Trailer tails, sometimes referred to as boat tails, could soon be allowed on Canadian roads.
OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is lauding a proposal by the federal government that could pave the way for the use of full-size trailer tails in Canada.
Trailer tails, which extend off the rear of the trailer, improving airflow and fuel efficiency, are not yet allowed in Canada, despite proven fuel savings of up to 6%. The devices are increasingly popular in the US, with 10,000 units deployed there. Just this week it was announced a Canadian carrier, Groupe Trans-West, has committed to equipping its entire trailer fleet with TrailerTails from ATDynamics, even though they’ll have to be withdrawn while on Canadian highways.
The company tested the devices and since most of its miles are run in the US, it found the fuel savings were worthwhile even when the tails could only be extended while south of the border.
The proposed regulation, published in Canada Gazette Pt. 1, would allow for the manufacture and installation of extended length boat tails on commercial trailers in Canada, the CTA reports. Previously, regulators were concerned that unsafe designs could have created safety implications when the rear of a truck was struck in a crash situation.
“It was a long time coming, but we are very satisfied with the outcome,” CTA president David Bradley said of the proposed regulation, which is subject to a 75-day comment period. “Indications from the boat tail manufacturers are that the proposed standard should meet everyone’s objectives and allow carriers access to another proven technology for improving fuel efficiency and reducing GHG.”
If the proposed regulation is passed, it would then be up to the provinces to allow the devices, which could exceed current length restrictions. CTA’s Bradley said he’s “hopeful” the provinces would do so, provided the quantifiable greenhouse gas reductions they provide.
“We desperately need to avoid the kind of roadblocks that continue to be thrown up in some provinces to nation-wide use, for example, of wide-base single tires,” says Bradley. “The industry wants to reduce its carbon footprint through proven, currently available technologies and should not continue to be stymied by a lack of provincial regulatory harmonization or willingness to work with industry to find solutions that take into account environmental, safety and infrastructure considerations in a balanced approach.”
Bradley even expressed hope that the Canadian manufacturing standard could be adopted North America-wide.