ELD certification process coming in weeks, says OTA

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TORONTO, Ont. – A third-party certification process needed to support Canada’s coming mandate for Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) is expected to be in place within weeks.

“We expect this to be up and running in the middle of October, which is fantastic,” said Ontario Trucking Association’s senior vice-president – policy Geoffrey Wood, referring to ongoing consultations with Transport Canada.

The comments were made during a presentation recorded for the annual meeting of the Fleet Safety Council.

Wood stressed that it’s already time for carriers to begin sourcing ELDs, ahead of the mandate. (Photo: Bison Transport)

While device suppliers self-certify their ELDs under U.S. rules, the Canadian regulations will require an approved third party to certify that individual offerings meet technical standards. The Canadian process is largely designed to help prevent tampering.

Quebec-based PInnovations confirmed through a blog post that it’s in the final stages of the accreditation process to become a certification body.

Its PIT Group already has an active program that tests ELDs, but that focuses on U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements.

Wood also stressed that it’s time for carriers to begin preparing for the June 12, 2021 mandate.

“You don’t need to wait until we have a list of certified ELDs,” he said, referring to the importance of sourcing reputable vendors. “You as carriers are the customer, so you have to ask the right questions.”

Devices sourced before the certification process is completed will still be able to support over-the-air updates, Wood said, likening the process to updates on a smart phone.

Many fleets governed by the U.S. mandate also received such updates days before the American mandate took hold, he said. “These things can happen very quickly.”

Regulatory officials are also looking at ways to add teeth to related regulations and increase the scrutiny on those who sell non-compliant equipment, he said, noting that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is already aware of electronic recording devices that have been designed specifically to cheat Hours of Service rules.

“Unfortunately, there are a small but growing number of fleets that have decided to take that path.”

The need for greater enforcement around Hours of Service rules was highlighted during the Humboldt Broncos crash, Wood said in his presentation, referring to Saskatchewan enforcement reports that highlighted “significant concerns with the logbook and how it was presented.”

“Non-compliance remains a business plan for a small but growing number of fleets,” Wood said. “This has to stop.”

  • This story has been updated to reference FPInnovations’ blog post.
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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • we still have a bit of dilemma here – when you ask any vendor if they will be certified, they all say yes.
    When questioned whether or not they will be working in the Canadian market, the answers get a little sketchy. Of the 400 or so suppliers in the U.S. how many will actually try to meet the Canadian requirement?
    We are already competing with the Americans who seem to be able to work for about 1/2 the price of what we do, largely because of their cabotage rules. Now we have a question about whether or not the U.S. carrier will comply, with their uncertified ELD equipment. Don’t forget to add the issue of the “electronic recording devices designed to cheat the HOS”. There are many in the U.S. field of offerings and for the ‘questionable’ carriers in Canada who seek out this type of supplier. In many offices the culture of ‘make it look good’ and professional integrity are two things that never match.