Saskatchewan leaning toward paper logs for trucks that remain in province

John G Smith

Federally regulated carriers will need to equip trucks with electronic logging devices (ELDs), but at least one jurisdiction doesn’t seem to be in any rush to require the technology in trucks that operate exclusively within provincial borders.

A statement from the government of Saskatchewan appears to support the continuing use of paper logbooks in such situations.

Saskatchewan highway
(Photo: istock)

“Carriers operating solely within provincial boundaries are not subject to the federal regulations. Saskatchewan’s paper-based system has worked well and will continue to be in effect to ensure we monitor driver fatigue and ensure safety,” a Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways spokesman said, responding to questions from Today’s Trucking.

“There are differences between the federal and provincial hours of service regulations. Saskatchewan is a smaller market. It’s unclear at this time if a manufacturer would be interested in programming an ELD that conforms to the Saskatchewan regulations, instead of the federal ones.”

Today’s Trucking asked for clarification after learning a government official had reported during a recent industry meeting that Saskatchewan was not looking to require intra-provincial carriers to use ELDs.

The Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) has had “multiple conversations” with the ministry about possible changes to provincial Hours of Service rules that would lead to an ELD mandate, says STA policy analyst Jordan Ewart.

“Saskatchewan’s culture of safety in trucking has never been more important. Ensuring carriers are adopting new measures and are subject to a level playing field is crucial to promoting the highest level of safety in our province,” he adds.

ELDs and Humboldt Broncos

When highlighting plans to mandate ELDs, federal officials have on several occasions cited a fatal truck-bus crash involving Saskatchewan’s Humboldt Broncos hockey team. That crash, which killed 16 and injured 13, took place in April 2018 at the intersection of Saskatchewan highways 35 and 335 in Tisdale

Sukhmander Singh, the owner of Alberta-based Adesh Deol Trucking, was cited for failing to maintain Hours of Service logs, not ensuring drivers complied with safety regulations, and maintaining more than one log for a given day. Driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving causing death or bodily injury.

Saskatchewan’s coroner made six recommendations following the crash. Among them was a call for Transport Canada to continue developing regulations to improve national safety codes relating to driver training and electronic logging devices.

To date, provinces and territories have yet to introduce ELD mandates that would apply to intra-provincial trucking operations. However, each jurisdiction has committed to enforcing the federal mandate when it comes to federally regulated carriers.

Transport Canada’s mandate for federally regulated carriers – those that cross provincial, territorial, or international borders during their trips – came into force June 12. But the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), which includes representatives of every province and territory, has over the next year committed to focusing on education and awareness without penalties.

Any ELDs used to meet the federal mandate must be certified as meeting technical standards. FPInnovations and CSA Group are the only certification bodies named so far, and no devices have been approved to date. ELD suppliers self-certify devices used to meet a similar U.S. mandate.

John G Smith

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, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • As much as I do not like E-logs without min hourly pay of at least $23.20 for local drivers and $27.50 for truck drivers that are O T R plus Overtime pay after 10 hours per day. This will be a big problem as it will be a way to push new drivers and those new to Canada.

  • Paper logs have been manipulated by bad actors in the industry for decades. The fact that SK owns the worst trucking accident in Canadian history and wants to keep paper going is hard to understand on any level. Not only on a safety level but on an environmental level, hundreds of thousands of paper pages full of ink wasted every year. Have you been inside of a new farm tractor? They are much more complicated than any e-log would be.

  • This means that provincial carriers in SK will not only have a competitive advantage over their federally regulated counterparts in terms of longer driving and shift hours, but they will also not have to deal with the significant costs for the installation and maintenance of ELDs.

    So much for a NATIONAL Safety Code!

    Patrick Delaney

    • 8 hours would be better and in Europe truck drivers get overtime after 8 hours. In the U S and Canada I do not think the industry leadership would agree to that I can work 10 hours at very low risk.

  • I’ve said it before and I will state it again ELD will not stop crashes that are linked to Hrs of Service. Until the MTO gets serious like the Ministry of Labour with there fines and goes after strong arm at companies that allow this behaviour nothing will change. If a driver can come from Winnipeg and only drive through 1 set of scales cause they were open Westhawk doesn’t matter if it’s paper or ELD the truck doesn’t come to a full stop at 14 hrs and political figures need to stop miss leading statement oh once ELD are in this will reduce sleepy drivers Oh ya where are the drivers going to park? If the driver made it from Westhawk then all the way to the GTA with out an inspection what changes ? Let’s get honest a real MTO need to get heavy handed and political people need to focus on real enforcement and backed up in the courts