We welcome all professional Truck Drivers and Owner Operators to our Truckstop Community
It does not matter if you are driving OTR or local Truck deliveries, Trustop Canada is your Home Online. Truckstop Canada's Forum provides a place where Truck Drivers can come in for information or discuss Trucking News, Truck Photos, Trucker Classifieds, Trucker Jokes. We would be honored to welcome you as a Member in our professional Trucker Forum.
Spring truck weight restrictions start in central frost zone
Spring truck weight restrictions in the central frost zone will start
Friday, March 16, according to the Minnesota Department of
Winter load increases have ended and spring load
restrictions are already in place in the south, southeast and metro
Road restriction maps showing the locations of
weight-restricted routes and those state highways open to maximum 10-ton
axle weights are listed at www.mndot.gov/loadlimits.
Click on “seasonal load limits,” and then “spring load restrictions.”
Also available is a text list of the restricted segments and exceptions
to the map.
permits for more than 80,000 pound gross vehicle weight will continue
and new permits will be issued if all axle and group weights are legal.
to full-summer overweight permits can be issued during the spring load
restriction period only on interstate through movements.
overweight permits become available within each frost zone when spring
load restrictions are lifted. Full-summer overweight permits become
available two to three weeks after spring load restrictions are lifted.
Ending dates for spring load restrictions are variable and based on how weather is affecting roadway strength.
questions about the legal weight and size “heavy haul” trucking call
MnDOT’s Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations department at
651-296-6000. For enforcement questions, call the State Patrol’s
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement at 651-405-6196 and select Option 3 and
then Option 3.
MnDOT will report dates on its 24-hour automated
message center at 1 800 723 6543 for the U.S. and Canada, and locally at
651 366 5400 for the Minneapolis/St.Paul area.
OPP begin week-long blitz to curb distracted driving
TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are once again
heading out in their Class 8 truck to try to catch distracted drivers
across the province.
OPP Superintendent Tony Cristilli said the police service would use
every tool available to it to run a week-long blitz to help bring
awareness to distracted driving.
Highway Safety Division (HSD) Staff Sgt. Kerry Schmidt posted a video
to his Twitter showing the white OPP tractor ready to go out on the
road moments before a Monday press conference in the Greater Toronto
Area (GTA) announcing the campaign.
The OPP has two of the Class 8 tractors. Earlier this year they were
unveiled as an additional tool for patrolling highways in the GTA. When
they aren’t being used for enforcement, the trucks are normally used to
haul police cars between divisions.
Schmidt has said in the past that using the Class 8 trucks as patrol
vehicles gives officers the advantage of height, allowing them to see
into the cabs of other trucks, as well as giving them a bird’s eye view
on unsuspecting drivers in passenger vehicles.
While other recent blitzes have focused on commercial motor vehicles,
the current enforcement initiative is not targeting any specific kind
of driver, but all road users, Cristilli said.
Police will not just be looking for cell phone users behind the
wheel, but for any activity, such as eating or reading, that takes a
driver’s focus off the road.
The penalty for being caught driving while distracted is a $490 fine, and three demerit points for a first offence.
“In 2017, the Ontario provincial police investigated 83 motor vehicle
deaths in which inattentiveness was an underlying factor,” said
Cristilli. “Since 2009 – the year when Ontario’s distracted driving laws
took effect – 692 people have died at the hands of inattentive drivers.
Distracted driving is a danger to all road users.”
Increasing regular blitzes focusing on distracted driving are one of
the methods the OPP is using in its attempt to raise awareness about the
issue and bring the number of collisions caused by inattentiveness too
Class D renewal requirements change in Ontario July 1
TORONTO, Ont. – Class D license holders in Ontario will have new medical and road test requirements beginning July 1, 2018.
The Ministry of Transportation released its new guidelines for
medical reports and testing for Class D license holders, bringing them
in line with other commercial driver licenses in the province.
Starting on July 1 Class D license holders up to age 80 will be
required to complete a knowledge test and vision test every five years
when renewing their driver’s licenses. Previously no knowledge and
vision tests were required for drivers under the age of 65, although
they’re required for other license classes.
Class D licence holders will also be required to complete a medical
report every five years if they are under the age of 46, every three
years from ages 46-65, and annually for drivers aged 65 and older. Under
the old regulations medical and vision tests were not required for
Class D licenses until drivers turned 80.
Drivers operating with their Class D licenses in the United States
will see no changes to that county’s regulations and are still required
to provide proof of medical certification.
Those drivers who fail to provide the proper medical documentation on
time to the Ministry of Transportation could see their Class D license
downgraded to a Class G license, the ministry said.
The road test requirements for the license remain unchanged, and will
still only be required if drivers accumulate three demerit points or
have an at-fault collision until they reach the age of 80, when a road
test becomes an annual requirement.
