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Canadian ELD – What and Why

March 27, 2019


There’s been a lot of talk about the implementation of ELD within the United States – and with the mandatory sunsetting of AOBRDs in favor or ELDs coming in December of 2019, the talk continues. But December of 2019 brings a significant date for the Canadian trucking industry, as well, because that’s when Canada’s own version of the ELD rule is likely to become mandatory.


However, nothing is yet written in stone with regard to the Canadian ELD rules. The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) has published the Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices, and in its proposed version of the ELD rules Transport Canada will incorporate the requirements from CCMTA’s Technical Standard. But it’s important to note that Transport Canada’s rules are not yet final – they have been published in Part I of the Canada Gazette, but the actual regulations have not yet been finalized and published in Part II, which is what will contain the final embodiment of the ELD rules and regulations.


It’s unlikely, though, that the final rule published in Part II of the Canadian Gazette will differ in significant ways from Part I and the Technical Standard – and that’s because the CCMTA and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) have been involved with the proposed ELD requirements from the beginning, and because, as already mentioned, the Technical Standard will almost certainly be incorporated by reference. And with that said, it’s important to note that the proposed Canadian ELD rules will stick very closely to their American ELD counterparts – with a few likely differences in features such as information transfer and HOS measurement, since  Canadian HOS rules for drivers differ from those for their American colleagues.


Aside from the “what” of Canadian ELD, though, it’s also important to take some time and consider the “why.” Why have the CCMTA, the CTA, and the Canadian government all come down on the side of implementing ELD for the Canadian trucking industry?


Safety First is the Name of the Game for ELD in Canada

First and foremost, ELD is about safety. As published in Part I, Transport Canada believes that 5 to 10% of CMV drivers in Canada routinely exceed the HOS rules, which in turn can result in frequent driver fatigue. Fatigue is deadly – the industry consensus is that somewhere from 15% to 20% of crashes with the transportation industry are related to fatigue – and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found that drivers with daily HOS violations are more than 200% more likely to have a large truck crash than were HOS-compliant drivers.


Indeed, although precise numbers are difficult to arrive at, Transport Canada estimates somewhere around 300 crashes annually that have fatigue as a contributing factor – and then points out that that number is very likely to be an underestimate, since it takes into account only crash data that was reported by police. By amending regulations to require ELDs, driver fatigue should lessen – and with it, the risk of accidents owing to that fatigue.


With ELD, Transport Canada finds Time is Indeed Money

We’ve written before on the idea that, far from being a cost center, a full-featured ELD implementation can actually be a cost-saver for a fleet once it’s operational and drivers and fleet managers are trained and using it – and the Canadian government agrees. Part I notes that ELD will save time and money all across the board: Drivers will be able to use the ELDs more quickly than they can fill out paper logs, with Transport Canada estimating a net savings of $150.9 million dollars; fleet managers who no longer need to process and file the paper logs will generate a net estimated savings of $88.7 million.


There are other savings for fleets, too: Drivers who are properly trained on and are properly using their ELDs are far less likely to receive an out-of-service (OOS) order for not complying with HOS rules. Transport Canada estimates OOS orders will decline somewhere around 45% post-ELD, and which they calculate will in turn provide fleets with a net savings of $2.3 million dollars.


There are also some savings to be had on the government side: Roadside inspections and facility audits will both be faster owing to ELD, for example, which will save provincial and territorial governments hundreds of thousands of dollars. The bulk of the savings, though – 99%, in fact -- are estimated by Transport Canada to be on the industry side, and total out at an estimated $255.4 million dollars.


And that, in a nutshell, is why ELD is coming to Canada. In terms of increasing both safety and savings, ELD makes good sense. Indeed, the ROI of solid ELD implementation is such that the earlier fleets make the switch to ELD, the better off financially they are – and that will be as true in Canada as it has been in the United States.


CyntrX Can Help You Prepare for ELD in Canada

At CyntrX, we have years of experience getting fleets on board with ELD, both in the United States and Canada. With solid ELD ROI in the offing, there’s no reason to wait until the actual ELD regulations are published in Part II of the Canada Gazette – you can get started on savings right now. Just request our free ELD demo to see what we can offer to your fleet. With no contracts, and hardware warranties for as long as you’re with us, it’s a risk-free proposition that gets you quickly and easily on the road to both compliance and savings.


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