Canada will require electronic logs on commercial trucks in 2017

Following the lead of the United States which has mandated the use of electronic log devices (ELDs) starting in December 2017, Transport Canada (TC) says it will adopt a similar timetable for commercial truck and bus drivers to record their hours of service with ELDs that automatically record driving time by monitoring engine hours, vehicle movement, kilometres driven and location information. The rules will apply to vehicles crossing provincial or international boundaries.

Technical details and requirements are still being worked out in both countries. Many later model vehicles and those in larger fleets already contain such technology. It’s expected that firmware or software updates will allow those vehicles to adapt to the final rules without the expense of hardware replacement.

Currently, drivers fill out paper logbooks to ensure that they remain in compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) rules; federally regulated drivers in Canada are allowed to work 13 hours per day before taking at least 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time before driving again. Opposition to mandatory ELDs comes mostly from owner/operators and smaller companies. (Sources: CBC News, 2016-02-15, “Truck safety rules planned to combat driver fatigue“; Truck News, February 2016, “US to mandate e-logs”)