We would like to address the ELD proposition brought up by CTA in a recent article on truck news.com and at the same time take the opportunity to introduce ourselves to those who don’t know us yet.
We are the Canadian Federation of Transport (FCT-CFT), our mandate is to represent drivers, owner operators and employees to the federal government in three crucial issues:
1 We want our trade to be recognise as a skill trade
2 We want to harmonise laws and regulations throughout the country (and we see an opportunity to harmonise with the u.s.)
3 We want laws (like against double brokerage) already in place to be enforced.
We are quickly growing in number and resources to achieve those goals and currently growing in all of Canada.
Those mandate we believe are the pillars to the next step to create a professional order for our trade. Our professional order for skilled drivers would be there to ensure our basic working conditions and a level of professionalism in the industry.
The more people joins with us the stronger is our voice, the more resources we can put together and the more people are working together on the different projects necessary to reach our goal and of course the faster we get there.
The real problems to safety are not going to be solve with ELD, in fact what is going to happen next is that people taking decision are going to realise the problems are still there and will be looking to implement new rules, maybe reduce the amount of hours we can work like in Europe, etc. Unless we rise and work together and bring up the real issues with solutions.
What is happening is like many have voiced already: an industry that has been heading the wrong way for decades, the gambling of the loads, prices bid lower and lower, clients who don’t want to pay or put effective manpower and logistic to the process of loading and unloading, everybody juggles with bits and pieces hoping it won’t fall, working conditions have deteriorated, people not caring much anymore, major lack of communications, reporting the consequences of most mistakes on the drivers without compensations. And now we are facing a fake crisis where we are told there is a shortage of drivers so here comes the meat market bringing in new drivers by the dozen, even bringing people from oversea locked in contracts for their jobs and housing… Very poor training for all these new drivers and they are cast on the roads without proper follow up.
Everybody have their own version of the regulations, everybody knows we (the drivers) are told to follow all the rules and regulations right from the hiring process but it doesn’t last a week that we are told otherwise. It’s a constant battle for the drivers to stand up to those mix messages, follow the rules, compensate for the lack of care and communication of logistic and ensure to have a decent amount of work because in many cases they are consequences to not follow the rules ``of don’t follow the rules``.
Add to that the constant brilliant idea of logistic to send the drivers right into traffic at rush hour on a tight schedule (when logistic just let the driver idle for hours when there was no traffic). Logistic or clients who takes 3 to 7 hours to load or unload 2 skids sometimes and then do not allow drivers out of hours to stay on their property….
Also add to that the growing number of new drivers untrained in canadian rough driving conditions squeezed between a clock to meet deadlines and make it on time to a safe stop to get rest, food, shower without having a ticket while ensuring he drives enough every day to bring a half decent pay check home to pay the bills and the reality of a new employee who tries to make its mark but is never really appreciated and will always be replaceable even more so since the meat market is open full time now.
So why bring up the ELD quicker? Why apply it to older models of vehicles who already comply with the u.s. regulations? Why again try to makes different regulations than those of the u.s.? Why pretend the ELD will reduce collisions? This is not where the problem lies. The only thing we can see of consequence in this proposition is that it will further the gap between owner operator and big companies.
We are at this point in time where we need to create real solutions not new problems. The industry has gone worst and worst and none of what has been tried in the past has made it better.
We at the federation oppose to that proposition as we don’t believe it would resolve the problems of safety our industry is facing. We are working on harmonising the regulations throughout Canada and ideally with the u.s. creating a mandatory learning program countrywide for drivers to be recognise as a skilled trade. We see the problems and are currently working on the solutions.
Come join us and be an active part of the solution.
The Canadian Federation of Transport team