Transport Canada has committed to implementing new safety regulation aligned with recently announced U.S. measures. The new regulation is commonly referred to as the “ELD mandate” which was released by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) December 2015. The ELD mandate will require the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) for recording hours of service (HOS) with a phased-in approach to December 2019.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THE ELD MANDATE?
According to the FMCSA the primary goal of the ELD rule is to improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen HOS regulations that prevent fatigue, accidents and ultimately saves lives. ELDs are also intended to benefit the commercial transportation industry in other ways including saving time and costs associated with paper logs, increased efficiency of record-keeping and vehicle inspections.
WHAT IS AN ELD?
Put simply, an ELD is an electronic device attached to a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that enables drivers and carriers to easily track HOS compliance. The device itself synchronizes with the engine to automatically record information such as power status, engine hours, location, vehicle movement, and miles driven.
The FMCSA defines that an ELD must:
- Connect to the truck’s engine to record if the truck is in motion
- Allow the driver to log in and select On-duty, Off-duty, or On-Duty Not Driving; drive segments must be auto-selected based on movement
- Graphically display a Record of Duty Status, so a driver can quickly see hours of service
- Provide data in a format that’s standardized and can be transmitted to law enforcement in a number of prescribed ways, such as wireless web and email services, USB and/or Bluetooth
- Be provider-certified that the device meets the proper specifications
- The device won’t allow any deletion of driving time and must be tamper-proof. Drivers will need to continue to keep supporting documents to verify HOS compliance (bills of lading, dispatch and trip reports, mobile communications, etc).
WILL YOUR FLEET BE AFFECTED BY THE ELD MANDATE?
Essentially, all commercial motor vehicle (CMV) carriers required to complete paper logs today will have to have to adapt to the new ELD regulation.
The FMCSA regulation does allow for exceptions to the rule:
- Timecard or “shorthaul” drivers
- Drivers in the driveaway-towaway business
- Drivers that drive a vehicle manufactured before model year 2000
- Drivers who use paper logs for not more than 8 days during any 30 day period
Why does the model year matter? Before 2000, many commercial vehicles had different specifications to their engine control monitors that wouldn’t allow the ELD to capture the information it needs.
TIMELINE FOR COMPLIANCE
To date, there has been limited information released by Transport Canada about the proposed “Canadian ELD mandate”. It is expected the timeline will closely follow the U.S. because Canadian truck drivers operating commercial motor vehicles into the U.S. will not be exempt.
To phase-in the use of ELDs, the FMCSA has set out two specific implementation deadlines. By December 18, 2017, all affected motor carriers and drivers must use either an ELD or previously installed and compliant automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD). Essentially, on this date all drivers and CMVs must be using one of two approved methods of electronic compliance. AOBRDs are similar to ELDs in use by many carriers today. The FMCSA has allowed a “grandfathering” of this equipment so long as it meets AOBRD requirements. To see the highlighted differences in requirements see “Methods of Recordkeeping” by the FMCSA. If the standards for an AOBRD are in place, then a driver and CMV can use the AOBRD up to December 16, 2019. Ideally, the manufacturer of a previously installed AOBRD can modify their equipment so that it can be certified and registered as an ELD by the December 2019 deadline. Otherwise, a new ELD solution will be required because on December 16, 2019, all CMV carriers and drivers must use only a certified and registered ELD for HOS compliance.
SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
First and foremost, carriers should assess the requirement of the ELD mandate against how they currently record and administer HOS. While ELDs are nothing more than a piece of equipment, the switch from paper to an electronic logging system is rarely as simple as install the device and you’re done. Electronic HOS compliance will impact every area of your fleet business. The change is significant and should be carefully planned for to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
WHAT SHOULD YOU CONSIDER?
No matter what the future holds for transportation and compliance regulation, telematics will remain an important piece to the puzzle. Many carriers already use GPS fleet tracking or equipment that shares functionality similar to an ELD. When telematics systems are updated or integrated to reflect new HOS compliance, you get an even more complete picture of your fleet operation without adding another system.
HOW TITAN GPS CAN HELP?
Contact us to learn how we can help prepare your fleet for electronic HOS compliance and the ELD mandate. We’ve been actively engaged as the ELD mandate has developed and we are on schedule to release a fully compliant integrated engine connected, ELD-ready solution for late 2016, a full year before e-logs will be required. Existing Titan GPS customers who wish to be early adopters may have the opportunity launch as early as October 2016.Ask Us About Our ELD Compliance Solution