The ministry says the new requirements bring the Class D license in
line with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA)
standards, which are the basis for the Canada/U.S. medical reciprocity
A ministry spokesperson said ensuring Class D drivers are held to the
highest medical filing standards will strengthen road safety.
Isuzu Commercial Truck of America showed a battery-electric N-Series
cabover at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis that's now serving as a
research vehicle to allow the manufacturer to gauge interest from fleets
who would use the truck for certain applications.
regular cab NPR has been equipped with battery technology that's still
under development and would be rated as a Class 5 vehicle with a
19,500-lb. gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). The vehicle at the show
was modified by Nordresa, a Laval, Quebec, Canada company that
manufactures electrified powertrains for commercial vehicles.
continues to develop and grow in order to support a new generation of
transportation needs and address escalating customer requests for a
potential electrical truck," said Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu
Commercial Truck of America and Isuzu Commercial Truck of Canada.
"Commercial truck customer needs vary by market."
The company has begun discussions with its fleet customers who have requested a battery-electric cabover, Skinner said.
deploying this truck that utilizes an EV system engineered by one of
the North American companies we are working with, and other companies
with different electrical systems, we will be able to develop the right
trucks for our customers’ needs," Skinner said. "There is no doubt that
all-electric trucks are part of the future of commercial vehicles; they
are part of our future as well."
TORONTO, Ont. – The country’s largest truck show – Truck World –
is just around the corner, and this year, organizers are promising an
Truck World is scheduled at the International Centre in Toronto from
April 19-21 and so far, there are 500 exhibitors and
This year marks the first partnered show, as Newcom Media joins
forces with Deutsche Messe to bring the truck show to life. Both
organizations came together in 2017 to bring the first ever North
American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Ga. For Truck World, their
new partnership hopes to bring more American suppliers to Canada.
“Now that Truck World is co-owned by Newcom Media and Deutsche Messe,
this new partnership will give Truck World a better and stronger
exposure in the U.S. and international markets,” Thierry Quagliata, the
new show manager, said.
Truck World is also growing this year as it opens the doors to five halls, expanding to 390,000 sq.-ft. of exhibit space.
Also new this year, is a number of new products being launched and
featured at the show. Products being launched at this year’s show
include accessories, trucks, trailers, and components.
And if you’re a member of the public curious about a job in trucking,
or if you’re looking for a change within the industry, then Truck World
is the place to be.
“We are going to have over 90 employers with booths at the show who
are going to be seeking new truck drivers as well as other industry
professionals, like truck technicians,” said Quagliata.
There is also a dedicated driver recruitment pavilion with more than 75 confirmed fleets attending.
Knowledge stops are also a new feature this year.
“The knowledge stops are information sessions we are going to have
right on the show floor,” Quagliata added. “These are great for those
middle management executives or those who are new to the industry and
want to learn more about trucking or starting their business within the
The knowledge stops will be taking place throughout the show, and
topics include: succession planning, cannabis in the workplace, how to
win a pitch and more.
And Truck World is going digital, Quagliata said, replacing its usual
printed show guide with a mobile app sponsored by Cummins that will
help attendees navigate their way through the show with an interactive
map, agenda run down, and a communication feature.
“With the new mobile app, attendees can communicate before, during,
and after the show using the direct messaging feature,” he said.
Attendees can download the mobile app by searching “Truck World 2018” in their device’s app store.
Attendees can also look forward to complementary Wi-Fi at the show sponsored by Navistar.
“I hope for Truck World 2018 to be an even better show, with more for
attendees to see and discover,” Quagliata said. “Between truck,
trailers, parts, technology and services, I think the show will be a
great and easy way for professionals in the industry to connect with
their suppliers and customers, to create more business, and to learn
You can attend the show:
• Thursday, April 19 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Friday, April 20 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
TTSAO announces a ‘Touch a Truck’ hiring event for adults
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario
(TTSAO) is trying to drive more people into the trucking industry by
hosting a “touch a truck” event for adults.
The group announced the event and sought marketing ideas for it
during the carrier group townhall meeting at their annual conference.
The event – to be held in Mississauga, Ont. On May 26 – will be a
hiring event focused on bringing in employees to all areas of the
industry, not just drivers.
Carriers and training schools will be staffing tables inside with
information about getting a license and job opportunities afterwards,
while outside carriers will be able to display their tractors in a show
The TTSAO says the idea for the event came from Road Knights member
Guy Broderick, chairman of the TTSAO Carrier Group. The Road Knights are
a group of elite truckers through the Ontario Trucking Association that
go into schools to teach students about the industry and show new
drivers how to behave around trucks.
Broderick feels using the same method the Road Knights program uses
at high school career fairs is a good way to promote the
wide-availability of jobs to adults who may be looking for a career
The event will feature all positions including back-office staff,
operations personnel, management positions, and those at distribution
centers, to name a few.
