The Best ELD – Part 1 – Compliance

Omnitracs ELD

✅Choosing the Best ELD – Compliance Factors

Welcome to Part 1 of our series on some of the considerations involved in finding the Best ELD for your business. In this section, we’ll look at factors that ensure that you remain compliant with the Hours-of-Service standards.

For the full list of ELD guidelines: The Best ELD Guidelines

As always, we offer a free ELD needs evaluation and recommendations: ELD Questionnaire

✅ELD Rule Sets & Exemptions

The number one issue we have in recommending an ELD system is the lack of HOS rule sets, cycles and exemptions. We’ve seen ELDs with everything from 64 rule sets to just 2 rule sets. As most of our clients are Canadian based, and most of the ELDs are US based, this has severely limited the number of ELDs we can even begin to recommend. Many of the US ELD Providers don’t have more than the 70/7 and 120/14 Canadian cycles, if they have Canadian cycles at all.

Having sufficient rule sets is critical, even though you may not need some of them right now. You definitely don’t want to be left hanging with an ELD that won’t let you run legally in the future. 

Some of the most important rules and functionality:

  • The ability of the driver to manually change rule sets, as required.
  • Automatic rule set changes when the truck crosses the US/Can border. If you don’t want to allow drivers to change them manually, then your dispatchers will have to be available 24/7 to reset the drivers’ cycles/rules when they cross the border, each way.
  • 160 km Exemption. If you have drivers who operate in the 160 km exemption, but who occasionally go beyond that, you need an ELD that can track hours within the exemption without triggering a violation notification. When the driver leaves the 160, he/she will need the last 14 days properly documented, and have his log transition to the standard 70/7 cycle.
  • Oil Field Exemption. As with the 160 km exemption, you may have drivers who operate in and out of the exemption criteria. They’ll need a system that clearly shows the changed rule sets and history.
  • North of 60. If you operate, even occasionally, north of the 60th latitude, you’ll need this rule set/cycle.
  • 14 days of history. The US only requires 7 days of HOS history.
  • DVIR history. The US only requires DVIRs for faults. Canada can require up to 28 days of all DVIRs.

ELD DVIRs

  • Portable ELD Device
  • With a driver device that is removable from the cab, a driver can do his pre and post trip report while he walks around the rig. Some ELD DVIRs have the ability for the driver to take a picture of a fault and have it automatically attached to the DVIR.
  • Last DVIR
  • One of the best DVIR features we’ve seen is the ability of the driver to see the last or even the full DVIR history when he logs into a truck. He can then verify if a previous noted fault has been corrected.
  • DVIR Report to shop
  • Another nice feature is where any DVIR with a fault is automatically sent to the shop foreman. He can flag the unit in the dispatch system to put it out-of-service immediately or to have it booked into the shop when it returns to the yard. The mechanic completes a DVIR after the repairs.
  • Retention
  • The Canadian DVIR retention rules are very different from those in the US. Make sure that the ELD record retention parameters meet the Canadian specs.

Canadian ELD Requirements

  • Until we see the final ELD requirements for Canada, you should choose an ELD based on its ability to fulfil all the current Canadian Hours-of-Service requirements. 

ELD Inspection Process

  • We have spoken with a variety of Transport Enforcement Officers on their perspective of ELDs. They definitely have their preferences. They’re looking for ELDs where any driver can easily navigate the app on the device out of the truck. They want to be able to quickly review the HOS history.
  • We usually recommend ELDs that have a specific inspection mode. This locks down the information that an Inspector can see. In this mode, the Inspector can’t see beyond the required history period. Nor are violations highlighted – he has to find them himself.

ELD Audit Process

  • For those of you who’ve gone through a complete DOT audit, you’ll appreciate the simplicity of most ELD backoffice audit functions. Instead of sifting through boxes of manual paper logs, the auditor has the digital version where he can very quickly perform random audits on drivers or vehicles.
  • The HOS documentation process with ELDs will dramatically change the requirement for office staff dedicated to this function.

ELD Certification

  • In the US, ELD devices are self-certified to comply with the FMCSA regulations. Simply put, the government does not certify the device. The ELD Provider does. Since implementation of the US ELD Mandate, it’s clear that self-certification isn’t working.
  • We’ve live-tested a least 6 methods to cheat ELDs. (No, we’re not going to disclose them!) Some cheats work because some self-certified ELDs really aren’t compliant. Other cheats work simply because even fully compliant ELDs have integrity faults.
  • It appears that Canada will require independent ELD certification. When choosing an ELD, it’s critical to ensure that the Provider you choose has a commitment to meet any potential Canadian certification requirements. We expect some major problems with carriers using US based systems that won’t or can’t comply with our certification specs.

Check out our list of 227 ELD Providers, including Big Road, Garmin, Omnitracs, Gorilla Safety, Blue Ink Bit, Stoneridge, Keep Truckin, Rand McNally, Eroad, Switchboard, & Geotab: ELD Providers List

ELD Advice – Global Logistics Canada Ltd.

We offer free ELD needs evaluations and recommendations to small trucking operations. Why? Because:

  • The trucking industry has been very, very good to us.
  • We’ve already built a digital catalogue of 424 ELDs to use with our consulting clients. An evaluation for a small company takes just a few minutes.
  • We’ve identified ELD systems that we can’t recommend, and tested ones that we can recommend.
  • No one should have to deal with a crappy ELD, and there are lots out there.

Free ELD needs evaluation and recommendations: ELD Questionnaire 

Disclaimer: The guidance and information provided in the ELD Canada site is offered for convenience only. For accurate reference, please consult with the Federal Ministry of Transportation or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Information is provided on a ‘best efforts’ basis.