On June 12, 2021, the new Canadian ELD Rule is scheduled to go into effect. The rule, similar to the one that went into effect in the U.S. in December 2017, will require all motor carriers to have a certified electronic logging device on board.
Like the U.S. example, things continue to change as the June deadline approaches. At the beginning of March, citing the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the commercial trucking industry, the Canadian government announced that it will move to a "progressive enforcement period" for 12 months versus enforcing a strict deadline.
This is good news for all professional drivers who navigate in the Great White North — the progressive period will provide some breathing room for drivers to attain and use certified ELDs without penalty.
According to Canada's Minister of Transport, the 12-month period will provide "sufficient time for the industry to obtain and install certified electronic logging devices without penalty as of June 12, 2021. Early enforcement measures will consist of education and awareness."
The ELD mandate in Canada has been in the works for a number of years — the directive was adopted in 2019 and the effective date set for this June. As in the U.S., the ELD mandate in Canada requires professional truck drivers who record Hours of Service to move from paper logbooks to Electronic Logging Devices.
The Canadian ELD mandate doesn't change the existing HOS rules, rather it specifies that drivers use electronic logging versus paper-based tracking.
Will it be okay for drivers to use their U.S. compliant ELDs in Canada? The answer is "yes," as long as the U.S. ELD also supports the Canadian ELD rules and is certified in Canada.
Thankfully, Canadian regulations allow current U.S. ELD owners to update their devices with the new Canadian ruleset over the air. That is good news for those already using Rand McNally's ELD platforms. As the June deadline approaches, Rand McNally will issue a software update to its devices — first to fleets and drivers that routinely travel in both the U.S. and Canada.
The Canadian mandate also specifies that ELDs must be verified and certified by an accredited third-party organization, versus the U.S. self-certification model. As a result, ELD vendors, like Rand McNally, have been working with approved certification bodies to ensure their software and their devices meet all Canadian standards and requirements.
Keep in mind that drivers who routinely cross the border will need to have an ELD certified in both countries.
There are several key differences between the Canada ELD mandate and the U.S. ELD ruleset in place.
As noted above, Canadian regulations require ELDs to be officially certified while devices are self-certified in the U.S. In Canada, when authorities request that drivers transfer their logs, there is no federal Electronic Record of Duty Status (eRODS) system as in the U.S. During a roadside inspection, the Canadian officer will review the ELD display screen or, if available, a print-out, to review the driver's logs. The safety officer also may provide an email address to which the driver can send the electronic records.
Beyond the mandate, there are some differences between HOS rules in Canada and those that govern U.S. drivers. The rules stay the same — the method by which the drivers need to log their hours is what changes.
For more information and details on the new Canada ELD mandate, check out these FAQs from the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.