CTA President David Bradley recently commented on three “game-changer” issues affecting the trucking industry.
Speaking at the PeopleNet Canada Transportation Symposium in Toronto, Bradley spoke about some of the biggest opportunities and challenges affecting the trucking industry:
As reported by Truck News:
“I’m always optimistic … and the fact that we have a space man as our new Minister of Transport suggests to me that he knows a little bit about transportation, logistics, and the need for communication and the need to monitor things,” he said.
“Canada’s trucking industry … (was) the first association in North America a decade ago to take the position that wherever any truck where currently the driver was required to use a paper log book should be replaced with an ELD of some sort. That was 10 years ago and I think that we had hoped at that time that Canada would lead North America. We were ahead of the US at the time, however our governments chose not to pursue the issue. But, I have some hope that things are starting to change.”
He said that old arguments against ELDs – such as cost and productivity no longer hold water. In fact, and added that ELDs could actually help the relationship between the driver and enforcement.
GHG Phase 2 regulations
“In no time in our industry’s history has our carriers’ economic goals been as aligned with society’s goals in terms of the environment, specifically GHG emissions, than they have ever been,” said Bradley when discussing the issue of GHG Phase 2 regulations. “It’s a good thing because it appears the new government is going to be taking a proactive approach to GHG reduction than the previous federal government.”
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles – Phase 2, from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is set to apply fuel efficiency standards to trucks and engines beginning in model year 2021.
Again, Bradley said he doesn’t want Canada to play second fiddle and simply mirror the US regulations.
“We have to go about it intelligently. Canada is way behind in terms of developing the policy and framework and I for one, don’t like Canadian laws being developed by US congress,” he said.
“It’s a very complex issue and there are issues with compensation as there always are when you’re talking about a shortage of anything,” he said. “Compensation hasn’t gone up though, as it should in our industry. We have to be competitive, in order to attract people from other sectors, or those are looking for work.”
He added that the industry cannot be complacent and should alter driver pay because “nobody else can solve this issue, except the industry itself” and that the role for government in helping solve the driver shortage issue is to make driving a skilled trade.
“Trucking should be a skilled trade. Not to disparage hair dressers, but that is a skilled occupation, whereas truck driving isn’t,” he said. “It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. What we’ve been pushing for is mandatory entry level training and have the occupation deemed to be skilled. How can it be designated a skilled trade when there’s no training?”