Major Differences Between U.S. & Canadian ELD Mandates 


It looks as if the United States will follow through with enforcement of the FMCSA’s announced Truck ELD mandate. The recent U.S. Supreme Court rejection of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s bid to review the impending ELD Mandate means the proposed mandate will take effect on December 18, 2017.


North of the American side of the border, Canada and the CCMTA (Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators) is developing its own ELD mandate. Like the United States, Canada is looking to increase safety in their national trucking industry and to avoid harassment and driver coercion. However, this is not the only reason. Considering how both the US and Canada trade a minimum or $650 billion worth of services and goods annually, the drivers and fleets responsible for that cargo will have to comply with changing regulations on both sides of the border.

Canada’s ELD mandate will ensure cross-border consistency by adapting many of the U.S. regulations, provisions and specifications. However, there are some important differences between the American and Canadian ELD mandate. And while Canada’s mandate is not yet completed, knowing some of the significant differences, upfront, will help truck drivers and carriers in both countries to adhere and comply simultaneously with both countries’ mandates.

Here are the current crucial differences between the American and Canadian ELD mandates:

I. Data Transfer & Enforcement

The data transfer and enforcement methodologies in Canada will differ from the U.S. carriers’ current approach. Here in the U.S., fleets need to send very detailed files of eight-day log data to enforcement. In Canada, fleets still need the display screen with all the content for enforcement, but detailed files will not need to be transferred. Instead, PDF images of the 14-day log data will be transferred. Instead of one very large file, these will be non-editable files. Additionally, the U.S. ELD mandate doesn’t require ELDs to measure rule sets within the device. However, the Canadian ELD mandate defines that an ELD solution can measure and comprehend a Cycle 1, 2 and above the 60th parallel rules.

Presumably, ELD vendors will need to build this change into their products, in order for data to be properly sent to enforcement in Canada.

There are other notable differences between the U.S. and Canadian ELD Mandate, including the Canadian elimination of vendor self-certification. However, from the currently available information, it seems that the Canadian ELD Mandate will have more similarities than differences with the U.S. version.

II. Location and identity data sources

In the United States, when suppliers update their ELD devices to comply with the U.S. version of the ELD Mandate, they are required to get a location for several “events” such as duty status, yard moves, personal conveyance and unassigned vehicle moves. The Federal Government stipulates that ELD Manufacturers should use the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) file of all the data-based locations and identities in the U.S.

On the other hand, the ELD mandate in Canada requires the government to supply vendors with the final file to use to get distance and direction. This means that Canadian suppliers will provide the location file they need to import products to capture locations- making less work for the vendor. And because the Canadian ELD is very similar to the U.S. version of the mandate, major ELD providers will have already done the legwork for locations of “events”.

III. Personal Conveyance

The current U.S. ELD mandate doesn’t have any time or distance restrictions. This has raised a lot of questions by carriers operating in the U.S.

The Canadian ELD mandate, however, will require the ELD supplier to measure 75 km within 24 hours. If a truck driver’s personal conveyance exceeds the 75 km mark within 24 hours, the system should automatically change the status from ‘personal conveyance’ to ‘driving’.

What’s Next? – The Canadian ELD Mandate

The CCMTA forecasts the final regulation in Gazette II by Q4 of 2017. Obviously, there could be other notable changes to the mandate, by the time the rule is finally announced.

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