Sask. Trucking Association wants electronic logging devices used

Under new government regulations, Saskatchewan truck drivers currently do not have to use an electronic logging device (ELD).

According to Truck News, ELDs are: “A piece of hardware which connects to the truck’s engine control module (ECM). It tracks HOS (hours of service) compliance, mandating both drivers and trucking companies to adhere to the strict rules put in place for the safety and health of those who use the roads.”

The new regulations on the Saskatchewan government website state: “Starting June 12, 2021, Transport Canada regulations will require federally regulated commercial vehicles to be outfitted with electronic logging devices (ELDs).”

However, there’s an addendum.

“Saskatchewan will take a phased-in approach to enforcing the federal regulation because certified ELDs are not yet available,” the regulations continue. “Drivers who cannot obtain ELDs may continue to use paper-based logbooks.”

Susan Ewart, the executive director of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association, told Gormley on Thursday the association wants to see ELDs used in Saskatchewan.

“Trust the data,” she said. “ELDs show and are proven to have better compliance with the hours of service regulations. It keeps the drivers focused and they’re not having to do paperwork. (There’s) better accountability for things like rest breaks, fuel stops (and) time off.”

Ewart explained that ELDs can help when it comes to a trucker’s paperwork and man-made errors.

“Logbooks are definitely easy to be falsified,” Ewart said. “ELDs take the human element out of tracking. A driver can’t carry two logbooks with them — one that they might give to a Highway Patrol (officer) and one that they’re using differently because they are driving longer.”

Ewart stressed that ELDs are very important for safety and regulations on our roads, and whether or not a trucker is driving in Saskatchewan, she suggests that the devices be implemented.

“We should be having those conversations and seeing if we can’t meet somewhere that is a balance for us,” Ewart said.