ELD Compliance and the Canadian ELD Mandate

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FMCSA: 5 changes to the HOS rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) unveiled a proposal on August 14 to revise its hours of service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers. The FMCSA estimates its proposal would provide $274 million in savings over 10 years for the U.S. economy and American consumers in reduced compliance costs and increased flexibility and efficiencies for motor carriers.

Based on numerous requests from industry stakeholders for more flexible HOS conditions and over 5,200 public comments starting in August 2018, the FMCSA announced the following five proposed revisions to the existing rule:

  1. Require drivers to take a break for at least 30 minutes after eight uninterrupted hours of driving time. A driver may record this time as “On-Duty, Not Driving” or “Sleeper Berth” rather than “Off-Duty” to perform other non-driving, work-related tasks. Currently, the rule requires a break after eight hours since the last “Off-Duty” or “Sleeper Berth” period of at least 30 minutes. The proposal would change this to require a break after eight hours of driving time without at least a 30-minute break.
  2. Allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off-duty into two periods: one of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, and one of at least two consecutive hours either off-duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14 hour driving window.
  3. Pause a driver’s 14-hour driving window with one off-duty break between 30 minutes and three hours, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of their work shift. This would permit a driver to work up to a 17-hour window with a three-hour break during the duty period. However, a driver would still not be able to drive a commercial motor vehicle more than 11 hours during this period.
  4. Extend the maximum window that driving is permitted during adverse driving conditions by two hours. This includes snow, sleet, fog, ice, or unusual road and traffic conditions — none of which were apparent to dispatch.
  5. Modify a short-haul drivers’ maximum on duty period from 12 to 14 hours and the distance in which they can operate from 100 to 150 air miles (172.6 land, or statute, miles). Any driver — CDL holder or not — who operates a commercial motor vehicle within the 150 air mile radius, returns to their reporting location, and is released from duty within 14 hours is exempt from the requirements to complete driver logs, use electronic logging devices to record HOS, or take 30-minute breaks.Before implementing this change to the short-haul exemption, the FMCSA is seeking additional information on the impacts of expanding exemption provisions. Specifically, the agency needs comments on:
    • How this change will impact motor carriers’ ability to enforce HOS rules
    • What enforcement difficulties may arise from expanding both time and distance requirements
    • If drivers will travel further in the driving window under the short haul exception
    • If this is different than these loads being hauled by drivers complying with the ELD requirements
    • How, if at all, the elimination of the 30-minute break requirement for drivers that are potentially driving later in their duty period will impact safety
    • What cost savings are expected from not having to comply with the ELD requirements
    • Whether drivers using the short-haul exemption should be allowed to end their shift at a different location than where they started, which segments of the motor carrier industry would be impacted by this change, and if it would have an adverse effect on safety and operational changes

These changes are scheduled to be published to the Federal Register on August 20, after which industry stakeholders will have 45 days to comment. Submit your comments to the federal eRulemaking portal at Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0248.

The FMCSA will consider all comments before issuing a final rule, which is estimated to be finalized before the December 16 ELD deadline, but will likely be after.

Get the Facts: The Canadian ELD Mandate

On June 13, 2019, Transport Canada released the final rule outlining the Canadian ELD requirements to Gazette II. While there remains the opportunity for industry and public comments, we expect the rule will remain substantially intact with a compliance date established for June 12, 2021.

ELDs 101

What is the ELD Mandate?

An electronic logging device, or ELD, is a device used to automatically collect, supplement and process a driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS) and Hours of Service (HOS) data by combining driver inputs with information collected from the engine’s ECM. The Canadian ELD Mandate adopted many of the provisions of the U.S. ELD technical standards found in the regulations, which took effect in December 2017 and has a full compliance date associated with the end of the AOBRD Grandfather Clause of 12/16/19.
Learn more about the U.S. ELD Mandate here.

