Utilizing the latest transportation technology in Canada offers great growth potential. The key is to identify the areas where you want to be proactive with using this type of tool. This includes identifying issues, such as Canada-specific regulations or driver behaviors, that could lead to costly penalties or a loss in productivity.
Your goal is to learn how to best apply cutting-edge tools to your fleet's operation so you can gain the most from technological advances and innovations. To help ease this burden, check out these recommended methods for transportation technology for your trucking company.
Understand Industry and Government Regulations
As you begin using technology to improve outcomes, you want to stay on the right course with regulations. This includes trucking regulations, as well as government regulations. In the US, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and local Department of Transportation offices dole out regulations. However, in Canada, this organization has no jurisdiction. Instead, Transport Canada is the government agency that regulates the Canadian trucking industry. The key difference here is that the FMCSA has more control over every aspect of American truckers, from getting a CDL to following hours of service rules, compared to Transport Canada.
There are some similarities between the US and Canadian regulations. For example, truck drivers in Canada and the US are required to follow hours of service rules. In Canada, however, these rules are more lenient. Additionally, truckers in Canada will soon be required to use electronic logging devices or ELDs just like American truckers will be at the end of the year.
A major reason why the Canadian and US trucking industries follow such similar regulatory rules is due to North American Free Trade Agreement. A large number of trucking companies in the US, as well as Canada, cross the border and operate in both countries. By creating a similar mode of regulation, this helps to ease the regulatory burdens for each country. It also ensures drivers on both sides of the border are meeting compliance requirements when crossing over.
Review Canadian Regulations
One way to check to make sure your trucking technology is configured to meet Canadian regulations is to review the Transport Canada Forward Regulatory Plan for 2017 to 2019. This is an extensive list of all of the new regulations facing Canadian fleets in the next few years. After all, just because you aren’t aware of regulatory laws does not excuse you from compliance.
Another resource that is beneficial to your trucking operation is the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators or CCMTA. This organization provides the National Safety Code for Motor Carriers that features all of the regulatory rules and criteria that all commercial drivers in Canada must abide by. While you will certainly access this code information when your business first begins, you should periodically review these standards regularly to ensure proper compliance.
Develop a Database
The next step is to create or find a database that allows you to track all of the documentation for your vehicles. Here are some of the types of information you want to keep on record:
- Licensing information for all drivers
- Driver fitness data and medical assessments
- Financial records
- Customer shipping bills of lading
- Truck insurance premiums and policies
- Loan and lease information for all equipment
- Regulatory requirements for operating provinces
You will certainly have more types of data that need to be stored depending on your province, industry, and haul types. We recommend that you keep everything within a database that is stored electronically and compatible with your transportation technology. This way, your ongoing records can be updated with ease using the latest tools, which should provide you with a comprehensive database of big data for your company. This information can then be analyzed to help you streamline and improve the functionality of your Canadian trucking operation.
Monitor Driver Behavior
In addition to documenting every financial transaction and load receipt into a database, you also want to accumulate data on driver behavior. Using transportation technology with tracking technology, you can create a system that lets you monitor and track behavior of your drivers based on driver expectations. For instance, if your drivers aren’t following regulatory practices or have lapses in medical reviews, you’ll have this information available to you in real time. You will also have the tools you need to reward drivers who meet goals, such as improving fuel economy and reducing risky driving behavior.
Increase Your Fleet Size with Immigration Opportunities
As you work to improve driver behavior and streamline efficiency using transportation technology, you may be in a prime position to expand your fleet size. If so, Canada is currently experiencing a driver shortage for long haul truck drivers. If you are in Quebec or Ontario, you are likely feeling this pinch -- these are the two provinces with the greatest number of trucking job vacancies. Quebec is short nearly 1,500 drivers, while Ontario is lacking more than 1,100 truck drivers. As a result, Canada is working with Global Recruiters of Montreal to host a long-haul driver pilot program.
Interested candidates can apply for a temporary work permit to haul freight, and once they’ve completed the program they are able to apply for a permanent resident status in Canada. If you are interested in working with immigrant drivers, start by securing a Labour Market Impact Assessment via Canada Immigration. If eligible, you can recruit foreign workers and add immigrant truckers to your company to help your business grow.
Positive Results from Fleet Management Software
When you use transportation technology effectively, you can transform your trucking business into a more productive and profitable enterprise. Whether your goal is to reduce operating expenses, save time on paperwork, or find ways to expand your trucking company, you have a well-suited solution. Technological innovations provide decision-makers in logistics with the tools they need for trucking success in Canada.
If you want to learn more about how technology can help your Canadian trucking or logistics operation, check out our video and information on Smart Drops, an On-Board Truck Computing software solution well-equipped for the Canadian market!