Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) mandates in North America and possible effects on businesses


In this article Jennifer Morris, President of Two Roads Logistics writes about the Electronic Logging Devices requirement that came in effect on December 18, 2017.

What is an ELD?

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) synchronize with a vehicle engine to automatically record drive-time, for easier and more accurate Hours of Service recording/reporting. It also helps to streamline sharing and tracking of Hours of Services.

What is the ELD US Mandate?

In 2012, US Congress enacted MAP-21 Bill.  This Bill, which outlines the criteria for highway funding, included a provision requiring FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) to develop a rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs).  In its simplest form, an ELD is used to electronically record a driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS), which replaces the paper logbook where some drivers currently report their compliance with Hour of Service requirements. In effect Dec 18, 2017.

What does this look like in Canada?

Transport Canada is committed to balancing the best interests of Canadians and aligning with vehicle regulations in the United States.  By continuing to coordinate the Canadian and US logging device regulations, Canadian companies will be able to use the same logging devices in both countries and this will further support economic growth, trade and shipping between the countries.  Possible implementation has been suggested for late 2019.

Who does/will the rule apply to?

The ELD rule applies to most drivers who are currently required to maintain records of duty (per. part395,49CFR 395.8(a)).  It applies to commercial buses and trucks including Canadian and Mexican drivers in the USA. When Canada implements their mandate, it will be similar to the US standards.

Why is this being done?

The benefits are threefold: (i) ELD creates a safer work environment for drivers; (ii) it provides for more efficient communication between drivers and carrier staff; and, (iii) it facilitates information sharing with the Department of Transportation (US).

Will this affect capacity?

It is likely there will be a learning curve with adapting to the mandate.  This could cause some drivers to move less loads per week/month. This will put stress on capacity.

Will transit times change?

Hours of Service rules have not changed and are not going to change; however, ELDs will track all on-duty statuses.  Including; yard moves, safety checks, traffic issues and wait-times. Transit times will be longer than the currently perceived transit times.

Will rates change?

There is an investment in software and equipment as well as training and additional admin costs.  Also, with drivers closely managing their times at shippers and receivers, wait-time will have costs and consequences.

Author: Jennifer Morris, President, Two Roads Logistics

Stay tuned, in part 2 we will review the Agricultural exemption which addresses the hours of service at shipping point.