The Ontario Trucking Association has written the transportation critics of the provincial Liberal and NDP parties to clarify the issue of SPIF (Safe, Productive and Infrastructure Friendly) compliance in the dump truck sector.
Representatives of both the NDP and Liberal Party issued statements of support for the Don’t Dump on Us” campaign, launched by a segment of the dump truck carrier community that opposes the last phase of the SPIF vehicle regulation coming into force.
SPIF modernization began over two decades ago with a purpose to ensure trucks are designed to operate safely, while protecting the provincial and municipal investments in road infrastructure and to ensure properly designed and built vehicles are able to take advantage of maximum productivity to support Ontario’s economy.
Since 2000, different groups of commercial vehicles were addressed in four separate phases of the program. Grandfather protection was provided for each group of vehicles, for carriers big and small, to allow them to live out their useful life cycle.
OTA explained that grandfathering for the last phase of vehicles, primarily dump trucks, which was announced 10 years ago, giving operators of those trucks plenty of time to comply with the regulations and more than equitable treatment based on the compliance of all other commercial vehicles – whose owners began business planning and budgeting years in advance to determine whether to replace, retrofit or modify or operate at reduced weights to ensure they remain safe and Ontario’s infrastructure investments are protected.
“Because of how the SPIF grandfathering was approached, which allowed vehicles to reach at least 15 years of age, operators and manufacturers were provided significant time to adjust to the new regime, recoup investment in existing equipment and plan their own transitions,” OTA wrote, noting that, additionally, MTO still offers special permits to extend grandfathering beyond 2020 for any truck or trailer that has not reached 15 years of age.
Beyond drastically reducing wear and tear of pavement infrastructure, one of the essential goals of SPIF vehicles, OTA notes, was to meet nationally accepted performance standards to ensure a satisfactory level of stability, controllability and braking capability to increase roadway safety.
OTA also informed the parties of how the association represents carriers of various sizes and sectors. OTA has represented the trucking industry at Queen’s Park since 1926. The membership today consists of over 500 trucking companies, the largest percentage of which would be considered small to mid-size family businesses.
“Our board consists of over 70 companies involved in multiple sectors. Based on the composition of OTA’s membership, our board has a large concentration of representatives who own and operate small to mid-size businesses. As such, our association’s positions reflect the concerns of all sizes of carriers – large, small and everything in between.”
OTA invited the ministers to engage with OTA to learn more facts about the SPIF regulations and the dump truck sector’s substantial timeframe to comply with the essential regulation.