3 Ways to Prepare Your Fleet for the Canadian ELD Mandate

April 8, 2021


Get the latest from Samsara

Subscribe now

When the Canadian ELD mandate goes into effect on June 12, 2021, it will impact over 150,000 commercial vehicles in Canada. Fleets operating throughout all Canadian provinces and territories are preparing for the mandate, which requires that commercial motor vehicle drivers subject to Hours of Service (HOS) requirements use electronic logging devices (ELDs) certified by a Transport Canada-accredited third-party certification body. 

To help our customers prepare for the transition, Samsara has partnered with Frontline Commercial Vehicle Solutions, to provide answers to your most pressing questions. Frontline is a Canada-based consultancy with over 115 years of expertise around commercial vehicle safety regulations. Their president, Alex Bugeya, and VP of Western Operations, Alf Brown, sat down with us to share their valuable insights and discuss best practices for carriers preparing for the upcoming mandate. 

Read on to learn what the ELD mandate means for your fleet and three key ways to prepare.

What does the Canadian ELD mandate mean for your fleet operations?

When it comes to understanding how the Canadian ELD mandate will impact your fleet, keep the following considerations in mind: 

  • Canadian regulations concerning commercial vehicle driver HOS remain largely the same. The regulations governing HOS rules are not changing but the accepted method for logging hours will change. On June 12, 2021, federally-regulated carriers must switch from paper logs to certified ELDs. 

  • Requirements state that ELDs must be third-party certified. Unlike the U.S. ELD mandate, which allows ELD providers to self-certify that their devices meet certain functional requirements, the Canadian ELD mandate requires that all ELDs be tested and certified by an independent, accredited, third-party certification body.  We at Samsara have submitted our ELD for certification and we aim to offer a certified Canadian ELD solution ahead of the June 12 enforcement date, in compliance with Transport Canada’s rules and regulations. 

  • The Canadian ELD mandate is a federal mandate. This means the mandate only applies to federally-regulated commercial vehicles that provide extra-provincial transportation. If you’re unsure of your classification, Brown offers a good rule of thumb.  “Basically, if any vehicles in your fleet travel outside of the province, or the territory in which you are based, then you would be deemed to be an extra-provincial carrier,” said Brown. If you are unclear about your classification, Brown recommends reaching out to your provincial authority for specific guidance. 

To prepare your fleet for the Canadian ELD mandate, we’ve put together some best practices, with insights from the experts at Frontline. These three tips will ensure your fleet successfully adheres to the mandate.

Tip #1: Identify an ELD provider

While many vendors are still in the certification process—including Samsara—there are steps you can take now to ensure that you are able to select an ELD vendor early.  “Reach out to your vendor and ask: are they aware of what the certification processes are for Canada? Have they taken steps to start becoming certified for Canada?” said Bugeya. 

In addition to confirming your ELD vendors’ certification status, you should also consider: 

  • Does your vendor have experience supporting cross-border operations?  Can their technology help you maintain compliance for both Canadian and U.S. HOS rulesets? Samsara’s ELD solution has been proven successful at maintaining compliance for thousands of fleets operating in both Canada and the U.S.

  • Is the system easy for your drivers and administrators to use? Transitioning to ELDs is not just a matter of installing devices. Ideally, it should be easy for both your drivers and administrators to use your ELD technology. A confusing system could actually be counterproductive if drivers struggle to use it. An easy-to-use solution helps minimize training time and  streamline compliance management.  For additional considerations on selecting an ELD, check out our comprehensive ELD guide

Compliance Dashboard Canada

Tip #2: Build in time for implementation

Once you've identified the right ELD solution for your fleet you will want to invest in creating a thorough installation and implementation plan. Working backwards from your target installation date, identify what devices will be installed in which vehicles, and detail how you will roll out this new technology to your entire fleet. This will ensure that you are able to install your devices in a timely manner and it will help your team get up to speed on any new processes or workflows. Samsara’s experienced customer success team can help you onboard our technology with your team. Our implementation and consulting services are tailored to suit your needs.

An opportunity to become more familiar with a new technology benefits both drivers and admins. “Take steps early on to understand the functionality—like reporting tools, or how you're going to handle things like unassigned driving—so that your back office is ready to go when the mandate is in effect,” said Bugeya.

And, of course, this extends to your drivers as well. “Ensure you train the drivers on how to navigate that device, how they're going to be entering their hours, or how they're going to be dealing with malfunctions or diagnostic errors,” said Bugeya.

Tip #3: Train drivers with mock roadside inspections

While training drivers on how to use the ELD is important, you also want to ensure they are prepared for a roadside inspection. “The one area I would really focus on is that roadside interaction for your drivers,” said Bugeya.

You’ll want to ensure your drivers understand what will happen during a roadside inspection, especially if your fleet operates across the U.S. and Canada border.  

“For those who have been operating with an ELD in the United States for quite some time, there are some key differences in the Canadian ELD mandate in terms of how the hours of service record of duty status is shared with an officer,” said Bugeya. It’s important that drivers are aware of these differences and get a chance to practice those interactions.

For example, in the U.S. drivers are able to use Wireless Web Service transfer to submit their record of duty status to a centralized Electronic Record of Duty Status (eRODS) database . In Canada, your drivers will have a more direct interaction with an officer where you may, for example, email them a PDF directly. Communicate these differences to your drivers and practice these interactions so they feel confident during a roadside inspection.

Beyond ELD: transform your operations with Samsara

Preparing for an ELD mandate is a significant undertaking—one with which we at Samsara are familiar. We helped thousands of fleets in the U.S. make the transition when the U.S. ELD mandate first went into effect in 2017. From that experience we learned that implementing the right ELD affords you an opportunity to transform your operations. The Samsara ELD can provide real-time visibility into driver status and vehicle locations, helping you improve dispatch operations and serve customers more efficiently. With Samsara, the same mobile app that drivers use to log their HOS can also be used to access routes, perform vehicle inspections, and digitize paperwork. Drivers benefit from a more streamlined experience that increases satisfaction and boosts productivity.

While you may start by implementing a new ELD solution, you have the chance to help uplevel the performance of your entire fleet, while keeping your drivers safe and compliant. 

For now, as you prepare for the Canadian ELD mandate, Samsara is here to help you succeed. For additional details about how to make the transition, watch the replay of our conversation with Frontline CVS.


Get the latest from Samsara

Subscribe now
Person holds Samsara Vehicle Gateway 34 product plugging in vehicle connector cables.

Get Started with Samsara

Check our prices