The ELD file is one I have discussed, on behalf of the PMTC Membership, and many others in the industry, numerous times over the last 6 years. While some of you may be rolling your eyes and saying, “this again, come on Millian”, the sad truth is it needs to be continually brought up until regulators take their head out of the sand and take a serious look at the dire state the industry is being put in by their unrealistic timelines. Their lack of meaningful dialogue or public acknowledgement of the issue with industry in addressing these concerns indicates the message has yet to sink in.
The Canadian ELD Regulation was posted in Canada Gazette Part 2 on June 12th of 2019, with a compliance date of June 12th of 2021 for all federally regulated carriers who are required to keep a logbook. In essence, this means any driver who operates a commercial motor vehicle under the NSC definition (any commercial vehicle over 4500kg’s), is federally regulated, and travels beyond a 160km radius, with few exceptions, will be required to have an ELD installed, active, and staff trained on its use, prior to June 12th of this year.
The ELD used by the fleet, to be considered a legal ELD, is required to be certified by an independent 3rd party and placed on Transport Canada’s certified device list. This means, as we sit currently, if your device is not populated on that list on June 12th of 2021, you will be considered in violation of the Federal ELD regulation, and will be subjected to possible fines, points being placed on your Provincial Safety Rating Profile, and possibly placed out of service.
The list of approved devices, which can be accessed here. https://tc.canada.ca/en/road-transportation/electronic-logging-devices/list-certified-electronic-logging-devices, currently has a grand total of zero devices listed, which is the crux of the problem, and one that Transport Canada has placed the industry and ELD suppliers in.
The PMTC has been involved with ELD consultations from the beginning and have always been in favour of ELD’s. We believe they are a good tool to help improve safety compliance on our highways. We have also been a proponent of independent 3rd party certification from the very beginning, as this is a needed step to help ensure the devices in use are compliant and provide assurance to carriers the device, they are purchasing is capable of doing what it is intended and legally required to do. In other words, the PMTC is fully in favour of everything in this regulation, with one glaring exception, that being the timelines. We are a bit over 4 months away from the coming into force date of this regulation, and carriers have zero assurance provided by government that the device they are currently using, or the devices that they maybe researching for use, will be legal. When the feds announced this regulation, they assured industry that devices would begin showing up on the list by June of 2020. That deadline has been missed terribly. In fact, it was missed so badly, that not only did we not have any devices populating the list by June, we did not even have a certification body in place for manufacturers of ELD’s to submit their devices to until October 26th. Transport Canada also made changes to the testing procedures on the same date. To make things worse, the first device was not submitted for certification until the 2nd last week of January. Testing and certification is a 4-to-6-week process, which means carriers may finally have at least one device listed to pick from in March, 3 months before they need to comply with the deadline. Many devices will not even be submitted until March and will not even show up on a list until April or May. There is a very real chance that some of the devices you are using, may not be approved, and will need to be replaced. Or if they are approved, it will be after the June 12th deadline, leaving fleets in a precarious situation.
Many other associations have joined forces with the PMTC and have written Transport Canada asking for an enforcement deferral as a result of the lack of readiness, born out of TC’s own failures to meet appropriate deadlines. Their response to date, to be blunt, has been inadequate and bears no resemblance to the reality of the situation. “ We are on time, committed to road safety and prepared to meet this mandate by June 12th of 2021”, is no where close to reality, and quite simply, can not be achieved based on our current situation, with out causing severe chaos and damage to the industry.
The PMTC, and a large section of the industry, need your help to bring more attention to the issue, and raise awareness at the federal level, to the real concerns many in this industry have over these timelines. If you want to make your concern heard, please click the link below to access a form letter to be sent to the Federal Transport Minister, and insert your company details, your name, and your contact info. The more voices that are heard, the harder it will become to ignored.
Please feel free to reach back to me as well at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 877-501-7682, ext 102, if you would like to discuss further.