Borderlands: CanadaTrucking

Maple Leaf Motoring: U.S. trucks will need Canadian-certifed ELDs

Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian trucking. This week: What Canada’s ELD mandate means for U.S. trucks, a deadly truck crash outside the Port of Vancouver and Michigan lawmakers take aim at Windsor-Detroit bridge funding.

When Canada’s electronic logging device (ELD) mandate takes effect in 2021, U.S. trucks will need to use ELDs certified to operate in the country.

Annie Joannette, a spokesperson for Transport Canada, wrote in an email that Canada’s ELD specifications were modelled after the U.S. “to ensure that a single device is capable of complying with the ELD rules of both countries,” but that it would still be subject to Ottawa’s more rigorous certification process.

Canada’s ELD mandate requires that devices undergo a third-party certification process. This contrasts with the U.S., where manufacturers certify their own devices.  

The Canadian government added the provision in response to concerns that the U.S. certification process opened the door for ELDs whose entries could be falsified.

Existing crossborder ELDs should be able to continue seeing use in Canada, provided they are updated and undergo the certification process.

Joannette wrote that ELD providers will need to update Canadian rule sets, as well as have both the software and ELD model tested by an accredited certification body. Once certified, new and existing ELDs can be updated with new software.

“The deployment of the software upgrade will involve a simple over-the-air software push to the device,” Joannette wrote.

The certification number will appear as part of the ELD device record – easily verified by enforcement officers, carriers and drivers.

Transport Canada is in the process of establishing the certification process.

Fatal truck crash closes Vancouver’s Deltaport

The fatal accident occurred on the main road leading to the Port of Vancouver’s Deltaport. Photo: William Jans/Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Police reopened the main road leading the Port of Vancouver’s Deltaport on June 14, about 18 hours after two semi-trucks collided, killing one of the drivers.

The collision occurred at 9:45 a.m. on June 13, on Deltaport Way, which leads to the container terminal, the busiest at the port. The trucks were traveling in opposite directions, the Delta Police Department reported.

A driver from Surrey, British Columbia, died at the scene. The other driver sustained injuries that were not serious, police said. The names have not been released.

Police have yet to reveal what caused the crash. Authorities also thanked other port drivers for their patience following the crash.

“Clearing the road of the semi trucks was a complicated task. Extensive environmental site clean-up was also required,” Delta police said.

Michigan Republicans try to stop spending on new Windsor-Detroit bridge

Canada is paying for the forthcoming Gordie Howe International Bridge. Rendering: Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Republicans in Michigan’s House are proposing to halt funds for the forthcoming Howe Bridge connecting Windsor and Detroit, even though Canada is paying for it.

State Rep. Matt Maddock, who added the provision in a transportation budget bill, said he was seeking more transparency on the C$5.7 billion project (a Canadian dollar equals US$0.75), according to the Detroit Free Press.

Canada is funding the project, and has been reimbursing Michigan for all costs associated with it –  US$230 million so far, Michigan’s Department of Transportation said.

“Canada, through the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority, is financing the Gordie Howe International Bridge because of the vital benefits it will provide to the flow of commerce between the two countries,” Michigan’s Department of Transportation said in a statement.

Maddock dismissed criticisms that his budget item was a ploy to delay the span, the second bridge connecting Windsor and Detroit.

Maddock himself received $6,000 in campaign donations from the Moroun family, which owns the existing Ambassador Bridge and has opposed the new span, Deadline Detroit reported.  

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at