After six years of hard work poured into developing its technical standards, Canada finally is going to have its own version of the ELD mandate.
Assuming that the publication timeline of the CCMTA (Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators) goes as planned, members of the trucking industry can expect the mandate’s final rule to be approved by the end of 2017.
Following this timetable, drivers can expect to see the compliance and implementation deadline of the ELD mandate take effect around December 2019.
AOBRD (Automatic Onboard Recording Device) users are also projected to have until the year 2021 before they’d be required to switch to ELDs. This is based on what’s mentioned in the ELD mandate’s guidelines.
Industry experts have noted that Canada’s own version of the ELD mandate closely resembles the version that has been passed in the United States of America.
This means that operators who use ELDs that are compliant with the U.S. version of the ELD mandate would most likely have no compliance problems when entering Canadian jurisdiction.
Canada’s Version of the ELD Mandate
Geoff Wood, CTA’s (Canadian Trucking Alliance) senior vice president for policy, gave a speech in a recent trucking expo and conference.
He mentioned in the trucking expo that he expects the draft of Canada’s ELD mandate to have a speedy approval because of its technical specifications being worked upon for years.
In his own words, Wood stated:
“We don’t expect a lot of surprise over this rule, partly because we’ve taken a lot of time to develop it.”
Also, he mentioned that Canada’s own version of the ELD mandate is “99.8% in line” with the version that was released by the United States.
Expounding upon the benefits of this similarity, Wood said:
“The long and short of it is, if you buy and use a U.S.-compliant device, you will have no issues in Canada.”
The Canadian version of the ELD mandate is not a standalone legislation, but instead, it is actually an amendment to the contents of its own HOS (Hours of Service) regulations.
This amendment will be published in the Canada Gazette (Canada’s official publication magazine that announces upcoming legislation) in two stages.
The mandate’s proposal will be published in the “Gazette I” category (where proposed legislation is announced), while its final rule will be announced in the “Gazette II” section (where finalized regulations are published).
ELD Mandate Regulations
Wood noted that the guidelines on who is covered and who is exempt from the ELD mandate would closely mirror after the rules established in the U.S.
An example of a vehicle that is covered by the ELD mandate includes one that is over 10,000 lbs, driven by an operator who is currently mandated by HOS rules to maintain a paper logbook.
Some of the exemptions that are under Canada’s ELD mandate include the following:
- Drivers who operate within a 160-kilometer air-radius from their home base;
- Operators of trucks that are rented for under 30 days; and,
- Fleets that are operating under “federal HOS permits” (e.g., haulers of dry/liquid fertilizer, trucks serving in oil fields, etc.).
Although these truckers are exempt from using ELDs, they still have to comply with the HOS regulations by logging them on paper RODS (Records of Duty Status). Also, these drivers have the option to switch to ELDs if they wish. However, it isn’t mandatory for them to use the device.
Although the Canadian ELD mandate is very similar to the U.S. version of the ELD rule, there are still clear differences between the two that are evident when both are compared side by side.
Here are some distinct regulatory differences that Wood noted during his presentation:
- The Canadian ELD mandate will only show a reference to the technical standards and requirements that these devices have to meet. This would be different from the case of their U.S. counterpart where the ELD’s technical requirements are embedded in its mandate.
- Canada’s ELD mandate would also apply to trucks that were manufactured during the model year 1995 or above. In contrast, the U.S. ELD mandate only covers vehicles that are equipped with engine model years dated 2000 or above.
- Unlike the U.S. version of the ELD rule, the Canadian version allows users to defer their off-duty time to the next day. It means that drivers can move a maximum of two hours of off-duty time to the next day so as to be able to drive more during the current day.
- Under the Canadian ELD mandate, drivers are allowed to drive only a maximum of 75 kilometers of personal conveyance for every 24 hours that lapses. ELDs under the Canadian mandate will automatically change “personal conveyance” statuses to “drive status” whenever the miles accrued by personal use exceeds 75 kilometers within a 24-hour timeframe. On the other hand, in the U.S. ELD mandate, there is no specific limit for personal conveyance; it has to be a “reasonable” distance.
It’s just a matter of time before the final rule of the Canadian ELD mandate gets approved by the CCMTA.
With the country’s trend shifting towards an emphasis on road safety, equipping your fleets with the proper tools can save you the trouble of having to worry about your compliance needs further down the road.
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