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7 things you need to know about the Canadian ELD mandate

7 things you need to know about the Canadian ELD mandate

The Canadian ELD mandate is right around the corner. Are you prepared?

If you drive through Canada or are a Canadian driver, don’t wait until the last minute to find out what’s going on. The Canadian rule is slated to be published in June 2019.

Not complying with the ELD rules may result in ELD violations and out-of-service orders. In the U.S., fines for ELD violations could range from $1,000 to $10,000.

Here are 7 things about the Canadian ELD mandate you should know.

1. The Canadian technical standard for ELDs

If your fleet is based in Canada, it’s crucial to learn CCMTA’s technical standard before you purchase an ELD. Transport Canada is currently finalizing the Canadian technical standard which is expected to be published in June 2019. According to this:

  • ELDs must capture the engine’s power status, motion, operating hours, and total distance driven. The device must be internally synchronized with the vehicle’s engine.
  • ELDs should have an accurate log of a vehicle’s date and time of operation. This means alterations of any form aren’t allowed.
  • The ELD must stay on while the vehicle’s engine is running. It must also be fully functional within one minute after the engine is started.
  • Manual entries made by authenticated co-drivers are allowed, as long as they are not currently driving. However, co-drivers are prohibited from switching positions while the vehicle is in motion.

The Canadian technical standard for ELDs is designed to be interoperable with the FMCSA’s requirements. As such, electronic logging devices that are in the FMCSA’s list of self-certified ELDs will most likely be supported by the CCMTA.

2. Many ELD exemptions may be similar to the U.S. ELD mandate

It’s likely that the Canadian ELD mandate will have similar ELD exemption rules as the U.S. ELD mandate.

Vehicles with pre-2000 engines may get an exemption in the Canadian ELD mandate. Commercial motor vehicles that are subject to a rental agreement for 30 days or fewer may also get an exemption.

Talking about the possibility of the different exemptions, Travis Baskin, Head of Regulatory of Affairs at KeepTruckin, said:

“There will definitely be a “manufactured before” exemption. In Gazette I, the original proposed language mirrored the U.S. rule of pre-2000, but there is talk of that being rolled back to 1996. I’m skeptical, but the jury is definitely out. Also, the original proposed rule didn’t include an exemption for folks that only keep RODS a few times a month the way the U.S. did, but we won’t know for sure until they publish the final rule.”

3. Three key differences between the U.S. and Canadian ELD mandates

Although the Canadian ELD mandate borrows a lot of elements from the U.S., there are some known differences. For instance:

  • According to the U.S. ELD mandate, carriers need to send detailed reports and files of eight-day log data to enforcement. The Canadian ELD mandate will not require this. Instead, carriers will be required to share/transfer the 14-day log data in PDF form.
  • U.S. ELD manufacturers also rely on a Geographic Names Information System file for the identities of locations. The Canadian ELD mandate requires the government to provide manufacturers this information.
  • Personal conveyance rules also vary between the two mandates in terms of distance and time restrictions. The U.S. mandate doesn’t have any specified restrictions while Canadian drivers are limited to 75 kilometers within 24 hours of personal driving.

4. ELD mandate in Canada will ensure cross-border consistency

The trade between the U.S. and Canada is valued at a whopping $673.1 billion. This amount is second only to the U.S. trade with China, which totals $710.4 billion.

Canada-based carriers are required to observe the ELD mandate within U.S. borders. As such, the Canadian government has every reason to develop and implement a mandate of its own that is very similar to the U.S. version.

The implementation of the Canadian ELD mandate will simplify compliance for long-haul truckers who drive in both countries and ensure cross-border consistency. Drivers won’t have to worry about manually keeping track of changing Hours-of-Service regulations in different jurisdictions.

5. The Canadian ELD mandate won’t change existing Hours-of-Service regulations

Prior to the U.S. ELD mandate implementation deadline, FMCSA’s Joe DeLorenzo clarified that existing Hours-of-Service regulations would remain unaffected. “The biggest thing to remember is that it is really still about HOS reinforcement,” says DeLorenzo. “All we’re really doing is moving from paper logs to electronic records.”

The same can be said for the Canadian ELD mandate implementation. At the moment, there is no indication that the implementation of the ELD mandate will come along with significant changes in the existing Hours-of-Service regulations.

“Hours of Service rules are not changing, only the way those hours are tracked. But we can expect that, like in the U.S., keeping track of HOS compliance using this technology may show people that they don’t know the rules as well as they thought they did. I would encourage folks to take a look back at the regulations to make sure they haven’t acquired some bad habits.” — Travis Baskin, Head of Regulatory Affairs at KeepTruckin.

6. The grandfather clause

Similar to the U.S. ELD mandate, the Canadian ELD mandate is expected to have a “grandfather” clause. The exact period is yet to be decided. According to Mike Millian, the President of Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC), “that’s where the biggest debate is.”

Millian also added that the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the PMTC originally wanted the compliance date to be 18 months after the final rule is published with a 24-month grandfathered period. He also mentioned that there are some “who want 12 months for compliance and zero grandfather period.”

It is in the best interest of fleets to adopt compliant ELD technology as soon as possible. The transition takes time in the form of evaluating different options and driver training. Installing AOBRDs/ERDs and then replacing them with ELDs so soon would be an inefficient process and an administrative burden.

7. The CCMTA may learn from the mistakes made in the U.S.

As a late adopter, the CCMTA can take into account past mistakes made during the implementation of the ELD mandate in the USA.

Ontario Trucking Association and Canadian Trucking Alliance head, Steven Laskowski, highlighted the ability of vendors to self-certify their ELDs. In his opinion, it was too easy to modify hours of service in the U.S.

“What we have seen and found is the ability for people to rewrite their hours of service,” says Laskowski. “With some of these devices, it’s a push of a button.”

Get ready for the Canadian ELD mandate

If you need to comply with the Canadian ELD mandate regulations, find out more about KeepTruckin and how it can help you. Call 844-325-9230 or email if you have any questions. Our 24/7 customer support team is always available to help you.



Jimmy Rodela writes about transportation industry challenges, insights, and compliance news. He specializes in digital media and blogging.