The PMTC has been involved in consultations with Transport Canada and CCMTA on Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) for many years and have come out in favour of them on numerous occasions. We were extremely pleased when the announcement was made in June of 2019 that the ELD Regulation was posted in Canada Gazette Part 2, and would come into force for federally regulated carriers, although the removal of the grandfather clause and the timeline for full compliance of June 12th of 2021 concerned our organisation at the time. Our concern over the timelines have only been exasperated as we have moved closer to the implementation date, and we now believe it is not possible for industry to meet this compliance date without confusion. If we stick to June 12th of 2021 it will, in our view, be a chaotic rollout and cause many issues for carriers, enforcement and ELD manufacturers alike.
In early 2018 the PMTC requested an 18-month compliance date after a Gazette 2 posting, while remaining with the 2-year grandfather provision for electronic recording devices (ERD).
We also communicated that it was of vital importance that 3rd party certification testing procedures were nailed down prior to any CG2 posting. We felt posting the regulation without this process ready to roll out would mean the timelines for compliance would be problematic, as many carriers, understandably, would wait to research devices until a list of certified ELD’s were approved. Ultimately the posting occurred without the certification process complete, with a 2-year compliance window, and no grandfather provision for previously installed devices. We are now less than one year from a compliance date, and we still have no accredited certification body, although we have heard one is likely to be announced shortly.
Once a certification body or bodies are announced, ELD manufacturers will only then be able to submit for certification, which as we understand it, will be a minimum 4 to 6-week process for a device to be tested and certified. This being the case, we are likely looking at the end of July, at the earliest, before we can expect to see even one certified device hit the marketplace. This “best-case” scenario timeframe only leaves a carrier 10 months to research devices on the marketplace, make a purchasing decision, schedule installs, train all staff, and possibly have to integrate it into a fleet program software already in place. The PMTC has been on record from the start saying for an ELD implementation to be conducted properly, it is a minimum 12-month process to be able to ensure a smooth rollout and transition. I have previous experience myself in transitioning a fleet in 2013 to ELD’s and can confirm this is roughly the timeline we had from start to finish. Carriers who already have an ERD in place, that ends up not getting certified as an ELD, will have an even harder time trying to comply with the current deadline, as they will need to remove current systems, that may already be integrated into fleet software, then research and replace and retrain all staff. Some current ELD suppliers have already indicated that because of changes they need to make to devices to meet TC technical specifications, they do not plan to submit for certification until early this fall. That means some carriers who have devices installed, may have to wait until late 2020 before they even find out if their current device will be certified, leaving 6 months to rectify a problem they did not create.
The PMTC believes TC must act quickly to address this situation. ELD suppliers and industry will require sufficient time to transition, and TC actions will remove most of our concerns as it relates to a hectic and confusing rollout. PMTC also understands the COVID-19 Pandemic has significantly affected work for all levels of governments. However, the Pandemic has also showcased the important collaborative work between governments and industry partners. For example, throughout the pandemic, Transport Canada has held regular calls with industry associations, including PMTC, as well as other government departments and provincial/territorial road safety administrators to identify and work collaboratively to address issues as they emerged. Through this ongoing engagement with a diverse road safety community, Transport Canada has developed many safety guidance materials to protect commercial drivers to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in commercial vehicle operations. We worked together to address rest stops and border crossing issues as well as the lack of sanitation locations for commercial drivers. Keeping with a collaborative approach and recognizing the importance of the ELD mandate for our members and Canadians, PMTC is willing to work with TC and other relevant stakeholders through the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) to find an appropriate solution ahead of the June 12, 2021 coming in force.
PMTC has always enjoyed a strong collaborative relationship with TC and believe we can once again work together to come up with a fair solution for the time crunch the industry is now facing with the ELD compliance date deadline.