EDMONTON, Alta. -- The three westernmost provinces of Canada have inked a landmark deal to harmonize truck weights and dimensions regulations.
Highlights include a 500-kg increase in steer axle weights (to 6,000 kgs) to accommodate fuel-saving technologies such as APUs and the harmonization of length and width limits for tri-drive trucks, tractors and trailer configurations, allowing fleets to standardize vehicles in western Canada. The provinces also agreed to increase length limits for A-, B- and C-train combinations by one metre, so fleets can use full-length tractors in these configurations.
B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan also harmonized pilot car rules and the provinces announced they will coordinate enforcement activities so a truck isn't subjected to three inspection blitzes as it travels through the western provinces. The provinces will also focus on "coordinated enforcement and training," they announced.
All these changes were made as part of the New West Partnership Trade Agreement and will come into effect July 1. The provinces' leaders said they will continue working together to ensure that once a truck crosses the eastern border of Saskatchewan, it will have just one set of rules to worry about all the way to the west coast. Following consultation with industry, a new set of improvements is already being worked on and is expected to be introduced by July 2012.
"Different standards, rules and regulations in each of our respective provinces create costly inefficiencies for shippers and, ultimately, their customers," said Luke Ouellette, Alberta's Minister of Transportation. "Harmonizing trucking regulations helps move people and goods more efficiently and contributes to continued economic growth and prosperity for our three provinces."
"These changes will result in more flexibility, higher productivity and lower costs for the trucking industry while still keeping our roads safe for all travellers," added B.C. Transport Minister Blair Lekstrom. "Together, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are making it easier to do business in the west."
And Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan's Minister of Highways and Infrastructure said "Export goods produced in western Canada are being trucked on the highways between our provinces every day. Through the New West Partnership our three provinces will now have consistent trucking regulations to allow for a more seamless flow of goods, with less red tape and lower costs for shippers, which ultimately leads to a more attractive investment climate."
For more information on the agreement, visit www.newwestpartnership.ca.