking firmsmay have less time than their American counterparts to implement a working solution.
The good news is that, due to similarities in both the timing and requirements of the ELD law, carriers in Canada can benefit from work that’s already been done to help US fleets become compliant.
How should Canadian trucking fleets prepare for ELD changes?
Regardless of when exactly the change to electronic logging will come into effect in Canada, it is coming and carriers should prepare early for the following reasons.
1 – Take advantage of the time now to plan well – By starting the planning process early, you can make the best decision for your fleet, without being rushed into choosing something at the last minute, or worse, not being ready and suffering costly downtime.
If you need help figuring out your approach to rolling out an ELD solution, read this free ELD planning guide for ideas, including suggestions from former FMCSA Director Annette Sandberg.
2 – If you travel across the border you’ll need to be compliant – The FMCSA requires that Canadian truck drivers comply with US legislation by the end of 2017, regardless of when Canada starts enforcing a ruling.
3 – Fleets are seeing cost savings and efficiency gains by implementing ELDs – Switching to a paperless, automated HOS solution allows drivers to spend less time worrying about paperwork, and more time earning money. Drivers are also benefiting from this technology through smarter routes, improved navigation and driver safety initiatives.
4 – Truck makers are offering built-in options – OEM telematics is revolutionizing the spread and adoption of electronic vehicle tracking. Truck makers such as Volvo Trucks, Mack, Freightliner, Isuzu and Hino are all offering fleet buyers an easy way to switch to electronic logging.
Without the need to purchase and install aftermarket hardware, fleet owners can easily switch on a solution such as OEM telematics, without much disruption.
While there is still uncertainty as to the exact direction of the final ELD Canada rules, there is still compelling reason for carriers to seriously consider switching to an electronic solution now.
Telogis solutions are already widely used in Canada. With input from our local Toronto office, we provide Canadian truckers with the tools they need to get their job done efficiently, including professional navigation software and vehicle inspection tools.
We will be working closely with relevant Canadian agencies to provide an ELD Canada solution compliant with incoming regulations, as Transport Canada moves to bring the nation’s HOS logging into the 21st century.