“When you take a look at all the jobs that are in our industry, and
all the positions that are needed, it’s not just about drivers anymore,”
With a strong economy and an unemployment rate sitting at less than
five percent in some areas of the country, carriers are no longer just
competing against each other for employees, but are also competing
against industries like red sealed trades.
The group says they are expecting for a good turnout, and hopes
carriers and schools alike will take the opportunity to show job seekers
that technology and different driving practices mean the industry isn’t
the same as it was 20 years ago.
Broderick says there is a persistent myth that commercial drivers are
on the road and away from their families for weeks at a time – fleets
know the reality is quite different.
A member from Manitoulin Transport said their drivers make up just
35% of their workforce, highlighting the abundance of non-road positions
available in the industry.
Discussion of ways to advertise both regional driving jobs and
careers in other aspects of the industry dominated the townhall, with
members brainstorming how to reach not just older members of the
workforce, but younger ones as well.
Members agreed looking to the future of hiring drivers means speaking
to students in high school today, as well as trying to reach
driving-age employees on social media in addition to using traditional
advertising avenues like the job fair.
Members hoping to snag a spot at the event will pay $400 for a
10-foot table, while non-members will pay $600. Carriers wanting to
register a truck to show off to perspective employees will pay an
additional $500 for a spot in the parking lot.
Windsor construction group lands $50M Ambassador Bridge contract
A Windsor, Ont. company is cashing in on the recently approved second Ambassador Bridge span between Windsor and Detroit.
CTV News has learned TCI Titan Group has been awarded the $50-million
dollar contract to build the truck customs plaza, which will be located
at the foot of the existing bridge.
“As we were awarded the project, I went and looked at the history of
the bridge, and being part of what I think is a very monumental and
historical build," said Art Ussoletti, president of TCI Titan Group.
The Detroit International Bridge Company received a permit from
Transport Canada in September, which was considered the last major
hurdle standing in the way of building a new bridge between the two
countries at North America’s busiest border crossing. The project is
intended to replace the nearly-90-year-old Ambassador Bridge.
Very early work is already underway, with the demolition of about 100
homes on Indian Road, where the new span will ultimately be located.
The truck customs plaza is considered a necessity because all secondary
truck inspections are currently conducted off-site. Both the Canada
Border Services Agency and the Bridge Company believes that’s a security
risk. The off-site inspection facility is located about two kilometres
down Huron Church Road on Industrial Drive.
"So that eliminates that whole need to escort and transport trucks further down into the corridor," said Ussoletti.
In consultation with the CBSA, a new, 9.5-acre plaza will be built just west of the new bridge.
Stan Korosec of the Bridge Company tells CTV News aside from a lot of
surface paving and eight new customs booths, TCI Titan will also
construct a stand-alone border services building.
"The building will be designed so that it fits in with the nature of
the west end,” said Korosec. “It’s not a steel and glass type thing
being designed. So it will fit in with the nature of historic Sandwich."
Ussoletti says he's already hired additional engineers and architects
with more contractors and subcontractors to follow. He adds this phase
is just one example of the huge economic impact this bridge will have on
"That really lays into the Bridge Company's philosophy of keeping it
local and keeping it Canadian so I think that's a huge factor,"
More heavy construction is expected to begin within the next 30 days.
The privately-funded Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project is estimated
to cost $1billion dollars. The Bridge Company says they want the new
span open to traffic by 2020.
Two lines of semi trucks wait to clear customs at the U.S. Border crossing at Pembina, ND, this week.
GRAND FORKS—The loonie isn't stretching its wings quite like it used to.
least, that's part of the story told by statistics from U.S. Customs
and Border Protection and backed up by observers in Grand Forks who say
border crossings from Canada have ebbed over recent years as a weak
Canadian dollar—known by many in the north as the loonie—has kept
Manitoban visitors home.
assistant area port director for the CBP, has been working on the border
for the past two decades. Though he says there are other factors that
influence the flow of traffic from Canada into Minnesota and North
Dakota, he points to the relative strength of the currency as a strongly
"When the Canadian dollar is strong, car
traffic seems to be up—and when it gets fairly weak, car traffic goes
the same," Misson said. "Whatever year the dollar started to decline,
the traffic started to decline."
The reduction in Canadian
visitors, who come to the U.S. border states for recreation, shopping
and business, is felt in local economies that have welcomed spending
from their northern neighbors. And last fall, CBP proposed reducing
hours at two of its Minnesota ports, at Lancaster and Roseau, citing
lagging rates of traffic.
