BURLINGTON, Ont. — PeopleNet Canada has announced the appointment of Bill Wright to the role of president.
He has been promoted from the position of national account manager for PeopleNet Canada. He will now lead all aspects of the Canadian operations, including sales, operations, strategy and administration. The company also named Jason Gould as director of operations.
“PeopleNet is committed to providing technology solutions to fleets across Canada,” said Brian McLaughlin, president of PeopleNet. “Bill brings the industry experience and strategic thinking needed to ensure that we continue as a leader in supplying the transportation industry with the latest platforms and products.”
Wright is a founding member of PeopleNet Canada and has been with the company since 2001. He has more than 20 years in the telematics industry. Truck News caught up with Wright for an interview last week to discuss the impending electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.
TN: How prepared is the Canadian trucking industry for the impending ELD mandate?
Wright: I think the Canadian market is ready for this. I think there’s always work to do, but we’ve been very fortunate to have many early adopters who are ahead of their peers and taking on the advantages and benefits of ELDs today and I think the mandate is only going to help and level the playing field and bring the benefits to all.
TN: It’s important for end-users that the requirements in the US and Canada mirror each other. Are you confident this will be the case or will we have to completely separate standards to adhere to?
Wright: It’s a tough question. I think the ultimate goal of both governments is to support cross-border business. I do expect that some, if not many, of the standards will be the same.
TN: For those using your EOBR products today, when will those existing offerings be fully compliant with the US ELD standard?
Wright: As you can imagine, we’re knee-deep working through the ELD mandate requirements and waiting for FMSCA on some of the key comments to bring to market a compliant ELD. We want to make sure we have the necessary guidance from FMCSA before offering a self-certified solution.
Our first priority is to give our customers and their drivers the right technology to improve safety in their operations. We’re working diligently to develop devices that meet the mandates and requirements and are working very hard and we know we’re going to have a compliant solution.
TN: Will the certified ELD products that meet all the technical requirements that FMCSA is calling for look a lot different than today’s products, or will the change be seamless?
Wright: Are they going to need to replace their EOBR? It depends on the age of a customers’ device. They may need to switch out their current model for a newer one. For others, it may only need software updates through our over-the-air programming process in order to become compliant.
TN: Is this a good time for Canadian fleets to convert to ELDs, or should they wait to see what the Canadian standard is going to look like?
Wright: The timing has never been better. From our experience, getting ahead of the curve is always better, for sure. We believe that, being a business owner, you want to be ahead of the curve.
Drivers and companies will soon not have a choice, so it’s better to embrace the technology early and gain driver acceptance now so as to not allow any disruption to the business later. Getting a head start on ELD implementation can help fleets ensure this technology will go smoothly.
In addition to becoming compliant, there are many other aspects for a fleet to consider. Driver training is essential, to get drivers familiar with the device and ensure they know how to use it properly. But also, they have to use them to produce their logs during roadside inspections.
Implementing the technology into your fleet will take time and needs to be built into the implementation process.
TN: Once they’ve made the switch to ELDs, do fleets ever return to paper logs?
Wright: We never have companies that go back. After companies have switched over, they wish they’d done it sooner. Most companies that implement ELDs typically wish they were on a level playing field, but the benefits far outweigh the driver having to take logs and managing their logbooks. It makes it a lot easier for the drivers. Typically, drivers would never go back either.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies