Canadian ELD compliance date must be extended

Mike Millian

The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) has been involved in consultations with Transport Canada and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) on electronic logging devices (ELDs) for many years and have come out in favor of them on numerous occasions.

We were extremely pleased when the announcement was made in June 2019 that the ELD regulation was posted in Canada Gazette Part 2, and would come into force for federally regulated carriers on June 12, 20201. However, the removal of the grandfather clause and the timeline for full compliance concerned our organization at the time.

Our concerns over the timelines have only been exasperated as we have moved closer to the implementation date, and we now believe it is not possible for industry to meet this compliance date without confusion. If we stick to June 12 2021 it will, in our view, be a chaotic rollout and cause many issues for carriers, enforcement and ELD manufacturers, alike.

In early 2018 the PMTC requested an 18-month compliance date after the Gazette 2 posting, while remaining with the two-year grandfather provision for electronic recording devices (ERDs).

We also communicated that it was of vital importance that third-party certification testing procedures were nailed down prior to any Canada Gazette 2 posting. We felt posting the regulation without this process ready to roll would mean the timelines for compliance would be problematic, as many carriers, understandably, would not want to research devices until a list of certified ELDs was approved.

Ultimately, the posting occurred without the certification process complete, with a two-year compliance window, and no grandfather provision for previously installed devices. We are now less than one year from the compliance date, and we still have no accredited certification body, although we have heard one is likely to be announced shortly.

Once a certification body or bodies are announced, ELD manufacturers will only then be able to submit their devices for certification, which as we understand it, will be a minimum of a four- to six-week process. This being the case, we are likely looking at the end of July, at the earliest, before we can expect to see even one certified device hit the marketplace.

This “best-case” scenario timeframe only leaves a carrier 10 months to research devices on the market, make a purchasing decision, schedule installs, train all staff, and possibly have to integrate it into a fleet program software already in place.

The PMTC has been on record from the start saying for an ELD implementation to be conducted properly will require a minimum 12-month process to ensure a smooth rollout and transition. I have previous experience in transitioning a fleet to ELDs and can confirm this is roughly the timeline we had from start to finish.

Carriers who already have an ERD in place, which ends up not getting certified as an ELD, will have an even harder time trying to comply with the current deadline, as they will need to remove current systems that may already be integrated into fleet software, then research and replace the devices and retrain all staff.  Some current ELD suppliers have already indicated that because of changes they need to make to devices to meet Canada’s technical specifications, they do not plan to submit for certification until early this fall. That means some carriers who have devices installed may have to wait until late 2020 before they even find out if their current device will be certified, leaving six months to rectify a problem they did not create.

(Photo: Zonar)

The PMTC believes Transport Canada must act quickly to address this situation. ELD suppliers and industry will require sufficient time to transition, and Transport Canada’s actions can remove most of our concerns as it relates to a hectic and confusing rollout.

PMTC also understands the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected work for all levels of governments. However, the pandemic has also showcased the important collaborative work between governments and industry partners.

For example, throughout the pandemic, Transport Canada has held regular calls with industry associations, including the PMTC, as well as other government departments and provincial/territorial road safety administrators to identify and work collaboratively to address issues as they emerged.

Through this ongoing engagement with a diverse road safety community, Transport Canada has developed many safety guidance materials to protect commercial drivers to help limit the spread of Covid-19 in commercial vehicle operations.

We worked together to address rest stops and border crossing issues as well as the lack of sanitation locations for commercial drivers. Keeping a collaborative approach and recognizing the importance of the ELD mandate for our members and all Canadians, PMTC is willing to work with Transport Canada and other relevant stakeholders through the CCMTA to find an appropriate solution ahead of the June 12, 2021 deadline.

PMTC has always enjoyed a strong collaborative relationship with Transport Canada and believe we can once again work together to come up with a fair solution for the time crunch the industry is now facing with the ELD compliance deadline.

 

Mike Millian

Mike Millian is president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada. He can be reached at trucks@pmtc.ca.

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  • No it should not be extended. It will be against the truckers and also against Canadians . With the ELD mandate there will be more jobs for truckers and also transportation will get better rates . Thanks

    • Except that’s not at all the case. Please explain to me how rates will increase or how this will play any part in increasing driver positions? We need to stop subsidizing certain companies with taxpayer dollars; that’s what will increase rates. It’s easy to have a lower bottom line when you’re supplemented by the government.

  • While I am a supporter of the PMTC of Canada, I strongly disagree with some points in this article.

    Transportation companies possess the ability to research Telematics providers and understand who has prepared for achieving certification. There has been plenty of time for carriers to due their diligence and prepare for the Canadian ELD mandate that has already been delayed.
    Canada had the opportunity to harmonize with the US ELD mandate and for various reasons, including a lack of support from the individual provinces then chose not to.

    We as leaders in the Industry should be promoting and supporting the implementation of Electronic Logs sooner than later. The US delayed their rollout and provided lots of warning, companies still did not prepare. The same thing will happen in Canada if the mandate is extended.

    Its time for someone in a position of influence to boldly state that they will not accept mediocrity or complacency anymore. It is negligent to expect anything less.

    Lets put our focus & energy into promoting Safety & Professionalism.

    Mike

    • The topic of the article almost suggests that there are a couple of large private motor carriers (that donate a lot of dollars to the PMTC) that like to talk big about safety but don’t want to walk the line.
      There is no reason to delay the implementation of the Canadian ELD.
      The US ELD mandate has weeded out most of the shifty ELD suppliers. The required 3rd party verification will weed out the rest.
      All of the reliable ELD device suppliers are already well on their way to implementation of the Canadian ELD mandate.
      Any backend office solution worth its salt already has hooks in place for ELD implementation.
      There is simply no reason whatsoever to take a step backwards now.

  • I could not agree more with the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada

    The current Hours of Service rules have been in place since January of 2007 and yet Transport Canada and provincial transportation regulators have no reliable scientific data to show whether or not the rules have been effective in meeting their stated goal of reducing the number of fatigue related crashes involving the drivers of commercial vehicles.

    The fact that Transport Canada is imposing hundreds of millions of dollars on the trucking industry to install devices to monitor compliance with rules whose effectiveness they cannot prove defies logic. But then, a lot of what Transport Canada does defies logic.

    • 1. PMTC is requesting a delay, they are not arguing a point about effectiveness
      2. Establishing a Safety system that reduces the ability to manipulate the number of work hours in a shift is in fact good Business practice and long overdue.
      3. Would you have the same perspective if you or your family suffered some type of injury or loss?
      Electronic logbooks are a mechanism that will regulate safety and compliance. They will change the way transportation businesses are run by reducing unrealistic pressure on drivers and improve overall safety on the roadways that we all use.

      • There is still no scientific proof that the current Canadian hours of Service rules have reduced the # of fatigue related crashes involving drivers of commercial vehicles. It seems to me to be prudent to conduct a review of the regulations before imposing hundreds of millions of dollars of costs on the trucking sector. TC and provincial regulators have steadfastly refused requests to review the regulations and have not been collecting useful data on their effectiveness.
        I would feel bad if my family suffered any type of injury or loss and not just those caused by a driver of a commercial vehicle. What about the pensioner who gets in their motor home in NB and drives all the way across the country to Victoria – who is monitoring the number of hours they drive in a day, how many rest stops they take etc. ?
        Why do we only impose these restrictions on commercial vehicles when we know that the majority of crashes involving heavy trucks are the fault of the third party?