Early implementation propelled Chinook Carrier’s ELD success

Published on September 1, 2023

Based out of Taber, Alberta, Chinook Carriers Ltd. is a family-owned cartage company shipping sugar, sugar beets, potatoes, peas and corn throughout the province and surrounding areas. Regularly making trips outside Alberta, Chinook’s drivers are familiar with adhering to Canada’s Hours of Service (HOS) rules and standards. When Canada first announced the ELD Mandate, Chinook knew they’d have to adapt from using paper-logs to electronic. With such a major operational change, they decided it was best to get a head start on their ELD implementation journey.  

“We knew the ELD mandate was set to begin in 2021 and wanted to get ahead of the curve,” said Larry McMahon, Logistics Manager at Chinook. “We were glad we did. We were set up with our hardware long before the legislation came into effect.” The foresight to prepare ahead of time paid off – while the mandate was pushed back a few times, many other transport companies were scrambling to prepare for the January 1, 2023, enforcement date. With the increase in demand coupled with a shortage of supply, the trucking industry in Canada was at the mercy of e-log manufacturers.

The impending ELD mandate was on their mind 

Chinook’s journey with Northern BI began in 2018, three years before the original ELD enforcement date. Larry, as well as John Klemen, Chinook’s General Manager, first met with Business Development Manager, Chris Hudson, at an event in Calgary. There were several companies in attendance offering support for trucking and e-logs. They worked together to demo a few e-log systems and decided Geotab was the right fit. Chinook’s fleet travels throughout Alberta, and into Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It was vital to know where the drivers were on the map and who could take the next dispatch.  

Chinook Carriers

Chinook Carriers fleet

Overcoming the ELD transition

While there was some initial hesitation to adapt to ELD, Chinook’s drivers quickly came to see the benefits. “We have many long-term drivers here who are used to doing things a certain way. There was pushback in the beginning. The drivers have since come to realize ELD is straightforward. It’s hard to imagine how things were done in the ‘before times,’” Larry said. Many drivers work long days, so it’s important to keep track of Hours of Service (HOS). We even have a demo tablet in the office for drivers to practice with.”

“Once they get it, they get it”

For Larry and his team, he’s learned there’s no need to be afraid of the ELD transition. “I’ve heard of a lot of people mocking ELD and telematics. I’m not sure why, it really simplifies things. I think many drivers are scared to learn a new system, but they’ll get over it as they become more comfortable.” Driver coaching has helped with learning ELD as well. While some of the Chinook drivers don’t speak English as their primary language, once they’ve been coached and come to understand the system, they get it.

Geotab’s driver availability report is very valuable

The driver availability report is a staple for Larry. This report allows him to see if drivers have arrived at their destination on time and if they’re operating legally. “I have this open most of the day. It’s very valuable,” said Larry. Another Geotab feature Larry uses often is the map – seeing the trucks on the map helps to dispatch as efficiently as possible.

Moving towards maintenance reminders

Larry’s looking towards implementing maintenance reminders and reporting in the fleet. With Geotab’s Version 11 update, it’s even easier to keep track of fleet maintenance. Database administrators can keep track of services such as oil changes, tire rotations, vehicle inspections and more. With new trucks in high demand, it’s more important than ever to track the health of your fleet’s vehicles. Geotab’s built-in maintenance features help fleet managers save time and money as it can extend the lifecycle of vehicles.

Saving time and paper for IFTA reports

Not only has Chinook Carriers streamlined its HOS tracking, but the Geotab software has also simplified its IFTA reporting. There’s no more chasing drivers for receipts when everything is tracked in the Geotab database. Geotab’s IFTA reporting uses the vehicle odometer to determine how far the vehicle has travelled within the taxable province/state.

Northern BI is always available to help

The support Chinook Carriers receives from NBI has made a world of difference. “It’s refreshing having a real person on the other end of the line. We’ve had great success dealing with NBI’s customer support team,” commented Larry. Northern BI’s bilingual client solutions support team takes pride in helping clients through any telematics troubles they may face.

If your fleet requires a certified ELD or fleet tracking solutions that can do more than produce a dot on a map, contact Northern BI today! Our team of Geotab experts are ready to get your fleet management solution started!


Chinook Carriers Ltd.

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“It’s refreshing to have a real person on the other end of the line.”

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Torrie Rogers

Marketing Coordinator

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