MTO Exploring Special Permits for New Car Carrier Configurations

When the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), was passed in 2015 it amended certain aspects of the US Interstate regulations pertaining to the Stinger-Steer Auto Transporter, including regulated Overall Length, Front Load and Rear Load Overhang limits.

In early 2016, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) indicated it had received requests from US and Canadian automotive interests to harmonize with newly established US limits by making changes to the Vehicle Weight and Dimensions (VWD) regulations in Ontario.

After consultation with OTA and other industry groups, MTO examined balancing the operational challenges of the larger configurations with the potential economic benefits of having these vehicles operate on Ontario’s roads. This includes a two-tier approach where, besides an extended length vehicle, allowances for additional front and rear overhang of existing stinger-steer auto haulers are also recognized.

In a white paper issued last week, MTO outlines a slow and measured permit based approach toward introducing these vehicles with strict monitoring and oversight. This policy approach will allow the province to properly evaluate the on-road performance of these vehicles while allowing the common road user to become accustomed to the operation of these vehicles. It will also allow carriers time to transition to the new vehicles from both an operational and economic standpoint. A similar approach was taken in other permit programs such as the Long Combination Vehicle (LCV) Program and the Extended Semitrailer Trial.

OTA will continue to work with its member carriers and MTO over the course of the next few months to work through the details of the white paper and develop a responsible approach to this issue.

“OTA and MTO will continue to explore ways to improve the efficiency of Ontario’s trucking configurations while balancing the needs of public safety and respecting current investments in trucking equipment by Ontario fleets, who employ thousands of Ontarians,” added said OTA president Stephen Laskowski

OTA members interested in more details on this initiative and a copy of the white paper can email weights&dimensions@

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