ELDs Are Coming: Here’s What You Need to Know

Canada’s ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate is at full speed, and it’s officially taking full effect on January 1, 2023. 

The new directive requires every commercial motor carrier and driver to use an ELD that will record their driving hours. This rule officially passed on June 12 this year, but the actual enforcement of the mandate will not start until January 1, 2023. That means if you don’t have one of these devices installed in your truck by the end of the year, you may face fines or other penalties in the future.

Let’s take a closer look at what the ELD mandate means for Canadian carriers and drivers and how it can affect aspiring and veteran truck drivers down the road.

What is an ELD?

An electronic logging device (ELD) is a data logging tool that automatically records driving hours, vehicle movement, and other essential information related to commercial trucking operations. This allows carriers and drivers to not only monitor but regulate their working hours accurately.

What Is the Purpose of The Mandate?

The ELD mandate was created to help drivers reduce their reliance on paperwork when logging work hours. Since the new law encourages accurate monitoring, it also hopes to reduce the number of overworked drivers and fatalities on the road.

This implementation of the new rule has been a long time coming. It was announced by Transport Canada way back in 2019 and was originally scheduled to go full swing on June 12, 2022, but a number of delays in the deadline pushed it back to January 1, 2023.

What does this mean for Alberta truck drivers?

The ELD mandate was created to help drivers reduce their reliance on paperwork when logging work hours. Since the new law encourages accurate monitoring, it also hopes to reduce the number of overworked drivers and fatalities on the road.

In Alberta, federally regulated truck carriers and drivers are required to install and maintain an ELD in their vehicles beginning January 1, 2023. It is recommended that these drivers familiarize themselves with the responsibilities they have under the ELD mandate.

Good To Know:Types of Carriers Under Alberta’s Hours of Service Regulations

  1. Provincial carriers operate vehicles that adhere to the Canadian National Safety Code standard. Vehicles in this category usually do not leave the province.
  2. Federal carriers operate vehicles that follow the Federal Hours of Service. Most vehicles in this category are required to follow the ELD mandate.

On the other hand, provincially regulated drivers and carriers aren’t required to use the electronic devices. Additionally, drivers in Alberta who want to use a paper logbook to track their hours instead can be exempted from doing so if:

  • They drive federally registered vehicles weighing more than 4,500 kilograms and operating within 160 km radius of the drivers home terminal
  • They drive buses with 11 passengers, including the driver, operating within 160 km radius of driver’s home terminal
  • They drive emergency vehicles

+ See complete list here

This implementation of the new rule has been a long time coming. It was announced by Transport Canada way back in 2019 and was originally scheduled to go full swing on June 12, 2022, but a number of delays in the deadline pushed it back to January 1, 2023.

Good To Know: Canada ELD Mandate Timeline

  • December 16, 2017

Lawmakers proposed amendments to the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations.

  • June 13, 2019 

Transport Canada officially requires the use of ELDs for commercial vehicles and motor carriers. 

  • June 12, 2021

The mandate partially went into effect. The COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of certified ELDs delayed its full enforcement.

  • June 12, 2022 

The mandate was to take on full effect on this day but was again delayed for another 6 months to give the industry an ample amount of time to prepare. Certified ELDs were still too few which was another reason for the delay.

  • January 1, 2023

Commercial vehicles and motor fleets are expected to use ELDs starting January 1, 2023.

Aerial photo of parked trucks

Who Is Required To Use ELDs?

