DAILY NEWS Jun 30, 2011 7:43 AM - 5 comments

B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan harmonize truck regs

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2011-06-30

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.


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Reader Comments

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Steve Robertson

It does not matter which province you come from each one has its fair share of junk on the road. The real issue is the D.O.T. in each juristiction has people who know what they are doing and are enforcing the regs as they are in place. In the last few years the quality of drivers and enforcement personel has declined dramaticaly. These people are not dedicated to this industry never have been never will be. Combine that with all this new phoney teck that the manufacturing companys are forced to bolt on new trucks based on phoney science and you have a formula for an unsustainable and economicaly unviable industry. The regulations that some politian,buracrat and think tank comittee cobbled together for some expedient political brochure to the public does not make it a solution where the rubber meets the road. Take into account how baddly the infrastucture has faired over the years and what effect this has had on the equipment, the constant meddling with hours of service and ever rising cost to operate and you think that politians buracrats think tankers are smart enough to to draw up a set of regulations that work for an industry that is the most critical part of any economy. And input from big fleet operators does not represent the entire industry. In most cases it is purey selfserving to shape the industry so they can compete. A questionair to all carriers at licence renewal time on their concerns as well as a viable set of regulations that are enforced on american carriers hauling canadian freight point to point in canada would be a good start in sustaining our industry. I can remember back about thirty or so years ago when I read a mission statment on the wall of a scalehouse that said something about serving and aiding the trucking who wudda thunk?

Posted July 9, 2011 11:09 AM


Wade K

The whole Canadian trucking situation is just pathetic. Now the western provinces are lengthing out, to make things even worse, plus increasing weights, and the roads are already in desperate need of repairs. So what about wheel base for 5 or 6 axle? There is more and more emission stuff on new trucks, now the weight increase to 6000kg? We need a longer wheelbase law for all of Canada. 265 inch would be about right. A longer wheelbase is so much easier to distribute weight. Afterall the Americans are allowed to haul interprovincial and cut rates, then we should be at least be able to stretch out! The three western provinces are increasing overall length to 41 metres, and yet we can't go over 244 in wheel base??? Take a look in the west. Oilfield, logging and agriculture you can do whatever you want. Well what about the rest of us? A very poor system

Posted July 3, 2011 11:23 PM


Darrin M

Both Brent and John have missed the point about the New West Partnership Trade Agreement. Governments are trying to harmonize regulations and make it seamless when crossing between juristictions. Its not a "my way is best" its a "lets come up with the best solution" for all.
There is going to be a lot of house keeping and a lot of reflection of "does this regulation need to be - or should we modernize it?" All the provinces have both good and bad points when it comes to trucking. One set of rules across the board would make sense. As one who sat in on an input meeting for this very subject, what they are proposing makes perfect sense in theory. Quit waving your flags for your provinces saying "our way is best" and start coming up with reasons why it is better, or how can we make it better across the board. I too have held a license in both provinces and trucked my fair share of highways in over 20 years of being involved, in everything from dry van to oil patch. There needs to be a revamp in all the industry and maybe this will get the ball rollin to something bigger.

Posted July 1, 2011 07:05 PM


John Idington

Really? Are you serious? I take it you are from BC the land of over regulation designed to make the Provincial goverment a fist full of money? You state one case, may I remind you that it was, I believe last year, that a load of logs rolled off a logging truck on Hwy 1 around Chilliwack crushing 2 cars to say nothing of the occupants. Your much vaunted rules and regulations were where then? Have you been in Vancouver and seen the equipment running in that area? Perhaps instead of campaining against Alberta you could convince your own province to drastically improve your roads, say the trans-canada highway? Would this be too much to ask? Or have you not traveled this route? I would further suggest that if you feel this strongly you stay out of Alberta and all the dangers you see here. Having held a licence in both Provinces and driven many miles on both thier roads I do not see your argument as valid. I also take you have not heard of CVSA 2010? All carriers will be revealed by this system, whether you agree with it or not.

Posted June 30, 2011 03:33 PM


Brent McGillis

God help us! If this is an idea cooked up in Alberta, then it can only equal a severe deterioration of trucking standards in the other two provinces. Alberta is without question the worst province I have ever driven in when it comes to the pieces of Junk you see rolling down the highway. You can put any piece of dung on the road in Alberta. Just last week we seen a 3/4 ton truck with some kind of hacked together homemade wheel-lift contraption hauling a car with vehicle half hanging out of the spoons, with no wheel straps and no safety chains. As it drove right by the cops. Alberta knows how to do only one thing. "Do it on the cheap". When it comes to vehicle safety, that simply is not acceptable. This can only result in a lower quality of safety on B.C.'s highways. B.C. has some of the best trucking regulations, and Alberta has to be just about DEAD LAST in Canada when it comes to regulations. But even worse is the fact that Alberta is without question the worst province in Canada for enforcing vehicle satety regulations, period. If this is some kind of hair brained made in Alberta scheme, it can only equal more people being killed in traffic accidents caused by garbage equipment rolling down the road that does not meet even the poorest of standards, and with terrible maintenance. It is a shame because, there are for the most part good operators running legitimate companies that really are concerned with safety. But in Alberta where absolutely everything is deregulated and done on the cheap, which means far too few inspectors and a totally lax methodology to educating eforcers such as the police departments, this can only result in a low quality product when it comes to safety. If you want to know how out of touch the transportation department is in Alberta here is a case in point. A grandmother gets run over by a car at a intersection directly in front of a school, in a unmarked crosswalk in Edmonton. This story was picked up by all the local media. The "debate" is about whether or not the driver should be charged since it was in the morning during school hours, in a school zone, on the front steps this woman was run over walking her grandaughter to school crossing at the intersection sidewalk properly. What debate. The driver should be charged. This is the low quality of police officers that the Alberta Government is turning out. How odd, since the minister of Employment Thomas Lukaszuk was a witness, he showed no emotion or outrage at this event. Following Alberta's lead on anything related to safety will prove to be in the long run a "critical mistake" for the other provinces. Alberta cares about ONE THING, Insurance industry profits. Safety is the last concern for Alberta. You can kill as many people as you want in Alberta, so long as the private Insurance Industry is allowed to JACK everyones rate through the roof. If it is a product of the government in Alberta, that means it was made on the "cheap". De-regulation of industry rewards consistantly bad performers and burdens the rest of the industry with high insurance rates and penalties, because they are competing with companies who have an unfair advantage because they simply do not invest the time and money necessary to maintain proper fleet safety.
If the Alberta transportation department cannot even gaurantee the safety of a grandmother walking her grandaughter to school, then how in the hell is it going to gaurantee the safety of millions of motorists every single day on our streets and highways? Simple, it cannot, and it does not care anyways, she did not work for a large insurance company, plain and simple.

Posted June 30, 2011 10:22 AM


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