The Transport Canada ELD mandate for commercial drivers is aimed at improving road safety and comes into effect in June 2021 as the Canadian transport ministry has announced with new official regulations. That means it’s time for Canadian fleets to start transitioning to electronic logging devices (ELDs).


Are e-logs mandatory in Canada?

Currently, drivers of commercial buses and trucks in Canada are required to self-report their on-duty, off-duty and daily driving time, according to the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations. Drivers must keep a daily log of driving records. Use of paper logs or electronic recording devices (ERD) to record hours of service (HOS) is permitted.

Official Canadian ELD regulations have been in the works for several years. In 2017, Transport Canada announced that it would be making electronic logging mandatory. Like in the U.S., Canada has provided a two-year phase-in period for ELD use. Canada is asking motor carriers to be in full compliance by June 2021.


Definition of an ELD

Transport Canada defines an ELD as a certified device or technology that automatically logs the driver’s driving time and record of duty status. We outlined the most frequently asked questions about ELDs in this post.

Benefits of using ELDs, as cited in the announcement, include:

  • Improving road safety
  • Minimizing driver fatigue
  • Simplifying administration and making the enforcement checks faster
  • Supporting economic growth by harmonizing with U.S. regulations


Canadian ELD mandate date

Here is a quick overview of the key dates to be aware of with regard to the Canadian ELD mandate:

  • December 16, 2017: The Government of Canada published the proposed Regulations Amending the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations (Electronic Logging Devices and Other Amendments), in Canada Gazette Part I: Vol. 151, No. 50
  • June 13, 2019: Transport Canada announced that it is mandating the use of ELDs for commercial trucks and bus operators
  • June 12, 2021: Enforcement deadline. Carriers must switch from paper daily logs to ELDs before this date

The highly anticipated announcement comes after a substantial consultation period, which included industry stakeholders, ELD vendors and the provincial and territorial governments.


Will there be a grandfather period?

The published regulations state that Transport Canada has eliminated the two-year grandfather period for ERDs. As of now, there will not be a grandfather period for the Canadian ELD mandate. This means that fleets already using e-logs will not have extra time allotted and will need to ensure their devices are compliant by 2021 like everyone else.

The reason given is that the process for updating is not as burdensome as initially assumed. The regulations mention that carriers may be able to upgrade their existing devices via over-the-air software updates, instead of needing to replace the whole unit. To confirm upgrade requirements, carriers with ERDs should check with their current providers.


Some Similarities to the U.S. ELD mandate

The Canadian ELD regulations are similar in many respects to the current U.S. regulations on electronic logging, which went into effect in December 2017. In the U.S., ELD compliance was phased in with full compliance mandated by December 16, 2019.

The Canadian ELD regulations will mimic U.S. regulations in that the ELD will be required to:

  • Synchronize with the engine
  • Provide GPS tracking
  • Capture drive time automatically
  • Use an on-screen display to show inspectors at roadside
  • The ELD lets drivers use special driving statuses; Yard Move (YM) and Personal Conveyance (PC)
  • The ELD has a mechanism to verify logs and agree to edits
  • Pre-2000 vehicles are exempt from the mandates. etc.


Basic rules outlined in Canadian ELD Mandate

  • Drivers are required to carry supporting documents such as app manual and backup paper logs at all times.
  • If there are any ELD malfunctions, the driver would have 14 days or upon return to the home terminal from the current trip to fix the issue.


Canadian ELD exemptions

The U.S. ELD mandate offers exemptions to the rule in some cases. Canada also has four main exemptions as listed in Canada Gazette Part 2 Volume 153, Number 12.

Commercial motor vehicles will be exempt if they:

  • Operate under a specific permit issued
  • Have a statutory exemption
  • Are subject to a rental agreement with terms under 30 days
  • Operate a vehicle that was manufactured before 2000

Acknowledging incompatibility issues, the regulations allow drivers of commercial motor vehicles manufactured before model year 2000 to continue to keep a paper log to track driving time and on-duty hours.



Finding the right ELD solution

The Canadian ELD regulations will not change existing hours of service (HOS) regulations, but reinforce compliance. Additional benefits of the rule include reducing fatigued driving and simplifying compliance for long-haul truck drivers who drive in both countries.

The Canadian ELD mandate will require the ELD system to actively warn drivers when they are running close to the hours of service limits. The Canadian hours of service rules are quite different than those in the U.S. so carriers should look at choosing an ELD vendor that 1) supports the Canadian hours of service rules completely, including deferral of OFF duty, and 2) is committed to achieving third-party certification when it becomes available.

Geotab, an award winning leader in telematics technology, today announced the availability of the Geotab Garmin ELD Bundle, a driver-friendly and durable solution for ELD compliance that helps fleets improve productivity, increase driver safety and strengthen compliance.

As part of the Geotab Cloud ELD solution, the Garmin ELD Bundle offers a reliable platform for tracking, managing and sharing Records of Duty Status (RODS). Helping enable fleets to strengthen compliance through HOS reporting, automatic duty status changes and alerts for driver violations, the Geotab Garmin ELD Bundle also includes features to help businesses improve driver safety and maximize uptime.

“The Geotab Garmin ELD Bundle couples Geotab’s reliable and secured fleet management platform with Garmin’s portable navigation expertise. This one-stop shop solution helps to simplify the electronic logging process, ultimately benefiting businesses, fleet managers and drivers alike.

The Geotab Garmin ELD Bundle includes:

  • Geotab Cloud ELD
  • Garmin Fleet™ 790 android tablet with Wi-Fi
  • HD dash camera
  • LTE connectivity
  • Vehicle charger
  • Suction cup mount

The solution’s added benefit of Wi-Fi and embedded cellular connectivity means that drivers will have access to highly detailed and updated maps as well as commercial truck navigation and ELD logs, directly at their fingertips. Senior Business Development Manager for Commercial Solutions at Garmin. With the Geotab Garmin ELD Bundle, businesses can feel confident that their fleets are equipped with the tools they need.”

To learn more about the Geotab Garmin ELD Bundle visit:  https://lakeheadcommunications.com/geotab-garmin/

For more information regarding the Geotab Garmin Bundle, contact Lakehead Communications.