Addressing a seminar in Milton, Ontario, Mike Millian, the President of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC), updated the attendees on the upcoming Canadian ELD mandate. He told that the Canadian ELD mandate would come in early 2019.
He regretted that the meeting between the officials of Treasury Board and Transport Canada had been delayed from October to December, which is why further lingering of the mandate is expected.
He also signaled that the delay in the legislative process is because the industry lobbyists are trying to extend the rollout time. He is of the view that even when the plan gets reviewed by Transport Canada, a stiff opposition will try to deter the mandate.
Mike further added that it is likely that the phase-in period of the Canadian mandate will be one year, because of the already slow schedule of moving ahead. However, he highlighted that “One year is pretty short for all the devices that are going to have to be installed.”.
Speaking about the nature of the Canadian ELD mandate, he said that it would largely copy the U.S. ELD mandate. In his speech, he also discussed several features of the U.S. ELD mandate with reference to the Canadian mandate. He also highlighted some differences between the two mandates.
Let’s discuss all that he covered during the seminar.
Speaking about the exemptions in the Canadian ELD mandate, he said that they would mostly be the same as the U.S. version. The exemptions are expected to be regarding grandfathered AOBRDs, 8-day short-haul exemptions, vehicles with pre-2000 engines, and drivers who carry out driveaway-towaway operations.
However, the rental vehicle exemption will be granted for a period of 30 days instead of 8 days as it is in the U.S. ELD mandate. Mike mentioned that the Transport Canada has decided to keep the rental exemption exactly as the Truck Rental and Leasing Association (TRALA) wanted.
Self-Certification of ELDs
Mike Millian is not a big fan of the self-certification process. He said, “It’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard but that’s what the government has decided. Unfortunately, Canada is expected to have the same device certification process,” he lamented.
Hoping towards some improvement in Canada, he said, “Transport Canada has said it will not be certifying ELDs. However, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) is looking for a body for certifying ELDs in Canada.”
He shared his concerns about the credibility of some ELD manufacturers: “I cannot stress that enough, just because they are on the FMCSA website on the list, doesn’t mean they are compliant.”
Mike also mentioned that some manufacturers had certified their devices even before the rule was finalized. He also forecasted that after the mandate takes effect and law enforcement officers begin their scrutiny, many of the ELD vendors will disappear, because they had been selling non-compliant ELDs. So, users are ultimately responsible for a compliant or a non-compliant ELD device.
“It’s going to be reliant upon you as a carrier to do your homework and check these devices out,” he clarified. Also, users will have only 8-days to replace a non-compliant device as per the FMCSA’s regulations.
In the past, we have also mentioned on several occasions that not every ELD that is in the FMCSA’s list of self-certified ELDs is 100% compliant. In fact, there are many factors that go into a compliant ELD solution, which carriers should closely look into. In fact, the process of examining ELD solutions consumes a lot of time and, therefore, is one of the primary reasons why carriers should install ELDs as soon as possible — so to give themselves enough time to test the waters before the ELD mandate becomes mandatory.
The Grandfather Clause
Millian also cautioned fleets from relying too much on the grandfather clause.
The grandfather clause allows CMVs to continue running on Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (ABORDs) to record their hours-of-service until 2019. He believes that the clause is inherently flawed and dangerous for compliance.
“Trying to rush out and try to put something in your vehicles that are not compliant is a flawed strategy at best,” he said.
Mike was concerned about the extra effort that fleets would have to invest in managing two different technologies.
Suppose a fleet operates with vehicles that currently have AOBRDs. After December 18, 2017, if they need to expand their operations, they would have to buy ELDs for the new vehicles (as they won’t be able to install AOBRDs after the ELD mandate becomes mandatory). This will create difficulties for fleet managers to manage drivers and overall operations with two different types of logging devices.
He also explained that getting used to working with a new technology takes time: “You’re going to see a lot of that at the start. Stuff’s going to happen. Nothing’s perfect.”
Therefore, it makes more sense for fleets to stick with electronic logging devices and get familiarized with them, instead of wasting valuable time, efforts, and money on AOBRDs which are going to be replaced with ELDs within 24 months.
A Reminder to the Canadian Truckers
Millian also reminded Canadian truckers who operate in the United States of America about the deadline of the U.S. ELD mandate. He said that it is going into effect on December 18, 2017, and, therefore, all of them must install ELDs to remain compliant with the law when driving in the U.S.
The Importance of ELDs
At last, Mike Millian highlighted the importance and benefits of ELDs and the ELD mandate. He said that the electronic logging devices significantly reduce paperwork. They prevent form and manner violations and digitize records for the last 6 months, relieving the driver of stress.
Highlighting the convenience and ease that drivers will have ELDs, Mike said, “They’re no longer drawing squiggly lines all the time. They log in, they log out.”
Although the U.S. ELD mandate is almost here, the Canadian version of the ELD mandate still has some time to go. However, Canadian drivers that drive within the United States of America would require electronic logging devices after December 18, 2017.
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