Despite the weakening of the loonie,
commercial traffic into the U.S. held relatively steady over the
four-year period between the start of fiscal year 2014 and the end of
The port in Pembina, N.D., sees the most truck traffic of
all the U.S. ports of entry in the two-state region and logged a total
of almost 214,220 vehicles through the most recently completed fiscal
year. That's down about 14,700 from the total counted in fiscal year
The largest declines are in the number of passenger vehicles
that move across the border, a statistic that might reflect the more
price-conscious mindset of recreational travelers. Those drivers seem to
most often enter the U.S. by way of the port in International Falls,
That port ended 2014 with more than 520,000 passenger cars
making the crossing. It closed out the last full fiscal year with just
about 413,500, making for a 20 percent decline over the four-year
Crossings in Pembina, the second-biggest port for
automobiles, saw a decrease in volume of almost 25 percent over that
same period, hitting just under 277,250 cars for fiscal year 2017.
Traffic through Grand Portage, Minn., the third-largest port, shrank by
24 percent in that time to land at just over 235,000 vehicles.
The close ties between economic trends and cross-border travel isn't a
new phenomenon, Misson says, and has been something he's noted
throughout his career.
The Canadian dollar can be exchanged now
for about 77 cents American. It got up above 80 cents in January but
hasn't been at par with U.S. currency since 2013, which is about when
traffic started falling off at ports of entry.
The reduced flow of
visitors has trickled down Interstate 29 to Grand Forks, which courts
both recreational and business interests from Manitoba. The province has
been targeted both by local ads and, thanks in part to the strong U.S.
dollar, by a statewide push to brand North Dakota as a tourist
Julie Rygg is executive director of the Grand Forks
Convention and Visitors Bureau, which draws funding from local
hospitality taxes. As such, she has a finger well on the pulse of the
local tourism scene, which has long benefitted from Canadian residents
on weekend getaways.
Rygg says 2015 seems to be the year when
metrics like occupancy rates started levelling off in Grand Forks,
followed by a steady decline the year after.
She thinks the exchange rate has a lot to do with that.
Wilfahrt, president and CEO of the local Chamber, also points to the
loonie when talking about Canadian travel, adding that he believes that
80 cents to the dollar is the price point to watch.
gets below that mark, it has an impact on people coming down," he said.
"I'd rather see it at 90 cents, or even at par."
Insurers’ tips to trucking clients: how not to lose your loads
If you want to keep your cargo safe, it’s best to keep it moving, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) warns.
to the involvement of organized crime, cargo theft is described as an
“epidemic” in Canada, with a total loss of $181 million in stolen cargo
and equipment between 2014 and 2017.
“Any loaded trailer with cargo in it that’s sitting is at risk,” says
Wayne Hummel, a cargo and auto theft investigator for IBC. “My
suggestion to anybody with a load, don’t leave it sitting. If you have
to leave it sitting, have some kind of security on it, especially if
it’s an expensive load. They will take anything, they can sell anything.
They can move anything.”
Many heists occur when trucks and trailers are parked for the night
in trucking yards, Hummel says. While unsecured yards can be “a
free-for-all,” thefts can occur in secured yards, too.
Much of what gets stolen does not sit around for long.
“These loads move very quickly,” Hummel says. “We lose loads of meat
on a monthly basis. Sometimes they are sold before they are stolen. Or
as soon as they see it, they know where to get rid of it.”
To keep things moving, some companies use multiple drivers for the
same trip. The drivers rotate or sleep in shifts so that they don’t have
to park the truck over long-haul trips. “I can guarantee you, those
people rarely lose loads, because they are not unattended,” Hummel says.
Another popular method of theft is to take advantage of a network of
companies that bid on contracts to drive loads for clients – and then
take off with the cargo.
“Fraud is becoming a bigger part of it — all the online brokerage
stuff,” said Hummel. “The brokers put their loads out to be
sub-brokered, and somebody will bid on that load. They end up winning
the bid, they pick it up, they are a fictitious company, and your load’s
just been stolen.”
One of the primary ways to combat cargo theft is to report it, Hummel
says. IBC’s investigative services division has been operating the
Cargo Theft Reporting program since 2014. Many occurrences of cargo
crime go unreported by vendors, IBC notes, because transport companies
do not want their insurance premiums to increase if they report a loss.
When cargo has been reported stolen, police have been able to recover
the load with a fair degree of success, considering that organized
crime rings are able to sell loads quickly, Hummel says.
In 2017, the IBC cargo unit issued 1,632 alerts of thefts to law
enforcement. Of those, 445 involved cargo. The value assigned to the
stolen merchandise was over $46 million. As for recoveries last year,
law enforcement was able to recover 223 loads at a value of over $17
Thieves aren’t discriminating about the loads they sell off, although
organized criminals involved in cargo theft like to target grocery or
food products. These are the easiest products to offer for resale
quickly and efficiently.
