Big changes are coming to the way transportation and fleet companies operate. By the end of 2017, fleet operators in the USA will be required to complete the transition from paper driver logs to electronic logging devices (ELDs). Canada will follow closely behind with its own ELD compliance standards, set to be in place shortly after the USA’s late 2017 compliance date.
With these new ELD compliance standards on the horizon, it’s important to understand how the trucking industry will be impacted, and what steps you need to take as a transportation operator.
What is an ELD?
An ELD, or electronic logging device, is a piece of hardware that connects directly to the engine’s control module (ECM) to automatically record driver compliance with hours of service (HOS) requirements. It collects vehicle data including date, time, location information, miles driven, engine hours, and is able to generate alerts for vehicle malfunctions and “unassigned driving time”.
This information is used to monitor the status of vehicles and drivers, and is stored in a standard format that allows companies or transportation officials to collect and review.
What Is The ELD Mandate?
The ELD mandate requires many companies in the transport industry in both Canada and the United States to make the transition from paper logs to certified automatic electronic logs.
The mandate will include compliance specifications for ELD manufacturers, how ELDs will collect and record HOS data, how the information can be used by employers and officials, and address driver privacy concerns.
Why The Move To ELDs?
The new electronic logging devices will help improve safety standards, reduce the rate of preventable accidents and associated costs, and increase accountability of companies operating in the trucking industry.
By automating and standardizing the way drive time is recorded and reported, ELDs will also help minimize errors and logbook tampering. With over $650 billion in goods crossing the Canada-USA border each year, the ELD mandate aims to create consistent regulations so drivers and fleets remain compliant on both sides of the border.
When Do Electronic Logs Become Mandatory?
Beginning December 18, 2017, fleets operating in the United States will be required to make the switch from paper logs to ELDs. Fleets that are already using electronic logs have until December 2019 to meet the new compliance specifications.
As the Canadian ELD mandate is still in the planning and development stages, there are no dates for the Canadian ELD compliance deadlines.
However, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) will follow a similar process used with the publication of the US mandate. Based on the US compliance dates, the Canadian ELD compliance deadline is projected to be at the end of 2019.
Are There Exemptions To The ELD Rule?
Since the Canadian ELD mandate is still in development, exemptions to the rule in Canada are not yet known.
However, there are ELD exemptions within the US mandate, and with Canada’s ELD mandate expected to closely follow ELD compliance rules in the United States, many of the same exemptions may apply.
Exemptions to the ELD mandate in the United States include:
- Drivers using the timecard exception
- Drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days in a 30 day period
- Drivers of vehicles manufactured pre-2000
- Drivers of drive-away-tow-away operations where the vehicle is the commodity being delivered or is a motor home/RV
These exemptions could change as the Canadian ELD compliance standards are finalized. For more information about ELD exemptions, click here.
Will There Be Differences Between The US & Canadian ELD Mandate?
The Canadian ELD rules are predicted to closely mirror the US mandate in order to keep cross-border regulations consistent. However, there are also several differences expected between the US and Canadian mandates.
You can find more information about the differences here.
With the Canadian ELD mandate still in the planning stages, it will be important for fleet operators and transportation companies to continue to follow its development. The finalized regulations are expected by the CCMTA to appear in Gazette II by Q4 2017.
View our infographic to learn more about the ELD mandate and how it will impact the trucking and transportation industry.
[Click to enlarge]