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ELD: the road to a smarter, safer and more sustainable fleet

Mar 15, 2022

Safety challenges in the transportation sector are rising. The statistics underscore the reality: approximately 10,000 Canadians are seriously injured due to collisions involving a heavy truck.

Even when per-distance-traveled is considered, large trucks have a fatality rate double that of all other vehicles.

Passenger vehicles are sharing busier and busier highways with more big trucks — 24/7, in all types of road conditions. While the importance of improving road safety is obvious, putting plans and rules into place that the transportation and logistics industry can easily adopt is a significant challenge.

The challenges are only exacerbated when other factors are taken into account, such as driver health and wellness, gaps in training, staffing shortages, and supply chain challenges–making it critical for fleets to run on time. 

The ELD Mandate for the use of electronic logging devices may be the catalyst for positive change. 

What is the ELD mandate and what does it mean for your fleet?

The primary objective of the ELD mandate is to improve safety for commercial drivers. With the mandate in place, the goal is to reduce driver fatigue and accidents and manage Hours of Service (HOS) considerations.

Another key initiative for the mandate, however, is to prevent drivers from falsifying logs. Drivers may falsify trucking logs due to pressure they feel from external forces or from within to work more hours than what is legally allowed.

The ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate will require commercial motor vehicle operators and bus drivers to use electronic devices to log Hours of Service. ELDs make it easier and faster to track, manage, share and improve the accuracy of a driver's HOS record. Commercial drivers are required to follow hours of service regulations, which include the number of hours they must be on duty within a set time period. 

The HOS regulations define when breaks and shifts must occur, and assists in inspections where an ELD can transfer the data to the transportation officer without being altered. Plus, it can provide police with accurate information if there are any accidents. 

While the mandate is federal, each Canadian province and territory is responsible for enforcing it. Each provincial government must develop a specific enforcement plan of the federal ELD mandate to ensure their roadside inspectors are trained on the enforcement process. 

Comparing the Canadian mandate to the U.S., Canadian ELDs must be third-party certified, whereas in the U.S. they can be self-certified. Canadian ELDs must meet the Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices published by The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA). Also, the Canadian hours of service (HOS) rules are quite different from those in the United States. Carriers crossing the border must thoroughly grasp the regulations of both countries and train drivers accordingly.

For companies in the transportation industry, the mandate means that your drivers stay within legally allowed driving hours, fatigue is reduced, and the security of your assets and the well-being of your employees are increased. 

With the ELD mandate in place, your fleet should be in a better position regarding safety and compliance, as it records critical data that includes location, speed, hours driven, fuel consumption, brake usage and lane position. 

ELDs allow you to track drivers’ hours of service remotely and in real-time, ensuring drivers are operating within a safe threshold for their safety and that of the general public.

For proactive fleet managers, ELDs help catch violations before they occur. 

But perhaps most importantly, adhering to the ELD mandate will ensure you avoid fines or service suspensions for non-compliance. No fleet wants to be placed out of service until they comply. 

ELDs will also help reduce administrative headaches and costs and provide a quick return on investment.  According to Verizon’s 2021 Fleet Technology Trends Report, 32% of businesses achieved a positive ROI in less than a year.

Other than fines and suspensions, what are the repercussions of non-compliance? 

Since each province is responsible for enforcement, the repercussions of non-compliance depend on where the fleet operates.

As of March 2022, enforcement was postponed to January 1, 2023. Each province is developing their own strategy and target data, fleet managers will need to ensure they understand their provinces’ particular approach.

When it comes to non-compliance, the challenges for fleets that put off deploying ELDs are numerous: 

  • Reduced operational accuracy and efficiencies 

  • Increased administrative time and costs 

  • Increased fuel costs 

  • Incremental risks to driver and public safety 

  • Missed opportunities for preventative maintenance

Where do you begin when adding ELD to your fleet?

The best place to start is by identifying what you need to implement to operate your fleet more efficiently. 

Assess your fleet of vehicles to understand what each vehicle is meant for and if it requires ELD or is exempted. 

You’ll also want to consider combining ELD with your telematics solution, because it augments compliance and safety with productivity. Telematics provides comprehensive real-time vehicle monitoring and analysis with reports, visual tools, dashboards, and maps.

While commercial fleet regulations are standardized requirements, every telematics implementation is unique. 

That’s why it’s important you work with  your current  provider to understand if they are ELD certified and offer sound consultation. If you already have a telematics provider, make sure they are going through the certification process to become compliant with the Canadian ELD. If you don’t have telematics installed in your fleet, find one who can collaborate to fit it to your needs. Talk to other businesses in the industry about ELD and ask who they use and what they recommend them 

Talk to recommended vendors about their solution and their experience, as there is much more to telematics than just ELD, such as operational efficiencies, safety, and maintenance.

Even setting up a demo and making your decision based on the demo results is encouraged.

What are the key implementation challenges? 

Once you have taken the first two steps of gaining a thorough understanding of your fleet and selecting a provider, you’ll want to plan your implementation and training. 

Yes, you will need to take your vehicles off the road to install telematics devices, and it can slow down business. 

But it's worth the cost. The gains you realize from better understanding vehicle utilization to planning the technical implementation is key as is the required training for drivers. The business needs to keep driving forward; with effective change management, downtime and associated costs are minimized.

Remember, rolling out and training on the new changes and embracing a culture of compliance takes time.  As many drivers are accustomed to paper logs, the initial driver pushback regarding the shift in mindset will need to be planned for and overcome.

Why TELUS? Let’s make transportation smarter, safer and more sustainable

With TELUS, we can work with you to find the best solution for your business. With our own national fleet of thousands of vehicles, we understand firsthand the needs of fleet users. Based on our own experience, we know how to effectively manage and optimize fleet operations, and how to stay compliant with the mandate.

When thinking about all of the data and connectivity that powers fleet operations, you should also consider a partner with superior connectivity technology. When you choose TELUS, you are not only choosing an award-winning network1, you are choosing future 5G capabilities that will bring you faster speeds, increased capacity and leading responsiveness to your fleet and your business. 

With over 15 years of experience, TELUS has emerged as a leader in transportation solutions. TELUS supports your business end-to-end to make your fleet smarter, safer and more sustainable.

A smarter way

Telematics offer powerful insights, helping Canadian businesses to stay ahead of the competition. With 5G and system automation on the rise, fleet solutions are only growing smarter.

A safer tomorrow

Make sure your team arrives safe. Monitoring driver behavior encourages safer driving practices; helping to protect your drivers, vehicles, brand and community.

A sustainable future

Efficient journey planning, idling minimization and timely vehicle maintenance plays a critical role in reducing carbon emissions and empowering other sustainable initiatives.

1. Opensignal Awards – Global Mobile Network Experience Awards 2020 based on independent analysis of mobile measurements recorded during the period January 1 – June 28, 2019 & 2020. © 2020 Opensignal Limited.

Authored by:
TELUS Business
TELUS Business