ELD Mandate Impacts Fleets and Drivers in the Trucking Industry: Now a Top Concern

Just as it was for fleet operators and drivers in the American trucking industry, the looming mandate to have electronic logging devices implemented in Canadian fleets is becoming of real concern to those in the industry who will be responsible for compliance. At present, the Canadian version of the ELD Mandate is expected to go into effect by late 2017 or early 2018.

While there are some significant differences between the U.S. version and the Canadian, the major parts of the mandate are very similar, in that they require logging devices to be installed in commercial vehicles to monitor the hours of service for drivers. With a good deal of commerce occurring across borders between the two countries, it is only natural that a similar stance on trucker/vehicle safety be adopted by both nations.

Main differences between the U.S. and Canadian ELD mandate versions

The U.S. version of the mandate makes no distinction between personal conveyance and truck driving status, as it relates to distance and elapsed time, but that is not true in the Canadian mandate, and that means that ELD vendors will need to take that into account in all products offered. In Canada, the logging software will have to include logic that switches over from personal conveyance status to drive status when a distance greater than 75 kilometers has been covered within 24 hours.

The way software applications acquire location and identity will also differ. In America, software suppliers will be required to use the existing Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), whereas the Canadian government will supply vendors with the file to be used for direction and distance.

For enforcement and transfer of the logging data, American carriers will be required to submit detailed log data of all activity within an 8-day period to officials for monitoring and compliance assurance. By comparison, Canadian companies will have to submit a non-editable PDF file which covers 14 days of activity, and is captured right from the data screen display.

Why the Canadian trucking industry is concerned?

The reasons that Canadian fleet managers and owners, as well as drivers, are concerned about implementation of the coming mandate are very similar to the reservations on the American side of the border. Drivers are worried that their earnings will be limited by the constraints imposed on hours of service, because any hours logged above the allowable threshold will trigger penalties on the company of employment.

Fleet managers and owners have major concerns about their ability to react to the terms of the mandate as quickly as will be necessary under the December 2017 deadline. Each unit installed in a vehicle will represent a considerable expense in and of itself, with additional expense being incurred for training of drivers and managers to correctly use the devices.

For large trucking fleets, the total cost can be enormous, and there will also be an ongoing expense for maintenance and updates to the logging devices. These are all costs affecting the bottom line of Canadian trucking fleet companies, and bottom line impact is always a significant concern.