Get Familiar with the Canadian ELD Mandate Terms

Learn about some important differences between the Canadian electronic logging device (ELD) mandate and the U.S. ELD mandate.

Published On: 04/15/2024
Canadian transport insight from J. J. Keller
J. J. Keller Business Advisor Mark Samber

Written by:

Mark Samber

Industry Business Advisor — J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

While similar in many ways, there are a few differences between the Canadian electronic logging device (ELD) mandate and the U.S. ELD mandate.

As a U.S. carrier operating into Canada, you may find that some of the terms used aren’t exactly intuitive, especially if you’re not 100% familiar with Canada’s mandate or their hours-of-service (HOS) regulations.

Here are a few commonly used terms in the Canadian hours-of-service (HOS) and Elog requirements.

“Certified Device”

This is probably the most critical term a U.S.-based carrier should know when it comes to compliance with Canada’s ELD mandate. Canada’s mandate requires the use of certified devices. You may think, “Yes, my device is certified by my provider as meeting the U.S. ELD requirements, so I’m good.” But that’s not what Canada’s rule means. 

Canada’s mandate requires ELDs to be third-party certified. This means ELog providers must submit their device(s) to a third-party certification body that puts the ELD through a series of rigorous tests. This testing process can take anywhere from four to six weeks. If the ELD passes, it becomes certified and can be used in Canada to comply with the mandate.

The requirement to use a certified device applies to U.S.-based carriers – and the ELDs they’re using – when operating into Canada.

“Operating Zone”

Remember 6th-grade geography and learning about Canada’s provinces and territories? At the northern borders of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba is the 60th parallel (or 60º North). Canada’s HOS regulations have rulesets for drivers operating north of that line (in Northwest Territories and Yukon) and for drivers operating south of that line (the provinces). These rulesets are referred to as “operating zones” in Canada’s ELog technical standards. Drivers operating in the north of the “60th parallel operating zone” have slightly longer driving, on-duty, and driving windows than drivers operating south of the 60th parallel operating zone.

“Daily” Requirements

Canada’s HOS regulations for south of the 60th parallel have workshift limits like the U.S. and daily limits requirements. In a day (24-hour period, usually midnight to midnight), a driver cannot drive after accumulating 13 hours of driving time or accumulating 14 hours on-duty time. Drivers must also obtain 10 hours of off-duty time each day, which does not need to be consecutive. The 10 hours off duty must be distributed throughout the day in blocks of no less than 30 minutes. That’s right, a 15-minute period of off-duty time does not count towards the 10 hours.

“Personal Use”

IIn the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) uses the term “personal conveyance” or “PC.” In Canada, it’s referred to as “personal use.” These terms can be used interchangeably — they both are essentially referring to the allowable use of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for a personal reason. However, the specific rules of each are different.

Here’s an example. A driver is off duty but uses a CMV to drive to a local restaurant.

Canada’s personal use rules are precise: the driver must be off duty, the vehicle must be empty, trailers must be unhitched, and the total distance traveled in a day cannot exceed 75 kilometers (about 47 miles). Drivers also need to record the starting and ending odometer readings of personal use in their record of duty status.

In the United States, drivers can make specific personal use movements while the vehicle is laden, and personal conveyance requirements are handled mainly through Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidance.

Understanding these and other relevant terms helps to ensure your ELD is Canadian mandate-compliant and allows you to train and equip drivers and others within your company to comply.

J. J. Keller® ELDs for Canadian Mandate Compliance

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