That said, with non-perishable products such as brand-name products,
the thieves can afford to keep the product stored somewhere and try and
negotiate a better price for the load. If it’s a brand-name product,
they know somebody is going to buy. “They can unload that trailer into a
warehouse and they can keep that property,” Hummel says.
IBC’s Cargo Theft Reporting program is still relatively new, so it
will take some time to establish enough baseline information about
thefts to be able to identify whether there are any trends up or down.
OTA implores government to include truck drivers in nominee pilot program
TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is
asking the provincial government to remember truck drivers as it reviews
its stance on how it classifies certain occupations under the Ontario
Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).
Historically, Ontario has restricted the use of the OINP – which
allows workers to be brought in with permanent resident status – to
occupations classified in NOC skill level A, B and 0.
With truck drivers being classified as NOC ‘C’, the Ontario trucking
industry has had very limited access to this program since it was
founded. However, the government has launched a limited trial pilot
being conducted with a few select NOC ‘C’ occupations in the
construction and agriculture sectors.
The Ontario Trucking Association has written to Ontario Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration, Laura Albanese, asking whether trucking
could also be eventually considered since it is currently experiencing
an acute driver shortage.
Since the next opportunity to change this classification does not
arise until 2021, the OTA said it is asking the government to include
truck drivers as part of the ‘In-Demand Skills’ stream pilot of the
“While the industry remains committed to our longer-term goal of
moving from NOC C to B, access to the OINP could play an important role
for some Ontario carriers to bridge their current labour shortage,” said
OTA Jonathan Blackham, director of policy and public affairs.
OTA emphasized how trucking is grappling with a shortage of professional workers unparalleled by most industries.
“Unlike other industries, such as manufacturing, truck driving is an
occupation that cannot be offshored or shipped overseas. Overall, demand
for trucking remains strong, with the industry’s share of the total
transportation sector only growing. As well, with one of the oldest
workforces in the country, the trucking industry is facing a
‘demographic tsunami,’” the letter points out.
Trucking Industry Stakeholders Call for Canadian Govt’s to Move Quickly on ELDs
TORONTO, March 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Teamsters
Canada, the Private Motor Truck of Canada and the Canadian Trucking
Alliance are calling on governments to move quickly in the
implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. The major
groups representing trucking interests across Canada are asking the
federal and provincial governments to all commit to a process that would
see a publication of the final rule by June 2018 and the ELD rule
enforced in each province by December 2019.
The three groups believe the safety benefits of
ELDS cannot be delayed and that an 18-month transition will allow
industry and governments to properly transition to the mandate.
The groups issued the following mutual public statement:
majority of carriers and drivers have and will always put safety first.
However, ELDs will end the supply chain encouraging and turning a
blind-eye to companies and drivers breaking hours of service rules to
meet shipment needs by falsifying paper log books. By forcing all
companies and drivers to obey federal hours of service rules we are
making Canada’s roads safer. As a result of ELDs, drivers and carriers
will be more compliant with HOS regulations, contributing to reduced
collisions and other negative activity associated with distracted
driving. We are encouraging all levels of government to expedite this
regulation through their legislative process by making it a top
Navistar International Corp (NAV.N) on Thursday raised its full-year revenue and truck delivery forecasts amid strong market demand.
truck maker said it now expects 2018 revenue in the range of $9.25
billion to $9.75 billion, compared with its previous guidance of $9
billion to $9.5 billion.
The company raised its forecast
for deliveries of Class 6-8 trucks and buses in the United States and
Canada to between 360,000 and 390,000 units, from 345,000 to 375,000
"We expect market conditions to remain robust and
we are determined to take advantage of opportunities to grow share
while delivering strong margin performance," Chief Executive Troy Clarke
said in a statement.
Orders for Class 8 semi-trucks in North America jumped more
than 76 percent in February as trucking companies rushed to add capacity
in a tight U.S. freight market, FTR, a company that tracks the
industry, said on Sunday.
Navistar also said revenue in
the truck business, the company’s biggest, jumped 21.8 percent to $1.25
billion in the first quarter.
If you’re with a Canadian trucking company operating in the U.S., you
have probably heard a lot of different stories about ELD compliance for
Canadian drivers. One of them: that Canadian drivers and/or trucking
companies could avoid complying with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD)
Mandate, which took effect December 18, 2017, as long as their trucks
returned to the home bases outside the U.S. every night. And there is a
bit of truth to that — but only a part.
The ELD Mandate does grant a waiver to certain trucks that return to
their base each night if you comply with either of the short-haul
exemptions. So, a Canadian driver that begins the day at home base,
crosses into the U.S., and then returns home by the day’s end might
qualify for an ELD waiver if other waiver conditions are also met.