Canadian ELD Mandate Quick Facts

  • Similar to the underlying purpose of the ELD regulations adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Canadian ELD rules standardize processes to prevent errors, logbook tampering and driver harassment
  • Adopted most of the provisions in the U.S. ELD technical standards found in the regulations, which took effect in December of 2017 and has a full compliance date associated with the end of the AOBRD Grandfather Clause of 12/16/19.
  • With the exception of the addition of the ELD and other amendments, the Canadian Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations remain largely intact.
  • Will require replacing paper logs and (or upgrading) existing electronic recording devices with a regulation-compliant ELD device that connects directly to the engine ECM
  • ELD devices in Canada will require compliance with the technical standards published in the ELD Mandate and must be certified by a 3rd party. This is unlike the U.S. ELD Mandate that allowed ELD providers to self-certify their devices. As a result, it is expected far fewer devices will be available to carriers who operate in Canada (this will impact carriers who operate internationally if their current ELD device does not meet the certification requirements in both the U.S. and Canada).
  • The final Canadian ELD Mandate, as published on 6/13/19, does not contain a Grandfather Clause allowing for the continued use of an existing Electronic Recording Device beyond the compliance time of June 12, 2021.
  • Do not expect to see Canada approve exemptions to the same extent the FMCSA has. As stated, the Canadian HOS regulations remain largely untouched. The exceptions from the requirement for a commercial motor vehicle to be equipped with a certified ELD device are:
    • When being operated under a permit;
    • Being operated by a carrier to which an exemption has been issued under the Motor Vehicle Transport Act;
    • Are subject to a rental agreement of no longer than 30 days that is not an extended or renewed rental of the same vehicle; or
    • Manufactured before model year 2000 (generally referring to the engine)


Why is a Canadian ELD Mandate Needed?

At its core, the Canadian ELD Mandate has been developed to increase safety and accountability in the trucking industry, but there are additional reasons it has been developed. Every year, over $650 billion in goods cross the U.S.–Canada border and the drivers and fleets responsible for that cargo must comply with changing regulations on both sides. The Canadian ELD Mandate will ensure cross-border consistency by adapting much of the U.S. regulation. Come June 2021, fleets and drivers will essentially be able to operate across all of North America without having to worry about complying with different electronic logging device regulations when using the Omnitracs solutions.


MilestoneProjected Date
Industry Stakeholder Comments DueSept 2016 (Complete)
Additional Stakeholder Comments RequestedApril 2017 (Complete)
Public Comment Period (Gazette I)Q2 2017 (Complete)
Publish Final Rule (Gazette II)June 13, 2019 (Complete)
Compliance DateJune 2021


ELD Functionality

The majority of the Regulations Amending the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations, as published in Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 152, Number 12, is dedicated to the Technical Standards for Electronic Logging Devices.

Logbook Edits – Drivers will be able to edit their logs (with required annotations) and will be required to certify their RODS. Carriers will be able to suggest edits to a driver log; however, they will require the driver’s approval.

Data Sharing – Data will need to be easily—and securely—shared with law enforcement in a standardized format to save time and reduce confusion. There is a requirement for a certified device to have a single-step electronic record of duty status (ERODS) transfer process at roadside.

Data Collection – Devices will collect additional data including engine power status, vehicle motion status, vehicle location, engine hours, miles driven, driver CDL#, truck VIN#, and more.

Driver Alerts – Devices will be required to prompt the driver(s) logging in to a vehicle with a warning indicating the existence of new unassigned driving time and also alert the driver when a device malfunction is detected.

Driver Duty Status – In addition to the various duty statuses already provided for in the HOS regulations, the ELD will provide for the special driving conditions of On-Duty Yard Move and Off-Duty Personal Conveyance. Both of these special driving conditions allow for vehicle movement without counting against allotted drive time. (In Canada, Personal Conveyance will be subject to the current limitations of the Canadian Hours of Service rules).


Benefits of ELD Adoption

Adopting an ELD does more than keep you safe from regulatory fines. In the U.S., the mandate is projected to save fleets and drivers over $1 billion annually and drastically reduce accidents caused by driver fatigue. Beyond that, there are much more tangible benefits that drivers and fleets can expect with the new technology.

Find out how much you can save by adopting an ELD now! Learn more.

Fleet Benefits

  • Simplified compliance for HOS and other industry regulations
  • Seamless communication between driver, truck, and office
  • Improve overall fleet safety and reduce accidents by up to 11%
  • Cost savings through automation and fleet and fuel efficiency
  • Gain access to powerful, productivity-boosting applications

Learn more about how ELDs can improve fleet performance.

Driver Benefits

  • Save time and money by eliminating paperwork
  • Maximize drive time with fewer and shorter inspections
  • Seamless communication keeps you updated every step of the way
  • Access to applications to increase productivity and earnings
  • Prevents driver harassment by increasing fleet HOS accountability


Preparing for the Mandate

Now that the Canadian ELD Mandate has been released to Gazette II, it is time for fleets to familiarize themselves with the regulatory requirements. If you are up to speed on the U.S. ELD specifications, you will find many similarities to the Canadian version.

Subscribe to ELDfacts.com to get the most current information about the U.S. and Canadian Mandate as more information becomes available.