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The Canadian Trucking Alliance has initiated conversations with transportation ministers in an effort to encourage adoption of electronic logging devices at the provincial level.
Canada’s ELD mandate, which was announced June 13 and will take effect in June 2021, only applies to federally regulated carriers, meaning those that operate across provincial boundaries and into the United States. CTA President Stephen Laskowski said the bulk of Canada’s longhaul tractor-trailer industry is federally regulated. The ELD mandate does not apply to provincially regulated carriers, which are those that operate solely within individual provinces.
CTA, as its name suggests, is an alliance representing the trucking associations of Canada’s 10 provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
Laskowski said his organization intends to work with provincial leaders to establish a “harmonized system” of logging hours in trucks. The group has filed letters to each provincial transportation minister to urge ELD adoption. Laskowski expects the process toward adoption will start to gain steam in the fall.
“Our unanimous position is that provinces begin to adopt the use of electronic logs instead of paper logs for enforcement of intraprovincial hours-of-service rules,” Laskowski told Transport Topics. “It just makes complete sense from a public safety perspective, from an enforcement perspective and from a level playing field perspective.”
Laskowski acknowledged that working with each province will be somewhat of a process, as provincial authorities are independent. However, he said that provincial leaders have expressed interest in working together on the issue of ELDs.
According to Laskowski, multiple organizations are designed to help provinces agree on issues. Among these are the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.
“We will be working through those various committees and councils to ensure this gets done,” Laskowski said. “[Provinces] are committing to moving in unison, which is a very good thing.”
CTA supported the third-party certification rule, which was included in Canada’s ELD mandate. The proviso stipulates that ELDs must be certified by a third-party group. This requirement differs from U.S. regulations, under which ELD vendors self-certify that their device is compliant with technical specifications and registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The third-party certification policy means that U.S.-based carriers that travel into Canada will need to have a Canadian-certified ELD. If an ELD manufacturer in the United States does not want to go through the certification process, then the carrier using that manufacturer’s devices will need to switch to a different vendor. Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Executive Director Collin Mooney said this rule will require some adjustment among U.S.-based carriers.
“If you have cross-border operations, you’re now going to have to have one of these certified devices, which means that you’d be dropping that vendor if the vendor won’t go through the Canadian certification process. Or, they just stop doing cross-border operations,” Mooney told TT. “It’ll be one of those things where [they have to determine] what’s more important: cross-border operations or the ELD vendor that [they] have in place.”