ELD certification process coming in weeks, says OTA

TORONTO, Ont. – A third-party certification process needed to support Canada’s coming mandate for Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) is expected to be in place within weeks.

“We expect this to be up and running in the middle of October, which is fantastic,” said Ontario Trucking Association’s senior vice-president – policy Geoffrey Wood, referring to ongoing consultations with Transport Canada.

The comments were made during a presentation recorded for the annual meeting of the Fleet Safety Council.

Wood stressed that it’s already time for carriers to begin sourcing ELDs, ahead of the mandate. (Photo: Bison Transport)

While device suppliers self-certify their ELDs under U.S. rules, the Canadian regulations will require an approved third party to certify that individual offerings meet technical standards. The Canadian process is largely designed to help prevent tampering.

Quebec-based PIT Group already has a program that ensures ELD tests are performed, but it focuses on U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements.

Wood also stressed that it’s time for carriers to begin preparing for the June 12, 2021 mandate.

“You don’t need to wait until we have a list of certified ELDs,” he said, referring to the importance of sourcing reputable vendors. “You as carriers are the customer, so you have to ask the right questions.”

Devices sourced before the certification process is completed will still be able to support over-the-air updates, Wood said, likening the process to updates on a smart phone.

Many fleets governed by the U.S. mandate also received such updates days before the American mandate took hold, he said. “These things can happen very quickly.”

Regulatory officials are also looking at ways to add teeth to related regulations and increase the scrutiny on those who sell non-compliant equipment, he said, noting that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is already aware of electronic recording devices that have been designed specifically to cheat Hours of Service rules.

“Unfortunately, there are a small but growing number of fleets that have decided to take that path.”

The need for greater enforcement around Hours of Service rules was highlighted during the Humboldt Broncos crash, Wood said in his presentation, referring to Saskatchewan enforcement reports that highlighted “significant concerns with the logbook and how it was presented.”

“Non-compliance remains a business plan for a small but growing number of fleets,” Wood said. “This has to stop.”

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