As the December 16, 2019, deadline for full mandatory use of electronic logging devices (ELD) approaches in the United States (A.O.B.R.D’s will no longer comply), it’s a good time to take a step back and consider what it means for fleets across North America.
Following in the steps of their southern neighbors, in June of 2019, the Canadian Federal Government announced its long‑anticipated ELD mandate to replace paper logbooks. Effective June 12, 2021, commercial motor vehicle operators and bus drivers will be required to use ELDs to track Hours of Service (HoS).
The mandates for both countries aim to tackle driver fatigue, which is estimated to cause 20% of fatal collisions in Canada. Implementing ELDs in commercial vehicles will also streamline administrative work for drivers and fleet managers alike, while simultaneously eliminating errors and preventing tampering and HoS manipulation.
The ELD Mandate in the United States was signed under the MAP‑21 law mid‑2012, and the approved ELD rules were published in December 2015, to be enforced by December 2017. Of course, a regulatory change of this scale required a grace period for companies already using Automatic On‑Board Recording Devices (AOBRD).
Businesses with commercial vehicles that had installed an AOBRD prior to December 2017 were given 2 years to migrate to an ELD solution. Now with the United States’ final ELD adoption date on the horizon, and Canada following suit in just under 2 years, businesses and fleet managers need to turn their attention to ensuring their fleet assets and drivers are compliant.
While the United States had a 4‑year grandfathering period for users to transition from AOBRD to compliant ELD solutions, Canada will not have the same luxury ‑ the June 12, 2021 deadline is for total ELD compliance, regardless of AOBRD use on or before that date. With regards to the deadline date, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said: “The two‑year implementation period may seem quick for some truck owners, but I want to reassure you that this period will allow them enough time to set up and install the devices.”
Even though Canada’s ELD compliance date is a little way down the road, businesses that operate across the border will need to ensure they are meeting all the United States’ regulatory requirements in anticipation of this year’s December 16 final deadline for all 50 states.
Get the Titan GPS Guide to Canada’s ELD Mandate today for more information on how your business may be affected.
What Counts as Compliant?
While the upcoming Canadian mandate will largely align with the United States’ rules and requirements for ELDs, there will still be some differences. The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators have clarified: “Requirements specified in the Canadian ELD Standard are aligned with those in the U.S. Rule for interoperability on both sides of the border. However, the Canadian ELD Standard includes additional requirements to comply with current HOS Regulations in Canada. Current ELDs will require a software update and certification by a third‑party entity.”
As of October 1, 2019, there has yet to be a formal announcement about those specific third-party certification requirements, but it is important for Canadian fleet managers to start considering the needs of their fleets, and the technologies available. Understanding ELD software is the first step in ensuring regulatory compliance in time for the June 2021 deadline.
The new rules apply to all federally regulated carriers, but as is the case with many federal mandates, there are expected to be a few exceptions. The three main exceptions are:
- Drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days during any 30-day period.
- Commercial vehicle models built before the year 2000.
- Drivers conducting a drive-away-tow-away operation, if the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered, or if the vehicle being transported is a motorhome or recreational vehicle trailer.
Technology and Software Options
ELD software operates on various modern devices like laptops, smart phones, and tablets. This is an added digital convenience, as roadside inspectors are able to request ELD records via email, Bluetooth, or USB. Apart from the convenience factor, the electronic logging device rule is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data. An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate HOS recording.
Despite the lack of a formal announcement regarding certification requirement of ELD devices, it is likely good practice to consider acquiring an ELD solution from a full‑service fleet management system provider with features like GPS tracking, driver ID, driver behaviour, and maintenance tracking.
Another factor to keep in mind is the training and support required for ELD systems. Whether switching from an AOBRD or getting into a digital solution for the first time, changing the habits of drivers and staff can be a challenging task. While most ELD providers offer initial training, it may prove valuable to work with a provider that will offer ongoing support. Otherwise, adding a new driver years down the road or keeping up‑to‑date with the developments on the system (and regulations) may become more challenging than necessary.
Titan GPS offers a FMCSA‑certified ELD solution with features like compliant and error‑free driver logs, pre‑ and post‑trip driver vehicle inspection reports, and easy to learn and use user interfaces. Call us toll‑free at 1‑855‑287‑4477, send us a message, or request a custom quote to get started toward total regulatory compliance.
Click here for more details on the new regulations and amendments.