Canadian ELD Mandate Announcement Coming Soon
Canadian trucking companies will soon have to choose their own Electronic Logging Devices. CVT Group President Kevin Epps confirms that the national Auto Trucking Alliance (ATA) has been trying to reach an agreement with federal regulators for months now. “We’re at a stage now where we’re fairly confident that we can come to an agreement with the regulators to establish an ELD mandate for Canadian trucking that the industry can all live with,” he told Fleet Owner.
The alliance, which represents more than 180 fleets in Canada, has said it wants to choose a device that is compliant with both the federal Motor Carrier Act and Transport Canada regulations. The alliance hasn’t given up yet. The ATA has declined to comment further on the negotiations.
When reached for comment, Transport Canada said it couldn’t confirm the announcement due to federal regulations. The CTA, meanwhile, has told Canadian Trucking News it will only share details about the next phase of ELD mandate with its members. CMT Truckload Group Inc., which represents the largest fleet carriers in Canada, was asked to confirm the announcement. “They’re talking about an announcement that’s coming within the next three months,” CMT Chief Executive Officer Robert Yurczyszyn told Fleet Owner. As for the exact timeline, he said it’s impossible to predict. “This industry is built on a cycle,” he said. “Something else happens, something else happens, and you have to go back to the original discussion.” There is a sense of frustration on the industry side because electronic logging devices (ELDs) are more accurate than paper logs, CMT Truckload Group Chief Executive Officer Robert Yurczyszyn has said. “That’s a big issue in Canada,” he has said. “You’ve got two different providers [for ELDs], and we’ve had a lot of conversation with Canada Transportation Board, and they know that, and they’re trying to get on that bandwagon as fast as they can.”
Other companies have expressed doubts about the mandate in the past. The announcement will soon come to Canada, with the CTA encouraging fleet companies to participate in the required consultations. CMT has created a plan that includes sharing documents with Transport Canada and representing the industry on upcoming consultations. The CTA is also holding workshops with Canadian companies to provide guidance on choosing an ELD for fleet operations. “Our ultimate goal is to create an environment where fleets don’t have to choose,” CMT Truckload Group President Kevin Epps told Fleet Owner. “It’s one size fits all. It’s 100 percent compliant with [the federal ELD mandate], and there’s no uncertainty.”
The announcement will also address other aspects of the mandate, like the distance drivers can travel from their home to a terminal and how to get information on the ELD’s installation. In March 2016, the US Congress ordered all commercial vehicles, including tractor-trailers, to be equipped with an ELD by Dec. 18, 2017 and was extended to Dec. 18, 2018. Letters were sent to all highway carriers in the US on March 15, which gave them three months to obtain the device and three weeks to remove their older devices. The plan should address any concerns Canadian trucking companies have on issues such as the mandate’s limits on driving and installing the device. The plan includes ensuring that companies are advised and educated on all aspects of the mandate.
During the announcement, the CTA also said it supports several measures that will boost the efficiency of the country’s trucking fleet. “This is an initiative, along with advanced braking and collision avoidance technologies, to help keep the truck fleet safer and ensure it is operating as efficiently as possible for the benefit of the entire freight transportation industry,” Ken Hoffman, CTA president, said in the announcement.
Elliot Klein, vice-president of trucking at FMS, believes an ELD mandate could be positive for the industry. “I think [the mandate] would provide fleets with improved visibility on the road,” Klein said during an interview with Truckload News. “Anything that improves visibility will reduce fuel use, improve road safety and make the transport of goods more efficient.” He added, “The technology is great for fleet operations.”
“Transport Canada could build on a mandate that is really designed to improve safety and compliance for the entire transport industry and implement regulations that actually make the entire freight transportation system safer and more efficient,” Epps said. “If the government puts in regulations that are beneficial to truckers, it will help all Canadians.”
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