Transport Canada ELD Mandate — What We Know

As the soft enforcement period for the ELD mandate takes effect in the United States, the Government of Canada has unveiled a draft of its own ELD plan. The proposed regulations on electronic logging devices largely mirror the U.S. mandate in terms of the overall purpose and specifications (see the original publication in the official public newspaper of the Canadian government, Canada Gazette Part 1 Vol. 151, No. 50).1

The electronic logging regulations will apply to federally regulated motor carriers and commercial drivers of trucks and buses.

By coincidence or not, Transport Canada announced the new regulations on December 18, 2017, the same day that ELD compliance formally came into effect in the U.S. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has allotted one more year until full compliance — ELDs will become mandatory in the U.S. for all drivers as of December 16, 2019.

The Canadian draft technical standard is still open for review and comments until they are published in Canada Gazette 2, which is likely to be in the coming months.2

See AlsoELD Self-Certification: Is Geotab ELD Compliant?

Anticipated Cost Savings and Benefits

The upcoming changes from Transport Canada had been widely anticipated since a Cost-Benefit Analysis was published more than a year ago. Groups like the Canadian Trucking Association have been pushing an ELD mandate for nearly a decade.

In the December release, Transport Canada estimates the combined savings in benefits to have a total value of $255.4 million, annualized at $36.4 million. The cost savings and benefits are expected to be yielded from:

  • Safety benefits by reducing property damage, injuries and fatalities.
  • Drivers spending less out-of-service detention time due to HOS violations.
  • An overall time savings, resulting in reduced administrative costs felt by the carriers, and provincial and territorial governments by way of more efficient audits and inspections.
  • Lowered administrative costs related to managing a paper-based daily log system for motor carriers.

Other, non-quantifiable benefits include fewer HOS violations and “an improved quality of life for drivers,” due to more recuperative rest periods, according to Transport Canada.

U.S. and Canada ELD Mandates: Similarities and Differences  

Let’s take a quick look at some of the similarities and differences between the U.S. and Canada rules so far. Note: This is not a complete list.

How Are the U.S. and Canadian ELD Mandates Similar?
The mandates have a lot in common. Here’s a glance:

  • The ELD synchronizes with the vehicle’s engine and includes
    GPS tracking.
  • The ELD captures driving time automatically, including unidentified driving.
  • The ELD lets drivers use special driving statuses; Yard Move (YM) and Personal Conveyance (PC).
  • The ELD has a mechanism to verify logs and agree to edits.
  • The ELD has an on-screen display to show inspectors at roadside.
  • Both can generate an output file for inspectors but are different formats.
  • Pre-2000 vehicles are exempt from the mandates.

How Do the U.S. and Canadian ELD Mandates Differ?
There are some ways the mandates between the two countries are slightly different. For example, the Canadian ELD mandate:

  • Does not include a central system for inspectors to use at roadside like the eRODS system in the US. This means each province will be responsible for their own inspection mechanism.
  • May also include the option of emailing the logs via an output file to an officer’s email to view during an inspection (province specific), in addition to showing the screen at roadside.
  • Does not require capturing the VIN number.
  • There is no self-registration/certification process for ELDs.
  • An exemption is included for rental vehicles used for less than 30 days.
  • Requires the ELD to accurately and concisely track and manage deferred OFF Duty time.
  • Requires the ELD allow for a mechanism to enter hours captured elsewhere (for example, driving done for another company).
  • Requires the ELD must include HOS cycle details and allow drivers a mechanism to switch between them (usually known as an ‘HOS Ruleset’).

With the rules on electronic logging sharing many specifications in both countries, drivers who currently use an ELD in the U.S. will have little to no trouble adapting to the Canadian counterpart. ELD manufacturers will also benefit from similarities between the mandates, and will be able to produce solutions at a much faster rate, whereas the U.S. implementation has required largely ground-up creations.

ELD Mandate Exemptions for Canada

There are four exemptions from ELDs listed in Canada Gazette Part 1. Commercial motor vehicles will be exempt if they meet any of these criteria:

  • Operating under a permit from a provincial or territorial HOS director
  • Statutory exemption
  • Subject to rental agreements with terms under 30 days
  • Vehicle manufactured before 2000

Potential Timeline

To accommodate the time required for carriers and other affected parties to implement the technology and train staff, the Canadian government has considered a 2-year, phased-in compliance period.

  • 2020 – Canadian ELD Rule compliance deadline. ELDs meeting National Safety Code technical standard become mandatory.
  • 2022 – Extended compliance date for those already using electronic logging devices.

To prepare for the upcoming regulations, provinces and territories will be tasked with outlining their individual enforcement programs and training staff, which may include developing software.

Geotab Prepared for Regulations

Geotab will review the final specifications when published. After which we will start development to meet the regulations well before the implementation date, which will be no earlier than two years after their publication in Canada Gazette 2.

Canadian carriers should take advantage of what will likely be a quick rollout from ELD providers, and implement early so that drivers are trained and comfortable with the device by the final compliance date.

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  1. Regulations Amending the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations (Electronic Logging Devices and Other Amendments). Canada Gazette. Part 1: Vol. 151, No. 50 — December 16, 2017. [Online] Available:
  2. CCMTA ELD Working Group and B. Vincent. (2017 May). Technical Standard for Electronic Logging. Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. [Online] Available:–_Canadian_ELD_Standard_Text_format-May_2017.pdf