Everything You Need to Know About Hours of Service Rules in Canada
AndrewOctober 14, 2022Others

Everything You Need to Know About Hours of Service Rules in Canada

Before taking to Canadian roads, federally-regulated trucks crossing provincial and international boundaries must be aware of regulations, such as service hours. The United States and Canada have implemented electronic logging devices, or ELDs, to ensure adherence to Hours of Service ( HOS) rules. This implementation improves operations and the safety of drivers.

What Are Canada’s Hours Of Service (HOS) Regulations?

Fatigue can compromise driver awareness and may result in drowsiness. In turn, these may result in vehicle collisions. According to stats released during Canada Road Safety Week, 2020, It is estimated that 20% of fatal vehicle collisions in Canada are due to fatigue, calculated by eliminating other possible causes. 

Transport Canada has introduced the Hours of service (HOS) regulation to address this. Hours of service (HOS) require commercial truck drivers to use electronic logging devices, or ELDs, to record their hours. These rules tell drivers how much sleep to get and how long to stay behind the wheel. HOS outlines driving limitations, ELD record-keeping conditions, and an operator’s responsibility to be proactive and reactive in monitoring their drivers.

A mandate regarding trucks being equipped with electronic logging devices or ELDs was scheduled to be fully in place by June 2021. However, pandemic challenges have led full ELD enforcement to be extended to January 2023.

Canadian HOS: How Long Can Drivers Stay Behind The Wheel?

In Canada, hours-of-service regulations govern the maximum driving times and minimum off-duty times of commercial-vehicle drivers. These regulations require records of daily driving and other work activities in a prescribed format to be kept and made available to enforcement officials upon request.

You can find Canada’s  Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Regulations for the complete list of requirements. 

Canada North Jurisdiction

Canada  North, commonly known as the North 60th parallel, includes Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon. The HOS regulations are slightly varied here.

Driver’s Hours Of Service In The USA

In the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enforced the following regulations limiting the number of hours property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMV) drivers can work and drive.

Differences Between HoS Regulations In The U.S. And In Canada 

While these HOS regulations have historically been harmonized across Canada and the United States, recent changes in Canadian laws have created minor differences between the two nation’s policies.USA drivers operating from Canada must adhere to Canadian regulations and vice-versa.

The FMCSA has drawn a comparison of HOS requirements for cross-border drivers: 

There are exceptions to HOS  in both jurisdictions. The drivers are responsible for understanding and abiding by the laws of each jurisdiction they travel through.

Electronic Logging Devices & HOS Logging

While the hours-of-service regulations differ in Canada and the U.S., the requirements for keeping an ELD are similar. A record of duty status ( RODS), or a driver’s log, is a record of details such as distance, total driving hours, and driver details. It is common for roadside safety and compliance inspectors to find drivers with incomplete or outdated records of duty statuses. This lapse is mainly due to human error or negligence. To overcome this gap, using automatic electronic logging devices can significantly aid.

ELDs are approved electronic logging technology that automatically records drivers’ status changes. Commercial drivers operating within a certain radius of the home depot and returning to the home depot are exempt from the ELD mandate. However, such drivers are often required to maintain a manual log of location and time after each stop.

A driver must produce ELD records promptly when an enforcement official requests them. Hours of Service can be complicated initially, but an ELD makes it easy to record the HOS. To comply with HOS rules, a trucking operator must retain all ELD records for a minimum prescribed period. ELD regulations ensure accurate, consistent, and real-time records of duty status. Electronic hours of service records make it easier for commercial vehicle operators to adhere to the requirements. 

The United States published the electronic devices mandate in 2016, and Canada is on its way to being fully compliant by January 2023. With the ELD mandate in place, an operator is responsible for ensuring the use of those electronic logging devices to track driving hours and off-duty status. ELDs aren’t just about conforming to the state or federal requirements but ensuring a safe working environment for the drivers and transporting customer freights efficiently.

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