PMTC continues push to delay Canada’s ELD mandate

TORONTO, Ont. – Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) president Mike Millian made an impassioned plea for the federal government to delay its electronic logging device (ELD) rule implementation date for six months.

Speaking to PMTC members at the organization’s annual conference – held virtually this year – he said the industry needs more time to certify compliant ELDs, and that some fleets will also need more time to roll out a compliant system before it takes effect in June 2021.

Unlike in the U.S., the Canadian mandate requires devices to be certified by a third party. However, warned Millian, no certifying bodies have yet been approved. The latest word PMTC has received is that the first certifying body will be announced in October, but he said it will take four to six weeks from then for ELD manufacturers to have their devices certified.

“So, the first devices we’re going to see in the marketplace will be at the end of November,” he said. “That leaves carriers six-and-a-half months to comply with the regulation.”

(Photo: Zonar)

Millian himself deployed ELDs in the fleet he managed before taking the reins of the PMTC, and said it’s a year-long process for full implementation. He urged carriers to begin researching providers now, or asking their existing suppliers about their plans to become certified.

There are about 600 ‘self-certified’ ELDs approved in the U.S., but Millian estimates only 15 to 30 will go through Canada’s self-certification process. Some of those systems in the U.S. are designed to allow non-compliance with hours-of-service regulations, he noted.

Millian said the PMTC supports a six-month delay to the implementation date to allow more devices to become certified and for fleets to deploy a compliant system. In doing so, PMTC has broken rank with the Canadian Trucking Alliance and Teamsters Canada, also big supporters of the ELD mandate, who are both calling for the original timeline to be kept in place.

“Even if it’s only 5-10% of the industry (that isn’t ready) are we saying that 5-10% doesn’t matter?” asked Millian. “I sure as hell hope not. They’re trying to do the right thing. I don’t understand the stubbornness about a six-month delay. We are not asking for two years. It gives the industry more time to prepare. I don’t think a six-month delay is going to unleash Armageddon on our industry.”

Millian also updated members on other industry issues, including mandatory entry-level training (MELT) standards that are being pushed for in various provinces which haven’t already implemented them. He expressed optimism that B.C. will soon announce the most rigorous training standards to date.

In Ontario, work is underway to put restrictions on A/Z licences obtained using an automated transmission. Millian said Ontario is the only jurisdiction in North America that awards an unrestricted A/Z licence when the road test was done using an automatic.

When Covid-19 struck in March, Millian said the PMTC quickly responded by helping member fleets procure personal protective equipment, and worked with government to ensure truckers were deemed essential workers and able to cross the border without quarantining.

The association helped convince the Ontario and Quebec governments to lift some restrictions on long combination vehicle movements, and remove bans on late night deliveries so grocery stores and pharmacies could remain stocked.

It is still working with the federal government to find a way to get new drivers FAST-approved. In-person interviews have been suspended and some FAST drivers stopped going cross-border, resulting in a shortage of FAST-approved drivers, Millian explained.

“We are working with the feds to get something in place so we can get new drivers FAST-approved,” he said.

James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • why delay the inevitable any reputable carrier is already using ELD’s it will only give the carriers that are not abiding by the rules of the road to carry on with their disregard for safety

  • Any trucking companies need to pay off the E-logs with overtime after 10 hours per and time and a half over 50 hours per week and for Sunday work like one in house carrier that starts out at _26.50 per hour plus medical coverage. They have a surplus of people who want to work for them. The current government should not use E logs until truck drivers pay is fair and enough to buy a townhouse

  • They believe that the drivers are making enough money, and they show everyone the figures of $ 60,000. Only they forget to indicate what kind of work it is at 12-14 hours a day for 5-7 days in a row outside their family and home. Taking into account overtime, this salary is less than the minimum !!!
    They should ban salaries for miles, as they did in Europe for a long time, so drivers from Europe have not immigrated to Canada for ten years. Miles pay plus an electronic logbook pushes drivers to break the speed limit and work under constant fear of not making enough money. It’s a shame to the government !!!!
    Today, a trucker cannot even buy an old house with his salary, and must profit from his wife at work, who sees her husband once a week. This business has become unprofitable for Canadians!

    • You are 100 percent correct I can show you many cross border truck drivers that after E-logs came walked away from trucking. I can show you truck drivers who ended up with fungus after E logs ment they were often going 4 days with out a shower. At this point in time I know of 10 high schools that work with homeless people that students have seen truck drivers using homeless shelters as a home base. Until the O T A and the Ford government fix this no foreign truck drivers should be allowed to come from lower wage countries.

  • I have a question concerning ELD. Am I understanding correctly that a driver that remains in Ontario only and does not drive out of the Province is NOT required to have a ELD?