✅Top ELD FAQs
Over the last 3 years, we’ve received hundreds of questions from concerned trucking and busing operators. Here are the top FAQs:
✅How do we choose an ELD Provider?
There are currently 251 ELD Providers with a total of 490 different ELD devices. While they all must provide basic common functionality in order to get certified, they vary dramatically in cost, features, customer service levels, etc. We’ve identified 147 factors that should be considered when purchasing an ELD system. It is critical to do an in-depth review of your specific needs and operating parameters in order to get a system that adds true value to your business.
✅Can you help us find the right ELD?
Yes, we offer ELD needs evaluations and recommendations at no charge for small trucking operations: https://eldcanada.ca/eld-questionnaire/ We built a database of ELD Providers’ systems to assist our large clients. The trucking industry has been very good to us over the past 40 years, and it doesn’t take long to cross reference needs against available features for most businesses.
✅Is there any way to avoid having to use ELD’s?
Sorry, if you have to use paper logs today, you’ll have to use ELD’s in the future. The only exception is for vehicles older than the 2000 model year.
✅Is there any way to cheat ELD’s?
After some experimentation, we’ve identified a few ways to cheat ELD’s, but will not share them for ethical reasons.
✅We run under the 100 mile/160 km radius exception. Will we need ELD’s if we run outside the radius?
While the US and Canada have very different rules for running outside the exception radius, it appears that if you do have to provide your HOS history, ELD’s will be the required format in both countries. This causes at least 2 issues: if there’s any chance you’ll run over the radius, you’ll have to always run ELD’s in order to harvest the proper history; and very few ELD providers have an exception rule set. This means that, as you run under your exemption, you’ll have to use a standard HOS rule set. This will cause violation flags all over the driver’s logs, as well as in the backend HOS audit system.
✅Is there a list of all ELD Providers?
Yes, just go to our webpage: https://eldcanada.ca/eld-providers-systems/
✅Is there a fleet size that is ELD exempt?
No, one truck or 10,000, fleet size is irrelevant for ELD requirements. If you’re a federally regulated common or private carrier, you will be required to use ELDs.
✅Do ELDs have to be hardwired into the Engine Control Module (ECM)?
Some older systems are hardwired into the truck ECM, often requiring dismantling the dash. Fortunately, most new systems just plug into the ECM diagnostic port, which only takes a few seconds. Some have the option of pulling off the kick plate and using a splitter. That way, mechanics don’t have to unplug the ELD connector to access the diagnostics.
✅How does it work when drivers switch between trucks?
Drivers simply sign out of communication with truck 1 on their ELD device, and then sign in to truck 2.
✅Are there ELDs that have French or Spanish language options? Y a-t-il des ELD avec l’option de langue francaise?
Yes, there are several systems with multi-lingual capacity. More Providers are adding language options as we approach the Canadian ELD certification process.
✅Do ELDs shut down the truck when the driver runs out of driving time?
ELDs aren’t designed to shut down trucks, although it would be technically possible. In many ELDs, when a driver is within an hour or so of running out of driving time, the ELD will ping a warning tone to warn the driver. Some systems also notify dispatch via email. The same things happen when the driver is out of hours, but the driver can keep driving. That will create a red flag in his HOS records.
✅Do ELDs help track info for IFTA reporting?
Most ELDs track jurisdictions and mileages for trucks, but the info has to be extracted to a spreadsheet. Others include tracking fuel purchases and can produce the info in IFTA format.
✅Is there an ELD for team trucks, or team drivers?
Absolutely, although many ELDs don’t have this feature, so be sure to ask.
✅Are there any Canadian owned ELD Providers?
Yes, there are several, but while they may have offices in Canada, they may be owned by a USA group. Check the contact pages on their website, then ask about ownership.
✅When are ELDs going to be required in Canada?
✅Where can I download ELD Canada rules and regulations?
There are two locations on Transport Canada’s site. For current regs: https://www.laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2005-313/ For the new ELD Regs: http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2019/2019-06-12/html/sor-dors165-eng.html
✅How far in advance should we get ELDs before the mandate?
The sooner the better. This will be a major change for some drivers, dispatchers and administrators – new technology can be pretty intimidating. Most ELDs don’t provide onsite training, so you’ll have to rely on videos and manuals, which can be a frustrating way for some people to learn. You want to have all of your staff trained to the ‘very competent’ level long before June 2021. Also, using well known ELDs now can make inspections go much smoother – most inspectors we know prefer ELDs over paper logs. They make their job much easier.
✅How do ELDs work when the truck is out of cell range?
If your drivers are frequently out of cell range, this is a critical issue. All ELDs should work when offline, but performance is sometimes sketchy. You want a system that can continue to function rock solid when the driver loses cell signal. Also, the system has to be able to seamlessly communicate via wifi when the driver is at a location that has accessible wifi. (A good example of this is oil field trucks tapping into the wifi at remote wellsites.) It’s nice to have a robust GPS module too, so the ELD retains accurate breadcrumbs and location services.