Enforcement of SPIF override rules to be delayed

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation will once again delay enforcement of the rules for emergency lift axle override controls in Safe, Productive, Infrastructure-Friendly (SPIF) equipment configurations.

Such controls allow self-steering axles to be lifted from inside the cab during emergencies, but the underlying requirements have proven to be an engineering challenge for suppliers.

Enforcement is now being deferred until Dec. 31, 2023.

SPIF lift axle
Ontario’s SPIF configurations make use of self-steering lift axles. (Wheel Monitor photo)

Under the SPIF rules, the axles will need to lift as soon as the switch is activated, and the override must be limited to speeds of less than 60 km/h. The controls must also be limited to the forward self-steering axle on a semi-trailer, or a truck’s self-steering axle or forced-steer auxiliary pusher axle. The self-steering axle must fully deploy when the truck stops, when power is turned off, or withing three minutes of the switch being activated.

The increased complexity of digital dashboards has made it more difficult to introduce such a switch, which would not be required in other jurisdictions.

“The ministry will be seeking to adjust the regulation to allow for an alternative solution in keeping with the spirit of the regulation,” director Jennifer Elliott writes in a letter distributed to Canadian Transportation Equipment Association (CTEA) members.

“A regulatory registry posting proposing to change the manufacturing application date for emergency lift axle override switches from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2024 [to accommodate those who purchased equipment during that time], and adjust the wording to allow for an alternative solution in keeping with the spirit of the regulation will be posted in the new year for public review.”

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