On June 12, Canada’s long-awaited electronic logging device (ELD) posting in Canada Gazette Part 2 finally occurred. As far as the Private Motor Truck Council (PMTC) and its members are concerned, this announcement is a positive step forward for the industry, and one that brings us into the modern age of hours-of-service recording.
It replaces the antiquated, and fraught with opportunities for creative writing, that is currently in place with paper hours-of-service record-keeping. The ELD file is one the PMTC has been heavily involved in with Transport Canada and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) from the very beginning, dating back to 2010, and we congratulate both groups on the work that has been done over the years to get us to this place.
This regulation affects federally-regulated carriers whose drivers are required to keep logbooks, with a few exemptions in place for engines manufactured before the year 2000, as well as for those operating a rental vehicle on a short-term rental of 30 days or less, and those operating under an HOS permit or an MVTA exemption.
When provincial and territorial-regulated carriers will be required to comply, and who will be required among them, will depend on when each individual jurisdiction decides to adopt the regulations, and if they make any adjustments to the regs before they adopt them. Initial indications from most provinces and territories are that they will adopt them, but until they do their own consultations, they can’t commit to a timeline or whether amendments will be made. The PMTC and the rest of the industry will continue to work with the CCMTA and regulators in hopes of seeing harmonization across the land.
The original posting occurred in Canada Gazette Part 1 on Dec. 16, 2017. In the original proposal, there was to be no third-party device certification, allowing manufacturers to self-certify (a regime that is in place in the U.S. and has resulted in many devices being self-certified that are in no way compliant).
The PMTC was very vocal on this type of certification regime not being repeated in Canada, and we are happy that in the Gazette 2 posting this was addressed. All manufactured ELDs that are going to be operated in Canada will have to be certified by an accredited certification body, which is approved by Transport Canada.
While the accredited third-party or parties have yet to be approved, Transport Canada is working through this process, as well as the testing procedures, and is aware that this process must be completed in a short time to allow the certification process to begin, and to allow certified, compliant devices to hit the market as soon as possible.
Although this is the case, the technical standard that devices are going to have to meet has been posted, and this is something you can talk about with your current or potential supplier to determine their knowledge level, and if they are prepared to meet the standard.
The other big change in this file is in regards to the compliance date and grandfather period for existing devices. In the Gazette 1 posting, this was a two-year period. While the compliance date remains at two years, coming into effect on June 12, 2021, the grandfather period has been removed.
The PMTC has concerns about the removal of the grandfather period for those who have previously installed devices, as we believe this may leave carriers who previously installed devices prior to the regulations in a disadvantaged position to those who did nothing.
We have made Transport Canada aware of our concerns and will continue to monitor the progress of the industry as this file progresses, and will work with PMTC members, the industry, and Transport Canada to keep them informed of the transition status. I personally hope it does not become an issue and that the industry is able to transition in time.
One more note, if you are a carrier running into the U.S., the date you are required to transition from an automatic on-board recording device, to a compliant ELD is approaching quickly, coming into effect on Dec. 16. If you have not begun this process yet, you may want to get started. All indications are that the FMCSA has no plans to extend this, and their stats show a large portion of the industry has yet to begin this process.
Mike Millian is president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, the only association that represents the views and interests of the private fleet industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org