Canada’s electronic logging device (ELD) mandate will go into effect on June 12th as planned, however, as Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in a statement; “the impact of Covid-19 on commercial vehicle operations has been unprecedented and must be acknowledged. As such, with the support of provinces and territories, and in consultation with industry, we will work together on the successful and effective implementation of a progressive enforcement period. This will give sufficient time for the industry to obtain and install certified electronic logging devices without penalty as of June 12, 2021. Early enforcement measures will consist of education and awareness.”
There are around 30,000 commercial truck drivers who are enrolled in the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program at four New York-Canada ports of entry and essential trade has been able to continue throughout the pandemic. The progressive enforcement period will last a year. Welcome news to the industry as both The Canadian Trucking Alliance and the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada had been pushing hard for a phased in enforcement period. Not just because of the pandemic but also because no devices have been independently third-party certified under the requirements. Without actual devices, fleets will not have enough time to properly integrate the devices into their operations. Thus, avoiding some of the headaches US fleets had to deal with. Though it must be noted US issues went far beyond the devices themselves;
The ELD Mandate has flashed a light on some major concerns that have been plaguing the trucking industry for some time now. One is the lack of available safe overnight parking, particularly in large metro areas. Another is the issues with hours of service (HOS) regulations. The new HOS changes should help but the boom in e-commerce, exacerbated by the pandemic, as well as the major push to electronic and other alternative fuel vehicles over the next decade will only make the truck parking shortage worse. Though it is not a “sexy” issue, overnight truck parking must be included as part of a robust infrastructure plan.