Late last year, the ELD mandate went into effect, and drastically cut back on the driving hours for truckers in the United States. While the mandate over electronic logging devices has divided the trucking industry, Canada may have hit upon a compromise which could make things easier for drivers in the United States.
Driving Hours Under The Current ELD Mandate
The ELD mandate restricts truckers to 11 driving hours per day. Truckers must also be off the road for a total of ten consecutive hours. The reduction in driving hours has placed an incredible amount of stress on truckers, especially where time-sensitive deliveries are concerned. Combine this with the lack of available drivers and high turnover rate in the trucking industry, and it is easy to see how the mandate on driving hours has become a major point of contention.
Canada’s Rules On Driving Hours
Many of Canada’s truckers also have to adhere to an ELD mandate with regulates driving hours, but with one big exception. Canada has a provision for driving hours which states truckers must be off duty for eight consecutive hours. Truckers in Canada are allowed to be on the road for 13 hours during a 16 hour workday. The two hour difference means truckers in Canada can cover more distance, earn more, and keep the trucking industry up north running more efficiently and at lower stress levels.
Opposition Comes Down To Safety
Here in the Untied States, there is growing opposition to adopting Canada’s rules for driving hours. The Truck Safety Coalition points to statistics showing fatalities due to truck accidents rose by 28 percent since 2009. The American Trucking Association cites similar statistics and reinforces the industry’s commitment to safety. However, Canada’s trucking industry points to their cross-border drivers. Once Canadian truckers cross over into the United States to make deliveries, they have to adhere to the driving hours set by our ELD mandate, which increases stress levels and greatly reduced productivity.
Finding a Compromise
With NAFTA currently in renegotiation, it might be time to representatives from the trucking industries in Canada, Mexico, and the United States to come together and agree on universal hours of service that are amenable to everyone. A two hour difference may not seem like much to those who aren’t behind the wheel, but it can make all the difference when trying to earn money and deliver shipments on time.