ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandates are regulations that require most commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to be equipped with certified ELDs to record hours of service (HOS) data. The US ELD Mandate mandate took effect on December 18, 2017, and the Canada ELD Mandate went into effect on June 12, 2021; both are intended to improve safety on roads by reducing driver fatigue and ensuring compliance with HOS regulations.
Let’s take a look at what ELD mandates are in the United States and Canada as well as some recent updates.
What Is the US ELD Mandate?
Under the US ELD mandate, most CMVs that are currently required to maintain paper logbooks must install and use certified ELDs. The mandate applies to both interstate and intrastate carriers, with a few exceptions. Drivers who operate under the short-haul exemption, which allows drivers to operate within a 150-air-mile radius and return to their regular work location within 14 hours, are not required to use an ELD. Additionally, drivers of pre-2000 model-year vehicles are exempt from the mandate.
To comply with the mandate, ELDs must be certified by an accredited third party and meet technical standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Carriers are required to retain ELD data for six months and make it available to enforcement officials upon request.
The mandate is intended to provide a more accurate and reliable means of tracking HOS data, while also reducing the burden on drivers and carriers of maintaining paper logbooks. By ensuring compliance with HOS regulations, the mandate is expected to improve safety for all road users and reduce the risk of accidents caused by driver fatigue or noncompliance with HOS rules.
What Is the Canadian ELD Mandate?
The Canadian Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate went into effect on June 12, 2021, and federally regulated carriers operating in Canada are currently in a period of education and awareness. Many safety and compliance leaders are on the lookout for the latest updates surrounding compliance in Canada. The mandate is intended to improve road safety by reducing driver fatigue and ensuring compliance with HOS regulations.
The mandate applies to most commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that are currently required to maintain daily logbooks, with a few exceptions. Drivers of CMVs that operate within a 160-kilometer radius of their home terminal and return to that terminal each day are not required to use an ELD. Additionally, carriers that operate under the 160-kilometer exemption are required to have ELDs in their vehicles.
To comply with the mandate, ELDs must be certified by an accredited third party and meet technical standards set by Transport Canada. Carriers are required to retain ELD data for six months and make it available to enforcement officials upon request.
Overall, the Canadian ELD mandate is expected to bring the country in line with the US mandate and improve safety for all road users. It will require carriers to adopt new technologies and processes, but the benefits of improved safety and compliance are likely to outweigh the costs of implementation.
Updates to the Canadian ELD Mandate
The Canadian ELD Mandate requires carriers to obtain ELDs that have been certified by an accredited third party. There are currently three certifying bodies, as of early August 2021:
The growing list of accredited certifying bodies is promising to carriers waiting to obtain certified ELDs. It expands the capacity for providers to certify their devices and prepare customers for when the current period of education and awareness ends and penalties go into effect.
If you’re a fleet leader, you can begin working with trusted ELD vendors now. Omnitracs is currently in the process of obtaining third-party certification and is already prepared to offer comprehensive onboarding and training to your teams.
Additionally, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) is advocating on behalf of mandated ELDs for provincially regulated carriers. The outreach efforts are being directed at the Government of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Highways and come after emerging reports that Saskatchewan’s regulators may be leaning toward paper logbooks for truckers who remain within provincial borders.
Saskatchewan will be enforcing the federal mandate on federally regulated carriers. The STA emphasizes that ELDs are critical to the overall safety of their roads, and ensuring that both federally and provincially regulated carriers are aligned on the compliance front will further cement road safety. Whether or not other provinces follow suit remains to be seen.
The Benefits of ELD Mandates
In addition to improving safety, the ELD mandate also has several other benefits. ELDs can help to reduce administrative burdens and costs associated with maintaining paper logbooks. They can provide valuable data and insights to fleet managers, allowing them to optimize routes and schedules, and improve driver behavior. ELDs can also help to reduce the risk of liability in the event of an accident, by providing clear and reliable data on driver behavior and compliance with HOS regulations.
Overall, the ELD mandate is an important tool for improving safety on the roads, reducing the burden on drivers and carriers of maintaining paper logbooks, and ensuring compliance with HOS regulations. While there may be some initial costs associated with implementing ELDs, the benefits of improved safety and compliance are likely to outweigh the costs over time.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) released a message from the CTA Team Canada ELD Vendors, of which Omnitracs is a member. The statement highlights the following main objectives:
- The team is confident that they will emerge through the process with certified ELDs that meet the Canadian ELD Mandates’ technical specifications.
- CTA Team Canada ELD vendors are working diligently through the certification process. Although it is taking longer than initially anticipated, the certification regime is working as it was designed to operate.
- Once the ELDs are installed in trucks operating in Canada, the streamlined hours of service compliance will produce maximum safety benefits.
Keep up with everything related to ELD mandates on our website and check out our ELD page for all things related to ELD compliance, resources, and FAQs.