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Paid Canada-U.S. Border Crossing and the ELD Mandate

Posted: March 6, 2018

If you’re with a Canadian trucking company operating in the U.S., you have probably heard a lot of different stories about ELD compliance for Canadian drivers. One of them: that Canadian drivers and/or trucking companies could avoid complying with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate, which took effect December 18, 2017, as long as their trucks returned to the home bases outside the U.S. every night. And there is a bit of truth to that — but only a part.

The ELD Mandate does grant a waiver to certain trucks that return to their base each night if you comply with either of the short-haul exemptions. So, a Canadian driver that begins the day at home base, crosses into the U.S., and then returns home by the day’s end might qualify for an ELD waiver if other waiver conditions are also met.

But, realistically, the number of Canadian trucks operating in the United States that can meet those very narrow limitations every single day they’re operated is quite small. So, for all practical purposes, trucks and drivers from Canada are responsible for running ELD-compliant on U.S.

However, there’s really not much new there. Canadian commercial trucks and drivers operating in the U.S. have been required to operate by the same rules as their U.S. counterpart for decades. That includes adhering to the Hours of Service rules and now, the ELD Mandate. So, while some international trucking organizations were scrambling to meet the ELD compliance deadline, many trucks from those nations that regularly or even occasionally roll in the U.S. they were already AOBRD-compliant.

Indeed, they’re just getting ahead of the game for operating back home. Transport Canada recently targeted 2020 for implementing the Canadian version of the ELD Mandate. The transition will be less of a change than with the U.S. ELD Mandate already in place. Additionally, most Canadian trucking operations are fully compliant with U.S. trucking requirements.

Transport Canada’s regulation largely mirrors those of the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Like the U.S. version, the Canadian ELD Mandate won’t change the Hours of Service regulations, just how drive time is recorded and reported. In the proposed rule, there is a two-year window for compliance and a similar two-year grandfather period for use of existing devices (AOBRDs) through 2022 (assuming the compliance deadline will be in 2020). Canadian carriers with drivers that cross U.S. borders still need to adhere to the U.S. ELD Mandate and should expect additional guidance regarding the Canadian ELD rule later this year.

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