Delay in ELD Certification is Causing Ripple Effects

 

With less than a year until Canada’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate is set to come into effect, commercial carriers across the country are still wondering what their options for compliant solutions are.

In June of 2019, Transport Canada announced that ELDs (sometimes called e-logs or electronic logbooks) would become mandatory for carriers, replacing the traditional paper logbooks used for tracking and managing a commercial driver’s Hours of Service (HoS).

The reasoning and details of ELDs and the mandate have been laid out in much detail over the past year – with a few details still being worked out behind the scenes.

As of mid–July 2020, Transport Canada has not announced who the third-party certification bodies will be. Although the mandate is still set for June 12, 2021, the lack of news about certified ELD providers has large commercial carriers, small fleet operators, and drivers alike questioning the timeline they will need to comply with.

This has a ripple effect across the transportation industry. ELD providers are at a standstill of sorts, waiting to hear about their solution’s certification status.

Commercial carriers and truck operators are equally on edge, unable to research, test, or start implementing certified solutions with less than a year to go before they are required to be ELD compliant.  Despite the uncertainty around timing, carriers across Canada are doing their best to prepare in anticipation of the industry-changing mandate.

Third-party ELD Certification in Canada

In the United States, the use of ELDs has already been federally mandated for well over a year. While some Canadian carriers who work south of the border have already implemented ELD solutions across their fleet in order to comply with the U.S. rules, even they are not guaranteed compliance in Canada.

Though the ELD mandates in both countries share many similarities, one key difference is in the certification process. In the U.S., ELD manufacturers can self-certify and register their devices with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In Canada, however, manufacturers must be certified by a third-party.

Therein lays the cause of the delays mentioned above. Though many ELD providers have certified and registered their solutions in the U.S. (Titan GPS among them), no provider has been able to do the same in Canada yet. Though the third-party certification bodies may not have been announced any day, they are expected to be in place in relatively short order. However, this announcement of the certification bodies is just one of a few key steps toward carriers reaching compliance.

After the third parties are in place, every ELD solution is subject to a thorough testing and certification process, which is expected to take a few weeks (but less than a month) – meaning that ELD providers and commercial carriers may have to wait a little longer for an official judgment.

ELD Implementation

Regardless of fleet size, delays in ELD certification can be problematic. Business owners and fleet operators alike will want to research features, costs, user experience, and everything in between before landing on an ELD solution to replace paper logbooks.

Many businesses that know they will be subject to the ELD mandate have already begun this process. Though there is no guarantee which solutions will be certified, preliminary research into ELD providers, hardware needs, budgets, installation requirements, etc. will go a long way toward ensuring a fleet is ready to go come June 2021.

Timeline

Recent global events have caused delays across virtually every industry, with government processes being slowed, businesses temporarily closing or reducing capacity, and market uncertainty affecting the economy.

While it is possible that Transport Canada will slide the ELD mandate, allowing carriers a full 12 months from the first ELD certification for implementation, it is far more likely that the June 12, 2021 deadline will stand.

The window for research and implementation may be tighter than carriers had hoped, but even without official certification in place, it is still entirely possible for both carriers and ELD solution providers to adjust internally and ensure they are adequately prepared for the mandate.

Next steps

As carriers wait to learn about certified ELD solutions, there is still a chance to do some research. Titan GPS, who was among the first to have their ELD solution certified and registered in the U.S, has been following the situation closely. Our expert fleet management consultants are fully prepared to discuss your business’ unique needs and concerns about the ELD mandate and the tight period from certification to implementation.

Additionally, in anticipation of the Canadian mandate, Titan GPS has closely followed the Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices published by The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) to ensure that our ELD solution will be ready for third-party certification as soon as it becomes available.

 

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