The new rule applies to all federally-regulated commercial drivers and motor carriers in Canada. In other words, most commercial trucks will require an ELD installation

For those in the motor carrier industry, the mandate specifically applies to commercial vehicles that are:

  • A truck, tractor, trailer or any vehicle that weighs more than 4,500 kg,
  • A bus that’s designed to transport more than 10 people

Man in front of two

Exemptions to Canada’s ELD Regulations

There are a few occasions wherein motor carriers and drivers aren’t required to use electronic logging devices. This includes trucker drivers who:

  • Are not required to track their record of duty status
  • Use vehicles that were built before model year 2000
  • Drive short-term rental trucks (for 30 days or less only)
  • Work for a motor carrier under a certain permit
  • Work for a motor carrier that has been given an exemption by the Motor Vehicle Transport Act

Securing Electronic Logging Devices for Your Fleet

Of course, the first step to complying with the new ELD mandate is to purchase electronic logging devices. But before you purchase the first ELD software or device that you see, it’s important to do your research and find an ELD solution that best fits your needs. Not to mention, electronic logging devices must pass the standards set by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA). It can either be an app or wireless device. These devices are required to be certified by a third-party. Truckers and fleet owners can visit Transport Canada’s website to find the latest list of certified ELDs.

Your Responsibilities Under the ELD Mandate

Canada’s ELD regulations may seem daunting initially, but the new mandate doesn’t have to be that difficult to comply with. As long as you’re prepared and armed with the right information, you can easily transition your fleet to using electronic logging devices. 

The law created new set of duties for commercial truckers that include the following:

1. Providing Additional Documents for Truckers With Two or More Commercial Vehicles

During roadside inspection, drivers are required to present a print out or digital copy of their other vehicle’s RODs.

2. Providing an Accurate Information on Their Electronic Log

Drivers are expected to digitally record work data that includes the following:

  • Driver ID number
  • The date and  start time
  • Their driving cycle
  • Truck’s license plates
  • The address of their motor fleet or carrier
  • The location where the driver stayed during a specific work day
  • The vehicle’s location

+ see complete list here

3. Archiving Important Support Documents

Drivers are expected to digitally keep work files that includes the following:

  • Records of messages between the driver and fleet carrier
  • Payroll summary or documents
  • Government-issued record that has the vehicle’s location
  • Records of the items you’re transporting. This includes your schedule, itinerary, or files that share the origin and destination of your route
  • Records that show the current health or condition of your vehicle
  • Reports that indicate the date, time, or location of the vehicle during a trip

These responsibilities should be  taken seriously, as harsh penalties can be imposed on drivers or truckers who fail to follow these rules.

Silhouette of man driving

Penalties for Noncompliance to ELD Regulations

As of writing, Transport Canada is currently proposing fines that are categorized in three levels of severity:

Minor Contraventions

Let’s start with minor contraventions. This can include administrative and minor reporting violations. Drivers who don’t accept or reject a fleet’s change to a record of duty status belong to this level.

Moderate Contraventions

Next, you can incur moderate contraventions. This can include on-duty and drive limitations, off-duty requirements, more serious recordkeeping infractions, and violations that can affect compliance monitoring by the motor fleet. Drivers who fail to update all information regarding their record of duty status fall into this category.

Severe Contraventions

Severe contraventions include falsification or obstruction of violations; more serious data archiving, on-duty and drive limitations, rest requirement contraventions. Drivers who tamper their records to prevent the proper enforcement of law fall into this category.

For drivers, fines for severe violations can go up to $1,000 while penalties for motor carriers can range up to $2,000. There is no final word about the penalties and all commercial drivers are encouraged to stay informed by visiting the Transport Canada website.

The Takeaway

At the outset, it is important to note that the ELD mandate is a complex and nuanced law with serious implications for all commercial drivers. Truckers and motor carriers need to be aware of their responsibilities under the new regulation and take them seriously to avoid costly penalties. This includes appropriately using electronic logging devices, maintaining accurate records of work data, and archiving important documents. Additionally, it is crucial to stay up-to-date on any changes or updates to the law, as violators are subject to harsh fines and other penalties. If you have questions about ELDs in Canada or would like support navigating this complex new law, consult a trusted legal expert for guidance.

As your source of reliable truck driving courses in Edmonton, Gennaro Transport Training is committed to providing you with the information and support you need when it comes to all things trucking. Check back for industry updates, review our driving courses, or contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to helping you stay safe and compliant on the road!