But, realistically, the number of Canadian trucks operating in the
United States that can meet those very narrow limitations every single
day they’re operated is quite small. So, for all practical purposes,
trucks and drivers from Canada are responsible for running ELD-compliant
However, there’s really not much new there. Canadian commercial
trucks and drivers operating in the U.S. have been required to operate
by the same rules as their U.S. counterpart for decades. That includes
adhering to the Hours of Service rules and now, the ELD Mandate. So,
while some international trucking organizations were scrambling to meet
the ELD compliance deadline, many trucks from those nations that
regularly or even occasionally roll in the U.S. they were already
Indeed, they’re just getting ahead of the game for operating back
home. Transport Canada recently targeted 2020 for implementing the
Canadian version of the ELD Mandate. The transition will be less of a
change than with the U.S. ELD Mandate already in place. Additionally,
most Canadian trucking operations are fully compliant with U.S. trucking
Transport Canada’s regulation largely mirrors those of the U.S.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Like the U.S. version, the
Canadian ELD Mandate won’t change the Hours of Service regulations, just
how drive time is recorded and reported. In the proposed rule, there is
a two-year window for compliance and a similar two-year grandfather
period for use of existing devices (AOBRDs) through 2022 (assuming the
compliance deadline will be in 2020). Canadian carriers with drivers
that cross U.S. borders still need to adhere to the U.S. ELD Mandate and
should expect additional guidance regarding the Canadian ELD rule later
MTO allows permits for smart lift axles, longer tractors for semi-trailers
TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA)
announced today that the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has officially
formalized permit programs for the use of smart lift-axles (SML) on
semi-trailers and for the use of longer tractors (up to 6.8 metre
wheel-base) pulling multi-axle semi-trailers.
The OTA has spearheaded the efforts for these initiatives for some
time. The permit process is the first step toward moving forward on
regulatory developments and expedites the opportunity for carriers to
address these technologies in a shorter timeframe, the OTA said.
“The OTA team approached MTO with a responsible plan and research
that clearly demonstrated the benefits of these technologies. We are
very happy with the outcome,” said Geoff Wood, senior v.p., Policy,
Ontario Trucking Association.
Over the next four to six weeks, the team in MTO’s Carrier Safety and
Enforcement Branch will be working toward introducing Special Vehicle
Configuration (SVC) permit regimes for both initiatives. The SML permit
regime will allow permits to be granted based on Vehicle Identification
Number(s) relating to the semi-trailer or semi-trailer sets, while Long
Wheelbase tractor permits will be distributed on a fleet basis, meaning a
single permit can be copied and utilized throughout the fleet of
tractors and semitrailers.
To move these issues forward OTA was tasked with providing extensive
and credible research and analysis including development of a full
business/environmental case, technical and safety analysis, review of
approaches and experiences in other jurisdictions and a suggested
regulatory approach for Ontario. OTA achieved this through a
collaborative effort with input from its membership, in house weights
and dimensions team and other industry experts.
“It is important to our membership that the Ontario weights and
dimensions regime allows innovation and investment in technologies that
carriers want to use, and that we can demonstrate the technologies can
be responsibly introduced in the province” said Wood.
Over the course of the next few weeks, OTA will be completing an
analysis of jurisdictions where SLA’s and the longer tractors are able
to operate. OTA members interested in receiving a copy of the analysis
or have additional questions on these initiatives can email
Two 5-axle tractor-trailers will burn a combined 280 liters of fuel on a 480-kilometer trip. A long combination vehicle will burn 170 liters.
TORONTO, Ont. — Pulling two trailers with just a single power unit is
an efficient way of moving freight. It’s not quite
two-for-the-price-of-one, but fuel and labor costs are lower on a
per-trailer basis even if equipment acquisition and operating costs are
similar. Greenhouse gas emissions are lower, too, and the overall safety
record for long combination vehicles (LCVs) is stellar.
Platoons, which would autonomously connect a series of
tractor-trailers behind one controlled by a driver, appear to offer a
future competitor, and one that may ultimately prove easier to
“Our fleet operations centre can coordinate linking opportunities,
making it possible to link two trucks virtually anywhere platooning
would be allowed,” says Josh Switkes, president and founder of Peloton
Technology, a company currently developing truck platooning technology.
“If one of your trucks is out on the road and another one is a mile
ahead of it, or a truck from another fleet is a mile ahead of it, we can
identify that opportunity, they can link up for the next few hundred
miles and then branch off to their respective destinations.”
But what about LCVs? Trucks pulling two 53-foot trailers are now a
pretty commonplace in most of Canada, even if British Columbia limits
them to specific operations. They have been in service for decades in
Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, where an array of overlength
combinations are allowed, including turnpike doubles. Quebec has allowed
them for more than 20 years now, while Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova
Scotia have close to a decade of experience. Only P.E.I., Newfoundland,
and Labrador ban them outright.
