Details begin to emerge on ELD certification process

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TORONTO, Ont. – Electronic logging device (ELD) suppliers now know who can certify their offerings for the Canadian market, and the technical standards that need to be met. But there are still details to iron out.

The related technical standards have emerged in recent days, in the wake of Transport Canada’s October announcement that FP Innovations will be the first third-party organization to confirm such equipment meets the standards.

(Photo: Bison Transport)

The process is central to the Canada’s ELD mandate, which takes hold June 2021.

“We have all the technical spec’s. We have an understanding of how it’s going to be tested and who is going to be testing,” says Isaac Instruments president and founder Jacques DeLarochelliere, adding that his company will meet those requirements within weeks.

But his team continues to wonder exactly how much of the process will need to be repeated when a product is updated.

Isaac updates its devices four times a year, he says.

“Our perspective is we don’t have satisfying answers. It’s not clear enough.”

Depending on the nature of the answer, the company will need to decide whether it holds off on particular updates prior to Canada’s ELD mandate, or whether to go through the process of certifying each one of them along the way.

Answers to that question, DeLarochelliere says, are expected by the end of this year.

In the meantime, several ELD suppliers are openly supporting the third-party certification in Canada, even though that’s not required in the U.S.

The added step has been introduced to help prevent tampering with the data.

“We feel that it is important that all ELD providers are held to a certain standard and are putting safety first, which this federal regulatory requirement will help to accomplish,” says Scott Sutarik, Geotab’s vice-president – commercial vehicle solutions. “Our team will be submitting for Geotab’s certification early in the new year. From our understanding, the new process will take four to six weeks to complete.”

“Omnitracs fully supports the requirement for third-party certification of ELD devices in Canada and do not anticipate any challenges attributable to the differences between the certification requirements of the two countries,” adds Mike Ahart, Omnitracs vice-president of regulatory affairs.

Suppliers self-certify that the ELDs they sell in the U.S. meet related technical standards.

“We will begin working with FPInnovations (aka PIT Group) on the certification process and continue to encourage Transport Canada to seek additional parties to participate in the certification process. Every effort should be made to mitigate the risk of a motor carriers’ inability to comply with the mandate, using their ELD provider of choice, due to insufficient testing resources at the time the ELD is submitted for certification,” Ahart says.

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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking,, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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