The Ministry of Transportation’s Aggregate Industry Working Group – which OTA is a part of – continues to make progress at resolving outstanding weights and dimensions compliance issues of the aggregate sector.
The Group, which is comprised of shippers, carriers, equipment suppliers and MTO, recently met to discuss efforts underway to develop a database system that will be used by enforcement and shippers to determine gross and axle weight allowances for each vehicle transporting aggregate in the province.
“MTO is showing strong leadership with this initiative. The longstanding view that overloaded trucks in the gravel sector are acceptable must come to end. This project, if realized, will be a significant step forward in ensuring compliance by all shippers and carriers in the gravel sector,” said Geoff Wood, VP, Policy, OTA.
The database concept, funded by MTO and supported by aggregate shippers and carriers, is now in its prototype phase and will assign a unique identifier to each truck, tractor and trailer in the province that is involved in the transportation of aggregate.
Although there are many complexities to the aggregate shipping issue, the database will provide enough intelligence to support more fact-based decisions and accountability in the future.
The plan calls for a phased-in approach to measure-up the specifications and weight allowances for vehicles involved in the aggregate sector and enter that information into the secure database. Aggregate shippers will then be able access the database to determine the proper amount and weight of aggregate that can be loaded on a specific vehicle and verify compliance before it leaves the pit.
Those vehicles that are properly spec’d and maintained will continue to maximize their productivity and operate at full SPIF weights, while those that are not will be assigned an allowable gross weight as well as allowable axle weights.
The complexity of the database will also continue to serve as an educational tool for shippers and carriers in the aggregate business to assist with proper loading of these vehicles. The new system provides more accountability while identifying the vehicle designs and models that could benefit from the necessary enhancements required to make them compliant.
OTA will continue to keep the membership updated as this issue progresses. OTA members with questions can email – operations&[email protected].