There are fewer restrictions and permit conditions in the west, which
has fostered the growth of the overlength trailer programs, but it
apparently hasn’t hampered safety. Crash statistics show turnpike
doubles are the safest configurations on the highway. In any
Perhaps that can be linked to strict rules for the operators. Ontario
mandates a 90 km/h speed limit for LCVs, while the drivers need five
years of experience. Western Canada requires two years of drivin2g
experience, but regional safety records are similar.
“I believe the LCV’s excellent safety record stems from the stringent
requirements to enter an LCV program,” says Susan Ewart, executive
director of the Saskatchewan Truck Association. “The carriers and the
drivers must have a good safety records to begin with. The driver
training combined with their previous experiences ensures that only the
best drivers and the best companies make it into the program.”
Fuel and labour
Fuel and labor costs are both significantly lower when running an LCV.
Sure, the fuel economy of an LCV is lower, but the fuel consumption
compared to using two tractors to move two trailers is about 30-35%
lower, according to four fleets that shared their competitive data on
the condition of anonymity. The associated cost saving can be easily
extrapolated from that, and this isn’t counting associated environmental
benefits such as lower greenhouse gas emissions.
One LTL carrier that shared data with Today’s Trucking referred to a
pair of LCV units that were compared to four standard tractor-trailer
units over 171 trips that ran just over 1,100 kilometers each. They
saved $53,865 in fuel.
Labor costs are lower, too, but the savings may not be as
significant. The fleets report different pay scales, ranging from
$4-per-hour premiums for LCV drivers, to turnpike double drivers who
make premiums of 14 cents per mile.
Interestingly, each of the four LCV users who spoke with us said the
configurations help cope with the general shortage of qualified drivers –
but also noted a shortage of drivers willing to transition to LCVs.
Other extra costs include the travel time and mileage to a terminal
location with highway access, where the double combinations can be
“I have to run about 25 kilometers in the wrong direction from our
facility to get to the drop yard, as we do not have direct access to the
highway,” lamented a private carrier who shared his statistics.
Granted, one of the fleets rents yard space to other operations which run LCVs. Even competitors.
If the issues were so easy to solve, you’d think the
Windsor-to-Quebec corridor would be jammed with LCVs, but it’s not, and
there’s a legitimate reason why. “We can’t always match the shippers’
schedules,” said the manager of an eastern Canadian truckload operation
that shared fuel economy data. “Operations based on the truckload
[just-in-time delivery] model don’t allow carriers to stack up trailers
to haul down the road together. You leave when it’s loaded and deliver
on time. We could do a lot better with LCVs if we had more leeway on the
timing and more cooperation from shippers on delivery times.”
An LTL carrier claimed he did a little better. “The shipments are
consolidated at our docks and shipped on as many trailers as we need. We
move them as they are loaded, working within the time restrictions. We
have to be mindful of the weight when loading trailers for LCV
combinations as the rear trailer has to be lighter than the lead.”
Carriers operating in the west have better opportunities to
consolidate their turnpike doubles on longer hauls between Winnipeg,
Calgary, and Edmonton. They are typically relayed at some midway point
and the trailers just keep moving. They don’t face the congestion or the
local operating restrictions that exist in Ontario.
None of the carriers we spoke with offer discounts to their customers
for LCV service, though. With the exception of the private and LTL
carrier, they all said they bill at standard truckload rates.
“For this to work you need high volume, high frequency, and highly
recurrent activity. Going forward, we’re going to need more engagement
with the shipper. They will have to work with us and adjust schedules to
make this work. They might not see any savings, but it might help them
avoid some increases due to congestion or labor costs,” said one of
With the looming shortage of drivers and increasingly stringent and
expensive emissions regulations headed our way, it’s ironic that more
carriers and shippers have recognized the potential in moving two
trailers with a single power unit. Public opposition to them has proven
to be almost nil. They are recognized for their safety and environmental
records. You’d think shippers would be all over that.
Then there’s the potential of platooning. But is this technology a
solution in search of a problem? When compared to the relative
simplicity of long combination vehicles, platooning starts to look like a
whole lot of effort and research money that might be better spent on
other safety and productivity technologies. While many see platooning as
a pathway to driverless vehicles, regulators have long lists of
concerns surrounding the safety of such vehicles.
When it comes to safety, an official with a U.S. truck-safety
regulatory agency recently questioned the current vehicle inspection
process of certifying that a truck safe to operate in a platoon. “We are
doing mark-and-measure brake inspections, but we have no way of
checking the reliability of the dedicated short-range communications
[DSRC] equipment on board or the adaptive cruise control systems. We are
using yesterday’s technology on vehicles that we are not well prepared
to inspect at roadside.”
