Insight into what one can expect from an IFTA audit, common pitfalls to be aware of, and critical strategies on how to pass an IFTA audit.
ELD Mandate Coming To Canada?
The big buzz in the trucking industry of late has been the ELD Mandate published by the FMCSA requiring all drivers who must complete a record of duty status (RODS) to utilize an electronic logging device (ELD). With a 2 year adoption period, Canadian carriers who travel in the U.S. have until December 2017 to become compliant.
There has since been speculation that Transport Canada would also publish its own ELD Mandate with many expecting that it would coincide with the FMCSA implementation date. Proof of this plan has slowly begin to trickle out into the media, most recently during an interview with David Bradley the President and CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) in a Truck News article called Canadian ELD mandate could be in place by spring 2017.
Canadian trucking companies that are required to keep RODS in Canada or operate into the United States should be taking advantage of the remaining time prior to the compliance date to evaluate their ELD options and secure a solution that fits their fleet’s needs. As of today there are 16 months until the U.S. deadline. It is wise to not underestimate the time that is required to do your due diligence.
Researching potential solutions, having a few drivers trial them in an evaluation period and determining which additional features your company wants to utilize is a process that can take months. And that’s just the beginning. Purchasing a solution, installation/implementation and properly training your drivers, safety and compliance department, operations and back office staff can easily add weeks. It is imperative that each and every carrier adopts a solution well before the crunch of the December 2017 mandate to ensure a successful implementation period.
Consider the big picture impact on your entire operation
While the selection, implementation and training required for an ELD solution is no small task, carrier executives must consider the full impact of compliance. Are you completely compliant under your present paper RODS system? Have you considered the impact of mandatory compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) limits on your ability to serve your customers? Have you considered the impact that losing even a small amount of available drive time will have on the ability of your trucks to meet pickup and delivery schedules?
These questions should be answered to ensure you’re serving your customers adequately as your company adjusts to e-log reality. If your profit margins are razor thin do you want to be adjusting to this new reality when your competitors who adopted and adjusted early are outperforming your fleet?
Remember: there will be no soft enforcement period. This means critical HOS violations will have an immediate impact on your Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) and National Safety Code (NSC) scores. Shippers, insurers, enforcement officials and to some degree the general public will soon have a clear view of your company’s commitment to safety (or apparent lack thereof). That alone should prompt all trucking company owners to be proactive in adopting an ELD solution.