60ft truck trailer

OTA Finalizes Position on 60-foot Trailers

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The Ontario Trucking Association finalized its position on the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) development of a 60-foot trailer permit program (formally known as extended semi-trailers) and provided feedback as part of the ministry’s ongoing consultations.

MTO released a detailed proposal earlier this year that will keep 60-foot trailers in a tightly controlled permit environment and special vehicle configuration regime (SVC). In addition, based on information and recommendations made in an OTA sponsored regulatory impact assessment this past summer, the OTA Board also proposed that the following enhancements be made to the MTO program prior to its expansion:

  • In addition to entry qualifications proposed by MTO, carriers must be screened for Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) compliance, like the screening of carriers in the Ontario LCV permit program;
  • Based on the large dimensions of 60’ trailers and their excessive front trailer outswing, drivers must receive more comprehensive and structured training and evaluation than currently described in the proposed conditions;
  • To address HTA legal requirements related to the SVC permit regime, and to ensure drivers are not dispatched to locations on a ‘trial and error’ basis, program conditions must include a requirement that a responsible employee assess the suitability of each destination location for 60’ trailers, retain a copy of the assessment on file, and ensure drivers and dispatchers have access to assessment results;
  • To ensure that new carriers properly train drivers and assess destination locations, they should be required to submit an operational plan to MTO setting out how they will deliver driver training, how they will assess destination locations, and how they will communicate assessment results to drivers and other staff;
  • Based on their experience and considerable investment in program development, all years of experience of the limited number of trial participants should be recognized when slotting them into the graduated entry schedule.

The results of the impact assessment also determined that 60’ trailer usage will be limited to niche applications and have limited uptake, due to:

  • 60’ trailer’s suitability for only light, bulky freight;
  • The expectation that they will not be able to operate internationally;
  • The need for day cab tractors which are typically suitable only for shorter haul movements;
  • The inability of 60’ trailers to access some locations due to their size;
  • The inflexibility of operating non-standard tractors and trailers;
  • Additional driver training, destination assessments, and administrative requirements associated with operating within a permit regime; and
  • Comparing the 60’ trailer program to the known experiences of the somewhat similar LCV program.

OTA will be working with MTO over the coming months to finalize the details of the permit program and provide application details when they become available.

 

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