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Laskowski: Canada Can Learn from US ELD Experience

Canada’s long-awaited electronic logging device (ELD) mandate should differ from the U.S. rule to avoid some of the pitfalls that befell the rollout of similar legislation there, says Stephen Laskowski, head of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), during a panel discussion at the Surface Transportation.

Laskowski, reports Truck News, pointed that Canadian regulators are looking to avoid at least one major deficiency in the U.S. rules – the fact vendors can self-certify their own devices. The result is that some ELDs on the market produce logs that can be easily modified.

“What we have seen and found is the ability for people to rewrite their hours-of-service,” Laskowski said. “With (some of) these devices it’s a push of a button.”

He said CTA is lobbying for third-party certificationof devices to prevent this problem, but he noted the vast majority of suppliers do meet the technical requirements.

Canada’s ELD regulation has been held up by bureaucratic red tape. Unlike in the U.S., where the federal government mandates interstate carriers, in Canada all provinces must handle enforcement.

“You’re not dealing at the table one-on-one with the feds, you’re dealing with seven, 10 other jurisdictions,” Laskowski said. “There was political foot-dragging on this.”

Mark Seymour, chairman of Kriska Group, shared his company’s experience when rolling out ELDs voluntarily between 2011 and 2014.

“We took three years,” he said. “We wanted to do it at the right pace that didn’t disrupt the business, didn’t disrupt the people, and there were things we did to try not to choke the system.”

Seymour is a fan of the technology.

“The old paper-based log system is ludicrous,” he said. “And for those we’ll be introducing to our business in years to come, to teach them a system like that would frankly likely be enough to turn people away from our industry.”

Moving to e-logs also puts more pressure on shippers to do their part to make good use of a driver’s time, Seymour said.

“It’s the appreciation and respect of the number of hours per day that a truck driver has to work and frankly, to make a living,” he said. “It imposes upon the shipper and receiver the impact they have on that workday on things like dwell time, things like allowing drivers to sleep in the yard. Maybe providing that option of switching trailers as opposed to live unload. What piece of that day do you own and what can you do to improve upon your ownership of that piece?”

Full Truck News story here.

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