ELDs In Canada: Need To Know Facts

We're here to let you know the facts about ELDs and their implementation in Canada


The ELD Mandate

The U.S implemented their ELD Mandate on December 18, 2017, it requires that Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) replace the standard paper logbooks used to record Hours of Service (HOS). Q4 of 2019 marks the time Transport Canada intends to enact their version of the ELD mandate, requiring carriers and drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) to use ELDs instead of paper logbooks to report Record of Duty Status (RODS).

According to Transport Canada, there are roughly 175,000 federally regulated trucks and vans operating within our borders, and only 56.5% of them have currently operational ELDs. However, there are also over 700,000 commercial trucks in Canada according to Stats Can*. That means there are at least 525,000 trucks that are not federally regulated and there is no data regarding current voluntary ELD adoption.


There are several arguments for the implementation of an ELD mandate in Canada. The primary one being that the United States is Canada’s closest neighbor, geographically and economically. Harmonizing HOS regulations reduce friction. Harmonized regulation is beneficial as over 1.7 Billion dollars worth of goods and services cross between the 120 land border crossings and 23 international bridges that link our two countries.* Additionally, a study conducted in 2016 by Transport Canada concluded that there are significant efficiency and safety benefits to the widespread adoption of ELDs in Canada.


  • The average lifespan of ELD hardware is predicted to be 10-years.
  • Entry to mid-level ELDs can range from $300 – $900 respectively.
  • The estimated monthly fee is $30/month.

Provincial and territorial inspectors will enforce ELD implementation compliance. The data must be able to transmit logs to inspectors via a digital display screen, printout or any other intelligible output. Additionally, carriers must equip each Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) with user manuals for the device and instructions that outline the steps needed for drivers to transfer RODS data to inspectors, as well as what to do in case of a malfunction*.



During the inspection, if a driver is found to have committed a violation, they can be put out of service for between 8-72 hours depending on the surrounding circumstances. The primary reasons for placing drivers “out-of-service” is to allow them the appropriate “rest” time or to repair or replace an ELD device that has been “damaged. “



  • It is estimated that drivers spend between 4.5 to 23 minutes per day filling out paper logs. Eliminating this time results in 18-92 hours of time saved per year, per driver.
  • It is also estimated that drivers will save 100 minutes per year simply by not having to forward daily logs to carriers.
  • Carriers spend roughly 3.5 minutes to file each paper logbook they receive. With ELDs this administrative duty is eliminated.
  • Transport Canada predicts that on the low end, the net benefit of an ELD mandate will be $127.5 million and on the high end, $288 million



  • World-leading experts in transportation attribute 15% to 20% of crashes to fatigue. That’s 902 collisions a year (involving a semi-truck).
  • According to the FMCSA, the likelihood of a crash doubles from ~4.5% to ~9.5% between 8 hours of driving without a break and 12 hours of driving without a break.
  • Even a 10% effectiveness rate would reduce the number of collisions involving a semi truck by 90.

The same survey that provided the above projections and analysis concluded that carriers who currently do not monitor HOS would not do so unless required by regulation. Thus the implementation of ELDs will simultaneously 1) make HOS easier to manage 2) regulate the consistent monitoring of HOS by carriers.

ELD Checklist

When choosing an ELD, ensure that the device is fully compliant with Transport Canada’s regulations. A compliant ELD must check these four (4) boxes in the following checklist in your evaluation.

  • The ELD hardware is synchronized with the engine of the CMV. So driving time, date,
    vehicle position and vehicle operating parameters are recorded automatically.
  • The ELD must allow for manual inputs from driver and carriers.
  • The RODS and supporting event data an ELD records must be within the Technical Standard.
  • The ELD must be able to transfer data in a standard output to an inspector upon request.


ELDS come in many forms. Units can hard-wired into the engine’s computer, or easily plugged in via the JBUS or OBD ports. Define your fleet needs first. Is most of the activity of your fleet restricted to a relatively small area not requiring overnight trips? Do your CMV’s travel long distances sparingly? Then a hardwired ELD device is likely not the best solution. Consider adopting an ELD that connects to JBUS or OBD ports.


Although Transport Canada concluded that the net benefit of ELD implementation would be 200+ million, we know many fleet managers are concerned that the initial and recurring costs of mandatory ELDs will be difficult to overcome. To offset ELD costs a common strategy is to combine the technology with existing fleet tracking systems or to adopt both ELDs and telematics at the same time.

AVLS fleet tracking providers often supply ELD solutions, and some have created efficiencies by combining technology into single unit hardware. Meaning that with a single installation, fleet managers can ensure full ELD compliance and begin gaining the benefits of fleet tracking. There is ELD hardware that fleet operators can get diagnostic engine codes straight to their device, be notified of speeding and aggressive driving events, create virtual geo-fences and generate a variety of time-saving and productivity improving report and analytics. A leading research firm, Berg Insight, predicts that market penetration of GPS tracking will reach 40% by 2020.

Titan GPS Can Get You There

Whether you want to reduce your liability, reduce fuel costs or improve customer service, telematics provides a host of tools to reach those goals.