What’s up with the Canadian ELD Mandate?

The ELD Mandate has been big news in the trucking industry for the last several years. Premiering in the U.S. in 2019, it stipulates that motor carriers must be equipped with an Electronic Logging Device (ELD). This device tracks hours of service to ensure that truck drivers are not driving for extended periods of time without proper sleep and rest breaks. The Canadian ELD Mandate was slated to be enforced as of June 12, 2021 – so what happened? To put it bluntly, only a few providers in North America currently comply with the criteria required by the official certification body.

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What’s required for a device to be certified?

According to TruckingInfo.com, “For an ELD to be compliant with Canada’s mandate, the manufacturer must submit the device for testing and approval by an official certification body. With the announcement of the CSA Group as an approved third-party certification provider, it brings the total to two, along with FPInnovations, which was approved last fall.” Most trucking news sites haven’t posited an idea of why there is such a delay in the certification process (although there are reasons to believe that the COVID-19 pandemic played a role), but Canadian officials are granting leeway. “While Canadian officials will still enforce the mandate, there will be no penalties. Enforcement for the next 12 months will mainly focus on education and awareness for motor carriers and drivers on the requirement.” Although this provides a grace period for truckers, it also introduces a hard deadline of next June. According to Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) Chairman Jeane Claude Fortin, “CTA’s position is simple: In June 2022, there will be no excuses for a driver, a trucking company or anyone in the supply chain to misunderstand the requirements of compliance and no reason for provincial and territorial governments not to enforce the full extent of the ELD rule on federally regulated carriers.” Once certifications are announced, do not delay in obtaining an ELD provider for your fleet!

What’s next for ELD compliant devices?

Many drivers and fleet managers worry about penalties being levied over the course of the year before the hard enforcement deadline on June 12, 2022. According to Trucknews.com, Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC), was particularly concerned about proper enforcement: “We feel any possibility of issuing warnings should not occur until at least six months after a fulsome list of devices has been approved and listed on Transport Canada’s list of approved devices,” he said in a press release. “Zero is obviously not a fulsome list, and industry needs at least six months to transition after an adequate list has been provided. We are advocating for education and awareness only, with no warnings, until at least June 12 of 2022.”

Jacques DeLarochelliere, president of Isaac Instruments, pointed out that while certification is taking longer than predicted (originally stated as six to eight weeks per submission), it’s a testament to the efficacy of the process. He mentioned how some of the submissions are returned to the providers to make changes to the software or hardware elements of the device. This ensures that non-compliant devices do not make their way into unsuspecting motor carrier’s hands. He even predicts that many devices will be available by fall for motor carriers to start using, creating an environment where most users will have one well before June of 2022.

What should you do to prepare for the ELD mandate?

First of all, it is important that you stay on top of any news or announcements about the Mandate: changed deadlines, newly approved devices, penalties, etc. Next, you should start your search now for a provider that has an ELD solution and intends to meet the criteria for the Canadian Mandate. It may be impossible to prove now that the provider will meet the requirements, so experts in the industry recommend not entering into an agreement with a provider until they are either certified, or include a clause that they will be certified, otherwise you can exit the agreement.

AssetWorks FSS has been in the industry for over 35 years and has seen many different types of technology deployments. We work with our customers to find the best configuration for their fleets while providing top of the line hardware, including a plan to be certified in Canada as soon as possible. We understand that the trucking industry is not a “9-5,” so we offer top customer support for you 24/7 to meet your needs. AssetWorks FSS finds solutions to help cut costs and develop your fleet to be more efficient.

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