The Canadian government plans to implement a mandate regarding electronic logging devices (ELDs) similar to the U.S. as soon as 2020 as final regulations are set to be released in June 2019.
Even though the mandate has been taking cues from the American version, the Canadian government is not looking to duplicate it. While working to make the two mandates work together, Canada is looking to address some potential challenges that have come to light since the implementation of the U.S. mandate in December 2017.
The biggest difference will be a requirement for the devices to go through a third-party certification process. This was a key point that was sought by industry groups due to the emergence of ELD cheat devices in the self-certification system of the U.S. The Canadian Trucking Alliance strongly supports third-party certified ELDs and removing the grandfathered device provisions.
The U.S. moved much quicker on implementing an ELD mandate, but now this flaw in the system could cause the mandate to be much less effective than it was intended to be. In the U.S., the ELD manufacturers certify their own devices and as a result the market has seen devices that could possibly be tampered with or make the hours of service editable. Insurance companies also voiced their concerns over scenarios where ELD devices could have hours of service information that could be manipulated. This issue is particularly sensitive in Canada since the tragic crash in Humboldt, Saskatchewan where the driver had multiple violations the day of the accident.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance believes that having a higher standard for the ELDs will benefit drivers and carrier fleets. However, depending on fleet sizes, transitioning to ELDs could take weeks or even months, it is important that companies work ahead and have an implementation plan.
Luckily the implementation of the ELD mandate will be a bit of an easier transition as many carriers in Canada are required to have ELDs on any truck doing cross-border freight.
It is important for shippers and receivers to be aware of the restrictions and how ELDs will make it harder for drivers to be as flexible as before. Wait times will have an even more dramatic effect on the industry. Shippers and receivers need to be working with carriers to ensure that time is communicated and used sparingly to help the industry run as smoothly as possible.