Load management and braking/acceleration capability are also
concerns. Brake performance depends heavily on both the type of brakes
(disc or drum), the type of brake friction used (OEM or aftermarket),
and the physical condition of the brake system. There’s talk of
requiring inspections with performance-based brake testers rather than
the usual mark-and-measure inspection to certify a truck as
platoon-ready. Load balancing is also a concern, as brakes will perform
differently when, for example, the front of a trailer is loaded heavier
than the rear. It’s agreed that the heavier trucks should go in front of
the platoon, but there could still be a risk for the lighter truck at
the rear with poor-performing brakes.
Also on the list of concerns is driver alertness. Agencies in Canada
are studying the effect of a close following distance on driver
alertness in low-demand and monotonous environments. Some believe the
“platooning” that falls between traditional trucks and fully autonomous
models could pose more of a risk than moving immediately to driverless
“It’s counterintuitive to take drivers even partially out of the
vehicle control loop, yet ask them to remain vigilant,” one researcher
“When you add automation like a radar- or laser-based sensor system
you can dramatically reduce perception because a sensor can be much
quicker than a human,” Switkes counters. “You can even more dramatically
reduce reaction time because a computer is extremely fast compared to a
Among other concerns is the business model. Some are questioning the
wisdom of spending the research and development money on platooning when
relatively few large carriers would be in a position to practically
take advantage of the fuel savings. Even with formulas being developed
to distribute the fuel savings among participating carriers — possibly
even competitors — the savings are not much better than you’d see from a
set of trailer skirts.
“In a best-case scenario, we have seen fuel savings of 13% in a
two-truck platoon with a following distance of four metres,” says Brian
McAuliffe, a researcher with Natural Resources Canada, specializing in
aerodynamics and wind tunnel testing. “That’s obviously too close for
comfort. In realistic scenarios of eight to 19 metres, we see net
improvement of around 10% for the two vehicles.”
McAuliffe says his testing has found that fuel savings for LCVs
average out at around 28% compared to two vehicles making the same trip.
If there’s a weak link in the chain, it’s parking. While there are
numerous truck stops along most LCV designated routes, not all are
accessible. Of the truck stops that can accommodate the equipment,
finding designated parking for two-trailer units can be challenging.
Many of the service centres located along Ontario’s highways 401 and 400
have limited designated LCV parking, but it’s often occupied by non-LCV
In New Brunswick, meanwhile, Highway 2 offers no convenient roadside
pull-outs for the configurations, leaving drivers little option but to
park alongside the highway at entrance and exit ramps if they need to
New Brunswick-based driver Peter Bond says the Department of
Transportation should never have allowed LCVs on the roadways until it
had developed parking solutions.
“You see [LCVs] parked at on-ramps all the time,” he says. “That’s
just not safe, and the government knows that, yet they won’t enforce
their own guidelines on LCVs. I understand that they have to stop
somewhere, but if we can’t park them safely, they should not be out
The province’s Department of Transportation officials have approached
Murry’s Irving general manager Calvin Grant several times about
expanding his lot in Meductic, N.B, to make room for the twin-trailer
combinations. But he says it’s hard to make a business case for it.
“The LCVs can get in here, and we do accommodate them,” he says. “The
problem is I don’t have room for them. I have just expanded my parking
area by 50 spaces, and they, too, are full every night. I’m going to
designate eight lanes for LCVs [16 parking spaces in total], but they
won’t always fill up, and other drivers will park there if they see the
spots empty. I won’t be able to control that.”
While Bond’s concerns are legitimate, so are Grant’s. He expects
those additional parking spots to generate some revenue for his
business, but LCVs, he says, don’t usually buy fuel, and the drivers
don’t spend a lot of money when they stop.
In New Brunswick, it can be a long way between accessible truck stops
so the Department of Transportation should be looking at providing
parking, especially during winter months when road conditions can
deteriorate unexpectedly, Bond says, “or at least contributing to the
upkeep of some of the existing locations.”
Semi-truck rollover leaks diesel, closes southern Alberta highway
Driver not injured, cause unknown as investigation expected to take hours
Highway 9 was expected to be closed for several hours
Sunday evening, with traffic diverted to Route 570 to the south.
A semi-truck rolled over and leaked diesel fuel Sunday, shutting down
a southern Alberta highway for several hours, RCMP said in a news
RCMP were called to Highway 9 near Range Road 43, north of the town of Oyen, at about 4 p.m. Sunday.
Oyen is about 300 kilometres east of Calgary.
The truck was travelling westbound when it crashed.
"The truck was carrying liquid [nitrous oxide] tanks when it rolled," police said.
"Some of the tanks are empty, while some of the tanks are still full.
The tanks have scattered across Highway 9. The truck itself is leaking
diesel fuel. The cause of the rollover is unknown at this time and is
still under investigation."
Nearby fire departments helped RCMP with the cleanup.
Highway 9 was expected to be closed for several hours Sunday evening, with traffic diverted south, to Route 570.
The driver of the semi wasn't injured and the cause of the crash is not yet known.