The ELD mandate in Canada is nearing full implementation. Drivers and fleets in both U.S. and Canada should get familiar with what it entails and how it differs from the U.S. ELD mandate.
That’s because the ELD mandate in Canada will apply to qualifying Canadian drivers as well as U.S. drivers crossing the Canadian border.
To comply with the Canadian ELD mandate, non-exempt drivers will require a compliant ELD solution.
In this post, we will briefly discuss the Canadian ELD mandate, its requirements, and how to buy a compliant ELD solution.
ELD Mandate Canada: Overview
The Canadian ELD mandate is a government regulation that applies to non-exempt commercial drivers who operate in Canada. Therefore, the mandate applies to Canadian drivers as well as other non-exempt U.S. commercial drivers who cross the border.
According to the Canadian ELD mandate, non-exempt drivers must use compliant Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to capture their Hours of Service (HOS).
The main purpose of the Canadian mandate, like its U.S. counterpart, is to help create a safe environment for drivers and everyone else on the road.
The ELD mandate is set to be implemented on June 12, 2021. If you want to learn more about the ELD mandate and its different requirements, check out our detailed blog post on the Canadian ELD mandate.
How to ensure ELD compliance in Canada
Although the ELD mandate Canada applies to most commercial drivers, there are a few exemptions.
However, if you do not qualify for any of the exemptions, you will have to comply with the mandate. And for that, you will need a compliant ELD solution.
ELDs to be used in Canada must be in compliance with the technical specifications published in the Canadian ELD Mandate.
In addition, before installation and use, they must be certified by a third party. This is one of the major differences from the US mandate, in that the US mandate allows for self-certification by device manufacturers.
Carriers who operate between the two countries should have an ELD which meets the certification standards of both countries. This is where it gets a little tricky.
Transport Canada requires third-party certification of ELDs that can be used in Canada. At least one certification body has been announced. However, they have not begun certifying ELDs yet.
Once they do, some ELD solutions that work in the U.S. are expected to be certified to work as a compliant ELD solution in Canada.
Determining the right fit for your fleet
The ELD solution must be certified and compliant with the Canadian requirements. However, that should not be the only criteria for picking an ELD and fleet management solution.
You should review and evaluate many fleet management software and ELD solutions to establish the best fit for your company.
Figuring out what you need to be compliant, as well as to operate efficiently and productively is important.
Below is a rundown of some of the most important ELD and fleet management features to look for.
Important ELD features for U.S. and Canada
Apart from compliance with authorities and mandate specifications, the following features are also important and, therefore, should be considered by fleets and commercial drivers.
- Easy ELD installation. How long does the ELD solution take to install? How easy is it to set up? Does the installation process require additional help?
- Critical safety features. Fleets of all sizes need to stay on top of driver safety. It’s important to find out about crucial events like speeding, excessive acceleration, hard cornering and hard braking in real-time. Some ELDs work with built-in dashcams for commercial vehicles that can capture and record events such as other drivers’ erratic driving or accidents.
- GPS Tracking capabilities. Having an ELD with precise GPS tracking ability is important for several reasons. Fleet managers should know the location of all vehicles and assets at all times. Real-time and historical vehicle location information help managers operate more efficiently, plan better routes, provide better customer service with more accurate ETA, and become more reliable.
- Positive online reviews. Unbiased reviews of ELDs are available on many independent platforms, such as ELD Devices, Apple App Store, Google Play, and G2.
- Ease of use. As a fleet manager, an owner-operator, or a driver, you have plenty of other things on your plate that takes up your time. Acquiring new hardware and software that take days or weeks to master probably isn’t appealing. Look for an ELD solution that is user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to operate (while still containing all of the features you want). By getting an ELD that is easier to use, your training time will be reduced dramatically, allowing your drivers to be out on the road quicker, and giving you a faster ROI.
- Enhanced communications with drivers and dispatchers. The best ELD solution will offer the ability to instant message your drivers, either individually, or as a group. Enhanced communication also means having the ability to send documents such as receipts or proof of delivery documents.
- Vehicle performance notifications. Fuel waste and downtime for maintenance can significantly increase operating costs. A good ELD solution allows you to increase your uptime by creating and sending reports that can save you money and time. The ELD should also help you track fuel consumption or wastage and vehicle diagnostics.
ELD costs and benefits
Electronic Logging Devices are already mandatory for non-exempt drivers in the U.S. and will become mandatory in Canada by June 12, 2021.
Apart from ensuring compliance with various regulations, ELDs have several other benefits that generally come in the form of increased efficiency and productivity.
Here are some of the notable ELD benefits:
- First and foremost, the ELD can help you avoid costly and disruptive Hours of Service (HOS) violations. In the US, fines for ELD violations range from $1,000 up to $10,000. And each day that a driver is out-of-service can cost up to $264 in lost revenue. An operator who is found to be in violation of some out-of-service orders can be liable for up to $25,000 in penalties. ELDs can help save these unnecessary costs.
- ELDs can also help streamline communication among drivers and back-office staff.
- One of the biggest benefits of using a feature-rich ELD solution is that it can automate IFTA calculation by recording how many miles each vehicle drives in each jurisdiction. This greatly reduces administrative burden and operating expenses. Moreover, automated IFTA reports are also less prone to errors.
- ELDs, combined with a powerful fleet management system and dashcams, can also help improve fleet safety. With dashcams, fleets can exonerate drivers who aren’t at fault and save themselves from potential liabilities.
Compared to all these ELD benefits, the cost of ELD is negligible.
However, when purchasing an ELD, make sure to consider your options carefully. Different ELD vendors charge different prices. Most have a fixed monthly price, while others charge hefty upfront fees.
A feature-rich ELD solution that costs up to $20-$30 per month is usually a viable option.
ELD Mandate Canada: Start planning now
Now is the time to start planning compliance with the Canada ELD mandate. Considerations such as the time required for driver training, back-office training, and the potential for supply shortages mean that you should not delay your ELD planning.
Immediately before the U.S. mandate went into effect, some operators ran up against an ELD shortage.
Research top ELD solutions now so that you can be ready with your choice when the third-party certifiers are identified, and you can proceed with installation and implementation.
As the ELD technology leader in the U.S., KeepTruckin is ready to meet Canada’s requirements and provide reliable, cutting-edge ELD products to Canadian operators. We expect the KeepTruckin ELD solution to be among the first to be certified.
KeepTruckin is trusted by over 1,000,000 drivers and 70,000 fleets for their compliance, regulatory, and fleet management needs.
You can start your ELD implementation process right now by requesting a free demo of the KeepTruckin ELD.
If you have any questions, call us at 855-434-3564.
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