The Canadian Trucking Alliance’s senior vice president for policy, Geoff Wood, recently gave a presentation in a trucking expo and conference about a Canadian version of the ELD mandate that is soon to be approved.
With six long years poured into developing the mandate’s technical standards, Wood believes that it’s only a matter of time before the mandate’s draft would be approved by the CCMTA (Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators).
According to Wood, “We don’t expect a lot of surprise over this rule, partly because we’ve taken a lot of time to develop it.”
The vice president also believes that operators who are using U.S.-compliant ELDs are unlikely to face any issues with complying with the ELD mandate whenever they would enter Canadian soil. Wood mentioned that this would most likely be the case because Canada’s version of the ELD mandate is “99.8% in line” with the version implemented by the FMCSA.
He also added, “The long and short of it is, if you buy and use a U.S.-compliant device, you will have no issues in Canada.”
If the timeframe for the ELD mandate projected by the CCMTA would follow through as scheduled, Wood predicts that Canada would see the mandate’s final rule published by the end of 2017 — that would be around sometime this fall.
Based on this timetable, the compliance and implementation deadline of Canada’s ELD mandate is hoped to commence sometime around December 2019.
Also, the due date for the AOBRD (Automatic Onboard Recording Device) extension period would most likely be set to occur sometime around 2021. Once this deadline lapses, operators who are using AOBRDs would have to switch to ELDs to stay compliant with the Canadian mandate.
Technically speaking, the ELD mandate that the CCMTA plans to have approved is not a separate rule that can stand by itself. Instead, the mandate is an amendment to the currently existing and established federal hours of service (HOS) rules and regulations.
The details on the status of the amendment process will be announced in two phases via the Canada Gazette (the Canadian counterpart to the United States’ “Federal Register” magazine).
The first phase of the amendment, which covers the mandate’s proposal, will be posted in the proposal section (Gazette I) of the magazine.
On the other hand, the second phase of the amendment, which covers the final rule to the ELD mandate, will be published in the finalized regulations section (Gazette II) of the magazine.
One of the key points that Wood noted during his speech is how a lot of the regulations mentioned in Canada’s version of the ELD mandate mirror the guidelines that are mentioned in its U.S. counterpart.
To give an example, vehicles that weigh over 10,000 lbs and that are driven by operators who are required by Canada’s HOS rules to maintain paper RODS (Records of Duty Status) are covered by the ELD mandate.
Even the guidelines for drivers who are exempt from Canada’s version of the ELD mandate also parallels that of the United States.
Here are some of the exemption guidelines that are included in Canada’s ELD mandate:
Based on the proposed mandate, operators who fall under these exemption categories are not required to use ELDs.
However, these drivers are still required to log their duty hours on paper RODS to comply with the rules and regulations.
Also, should they opt to do so, these truckers are still allowed to use ELDs in place of paper RODS to have their HOS conveniently logged for them.
Despite the multiple similarities between U.S. and Canadian ELD mandates, there are still stark differences between the two that set each other apart.
To name a few, here are some of the glaring regulatory differences between the two versions that Wood mentioned during his presentation:
Canada’s ELD implementation date is still a bit far — approximately two years, to be precise.
However, as more and more operators delay in complying with the ELD mandate, carriers would most likely flock together and buy the devices all at the same time in the months to come.
When that happens, the prices of the ELDs will definitely increase.
To keep yourself from experiencing the price increase, you might want to get your fleets into long-term contracts with ELD providers while their devices are still priced reasonably.
Doing so would allow your drivers to reap the benefits of using ELDs as early as today, without spending anything extra. Moreover, by adopting ELDs well ahead of the deadline, you not only get ahead of your competitors, but your drivers and carriers will also have enough time to get familiar with ELDs and how to operate them on the road.
And, as always, stay tuned for more updates on the latest trends and happenings, only here at ELD mandate facts.