MONTREAL, Que. – Plan ahead, and don’t wait until the last moment to implement your electronic logging device (ELD) schedule.
That was the message from Isaac Instruments on Tuesday at a webinar aimed at fleet managers and dispatchers ahead of the implementation of the Canadian ELD mandate next June. The webinar was part of Isaac’s 2020 User Conference.
“The Canadian ELD rule has an impact on managers and dispatchers. It is important to be ready for the upcoming changes,” said Melanie Simard, compliance and safety specialist at Isaac.
She reminded the audience that the federal government is determined to bring the mandate into force June 12 as planned.
“The latest communication from Transport Minister Marc Garneau was that it will not be postponed,” Simard said later at a Q&A session.
Industry lobbying groups such as the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) have called for a delay in implementing the rule.
HoS rule not affected
A key point to remember, the former longhaul driver said, is that the ELD enforcement will have no effect on the hours-of-service (HoS) rule.
“It is important to know, and to communicate to your drivers that the new ELD rule doesn’t change the hours-of-service rule. It is only affecting how their hours-of-service are recorded and reported. It also changes some of the ways you work as a manager or a dispatcher,” Simard said.
She said all federally regulated carriers must comply with the rule. The only exceptions are short-term rentals for less than 30 days, trucks or engines built before 2000, and vehicles operating with a 160-kilometer radius from their home terminals.
Simard acknowledged that managing change can be a challenge whether fleets are moving from a paper log or another electronic device.
Understanding the impact of the new rule is an important step to help with the transition, she said.
“The ELD will change the way you and your drivers work. By understanding the impact, it gives you better tools to assist your colleagues. Communicate the upcoming changes. Let you driver know what is coming in advance. Explain how the Canadian ELD will work.”
She noted that Isaac clients don’t have to worry because older ELD devices will be automatically updated.
Another key element is training and support, which would help ease the transition, Simard said.
“If you’re new to ELD, plan multiple training sessions. Schedule enough time for office personnel and drivers to get familiar with this new technology. Identify drivers that are at ease with the new technology, and make them your ambassador,” she said.
“Remember, everyone needs time to adjust. and not everyone learns at the same pace.”
Nicolas Guerin, product manager at Isaac, said the biggest challenge facing carriers is that people don’t have a lot of time to make a decision on which system to buy if their current system is not compatible.
“People are worried that older devices will not be compliant. And, now companies need to change their device. But they’re wondering, ‘Okay, who should I go with now?’”
Guerin added that he doesn’t blame anyone for being cautious and not jumping on a device that is not yet certified as of today.
“So, this is the risk that a lot of carriers and associations are seeing today. And, that’s the biggest issue I have heard of.”
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