TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has proposed to extend the maximum tractor wheelbase for trucks using anti-idling devices.
A notice in the provincial regulatory registry indicates the province would: increase the maximum allowable tractor wheelbase from 6.2 m (244 in.) to 7.2 m (282 in.) for vehicles classed as SPIF 1 (Safety, Productivity and Infrastructure Friendly) Designated Tractor-Trailer Combinations – i.e., single, tandem and tridem tractor/fixed axle semi-trailer configurations. Currently, all other Canadian provinces allow a longer wheelbase tractor, although all but one (Nova Scotia) only does so by special permit. (There is no maximum tractor wheelbase requirement in the US).
The changes have been greeted positively by the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA), which has been lobbying for longer wheelbases to provide truckers with greater flexibility in adding emissions-reducing equipment.
DPFs, SCR systems and APUs can occupy up to two metres of frame rail space, the association contended in discussions with the province. The OTA says it will continue lobbying the province to expand the number of configurations that qualify for longer wheelbase limits.
“MTO is moving in the right direction,” says OTA chief David Bradley. “The additional vehicles we think should also be included are consistent with the intent of the proposed regulation and share the same characteristics consistent with the criteria used to determine those vehicles that should be approved for longer wheelbases. We are hopeful MTO will take a look at this so that more vehicles can accommodate the environmental innovations.”
The proposed changes are subject to a 45-day comment period but could be implemented as early as this summer, the OTA announced.
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