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Canada ELD certification ‘very rigorous,’ company says after completing vetting

Pedigree Technologies among first to successfully navigate highly detailed process, according to executive

The Cab-Mate One recently became the fourth ELD certified in Canada. (Photo: Pedigree Technologies)

Slowly but surely, electronic logging devices (ELDs) are starting to emerge from Canada’s third-party certification process. 

On Aug. 30, Pedigree Technologies’ Cab-Mate One became the fourth ELD certified to run in Canada. It joins devices from Hutch Systems, Diesel Tech Industries and Assured Tracking.

“The Canada ELD certification process was very rigorous and detailed,” Joshua DeCock, Pedigree’s vice president of product management, explained in an email to FreightWaves.

Device certifications began trickling out nearly six weeks after Canada’s ELD mandate, which applies to federally regulated carriers and owner-operators, technically took effect on June 12. While enforcement of the mandate won’t begin until June 2022, the absence of a large roster of approved ELDs has been a source of frustration among carriers.  

North Dakota-based Pedigree has something in common with the other firms with Canada-certified ELDs: It isn’t a massive player in the space. 

“We are very customer-driven and from the beginning, we knew that full and complete compliance would be the only way to ensure our customers stayed fully operational — keeping their trucks and drivers on the road — and that focus has given us a leg up in the Canada certification,” DeCock said. 

ELDs must undergo a vetting process by one of three certifying bodies — FPInnovations, CSA Group and COMDriver Tech — which are themselves accredited by Transport Canada, the federal transportation ministry. Pedigree’s Cab-Mate One — a tablet that integrates the ELD with a telematics solution, was certified by FPInnovations.

Canadian officials have touted the certification requirement as something that will ensure that ELDs on the market are less susceptible to manipulation. By contrast, manufacturers in the U.S. self-certify their devices.

Canadian requirements require ‘significant changes’ for existing ELDS

Apart from adhering to Canadian hours-of-service regulations, ELDs have to meet detailed technical requirements. Manufacturers also have to take into account the actual testing procedures used by the certifying bodies. 

“While the US and Canada ELD requirements are very similar, there are some key distinctions that require the ELD provider to make some significant changes to their existing solutions while maintaining the differing US ELD requirements — which isn’t easy — and Pedigree’s ability to be nimble and make changes quickly has been key for us,” DeCock said.

DeCock suggested that ELD manufacturers are running into issues with certification because their own interpretations of the technical requirements and testing procedures may have differed from Transport Canada’s and the third-party certification bodies. “So they are needing to make additional changes to their ELD solution,” he said. 

Reflecting those challenges, one Canadian ELD producer, Ultrack Systems, announced in June that it had reprogrammed its DriveLineELD in response to an update to the government’s testing protocol in January. 

Pedigree, for its part, had to clarify some of the language in the ELD requirements and the testing protocol, DeCock said.

While the list of Canadian-certified ELDs is expected to grow, DeCock said that “many of those ELDs on the US list of certified ELDs will never make it to the Canada-certified list.”

Despite the intensive process, Pedigree is pursuing additional ELD certifications for Canada.

“We had a good experience working with FPInnovations, and we are currently working with them to certify our other ELD models,” DeCock said.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]