Trucking Industry

How the Canadian ELD Mandate Will Make Your Fleet More Efficient

With the Canadian ELD mandate right around the corner, trucking companies are preparing to implement new hardware and procedures. While these changes might seem disruptive, the ELD mandate is actually an opportunity for fleets to become far more efficient.  

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) help drivers track their Hours of Service (HoS) to avoid fatigue and improve safety on the road. However, ELDs do more than simply record HoS. They can streamline operations, enhance on-route safety, boost driver retention, and improve overall workflow and communication across the fleet.  

 By understanding the benefits of an ELD and how to capitalize on them, fleet owners can improve efficiency at the truck level, at the c-suite level, and everywhere in between.  

The Canadian ELD mandate will require most commercial trucks to have a compliant ELD installed. As you may already know, the ELD device is connected to the truck’s engine to automatically record the driver’s HoS, eliminating the potential for error and ensuring that all drivers adhere to the HoS safety guidelines. An ELD can also capture additional data like mileage and speed.  

All Canadian truck drivers, except those exempted under the Canada Gazette Part 2, must have an ELD installed in their truck and keep a record of duty status (RODS) to be compliant with the new ELD mandate. The ELD must also be certified by a third party to ensure technical standards are being met, making this mandate unique from the US ELD mandate.  

 Another key difference is that the Canadian mandate does not have a driveaway-towaway exemption or grandfather provision for Electronic Recording Devices (ERDs), unlike the US mandate.  

 The Canadian trucking industry can expect ELD regulations to rollout starting June 12th, 2021 with a progressive 12-month phased-in enforcement period to give the industry sufficient time to obtain and install the devices without penalty. 

Efficiency Starts With Improved Safety       

The main purpose of the ELD mandate is to ensure drivers comply with the HoS rules. These guidelines improve safety by reducing driver fatigue, delivery errors, and the potential for road accidents.  

 Many ELDs are also equipped with safety features like built-in dash cams, communication tools, and analytics software. Since an ELD can track the motion and speed of a truck, it can provide crash prevention alerts and driver performance insights through integrated software like Drivewyze Safety+ 

 When equipped with weigh station bypass software, an ELD eliminates the need for a windshield transponder. These transponders are not only costly to maintain but can compromise the driver’s vision and overall safety. For example, most drivers have to perform dangerous lane changes to drive under a transponder-reader pole for weigh station bypass instructions. Instead, with a bypass service like Drivewyze PreClear® integrated into an ELD, law enforcement can receive important data about the oncoming truck, regardless of the lane the truck is in before it even reaches the scale house. This also allows law enforcement to grant weigh station bypass to fleets with a robust safety score.  

 Through these innovative and easily integrated safety features, fleets can move more efficiently, communicate better, and have more satisfied, confident drivers.  

Faster Deliveries & Fewer Inspections   

The safer the fleet, the easier it is for every fleet member to do their job. The ELD mandate in Canada will ultimately make fleets more time-efficient 

 Currently, many drivers use pen and paper to log their HoS and delivery details. Digital logging on an ELD does the tracking for them so they can spend less time taking notes and more time on the road.  

 Several ELDs also offer alerts for high-traffic areas and GPS re-routing functionality. This can help drivers avoid road delays, track delivery details easily, and even navigate to a more efficient route. Fleet owners can then optimize these features to increase delivery speeds, take on more deliveries, and improve customer relationships.  

 An ELD can also reduce citations and improve your fleet’s safety score. While all commercial trucks are subject to inspection by law enforcement, a great Inspection Selection System (ISS) score will typically result in fewer inspections and more weigh station bypasses. When choosing an ELD, fleet owners should ensure an effective weigh station bypass software, such as Drivewyze PreClear®, is pre-installed on the device so they can work towards a more time-efficient fleet. 

Innovative Data & Insights    

Since an ELD is continually monitoring the truck’s every move, it can provide valuable data and fleet management insights.  

 Depending on the ELD’s software integration, fleet owners can access speed and safety driving trends while identifying the top performers in their fleet. On top of that, ELD insights can help fleets understand where safety violations are occurring most and monitor which routes are fastest and safest.  

 These types of analytics are revolutionary for most fleets. Before ELD technology, trucking companies had to rely on paper logs and transponders to piece together data and improve operations. Today, ELDs simply track, organize, and present data at the touch of a button.  

 Once such valuable and accurate insights are in-house, fleet managers can use them to coach drivers, optimize routes, and save both time and money.   

Moving Toward a Connected Truck     

One of the best ELD benefits is that you can install multiple software applications with no additional hardware needed. This allows companies to innovate their fleets and move toward the future of trucking: open platforms.  

 From GPS routing to streamlined invoicing and weigh station bypass, there are countless apps and software options available to fleet managers. Many ELDs will partner with these tech solutions to offer discounted rates or hardware with apps already installed.  

 Selecting technology that allows for cross-platform integration will ensure every truck in the fleet is fully connected. Drivers and managers will be able to use the same tools and communication methods seamlessly. Plus, fleet managers can completely customize their ELDs for maximum efficiency.  

Choosing an ELD For Your Fleet  

There are several ELDs available to Canadian trucking companies. When selecting one for the entire fleet, make sure to choose an ELD that is certified by Transport Canada and provides the best-in-class efficiency features and integrated software, like Drivewyze PreClear and Safety+. Your ELD provider will be able to tell you how you can access a free trial of Drivewyze for your fleet.  

 By customizing ELDs for safety, speed, insights, and connection, fleet owners can do more than just prepare for the Canadian ELD mandate. They can capitalize on it for a more efficient fleet from head office to the highway.