GREEN LIGHT: FERIC has been studying tire pressure control systems for some time.
VICTORIA, B.C. – The province of B.C. has approved the use of automated tire pressure control systems, allowing companies to extend their hauling season during spring load restriction periods.
Contractors who haul for forestry, oil and gas and mining companies will be able to continue trucking through part of the previously closed season, thanks to the provincial government’s go-ahead.
“This new policy will permit hauling during part of the spring load restriction periods, while protecting the province’s road infrastructure,” said B.C. Transportation Minister, Kevin Falcon. “B.C.’s forest, mining and oil and gas industries will achieve increased cost savings and improved product quality as a result of increased access to back roads during the spring thaw ban. Workers will benefit from an extended employment season.”
Previously, back roads would be closed to large trucks during the spring thaw season, however, research has proven that a slight reduction in the truck’s tire air pressure has reduced the amount of damage caused to the road bed. Truckers can use the system to automatically reduce and increase tire pressures to pre-set levels throughout the course of the trip.
“The new system is an example of how innovative technology can be used to enhance the safety of our roads and highways for B.C. industries,” said Solicitor General Rich Coleman. “At the same time, my ministry staff will have the means and information needed to maintain road safety for all users. We will also be able to ensure that our resource roads are not significantly damaged by inappropriate use during the spring thaw, thus saving taxpayers money on rehabilitation costs.”
The Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC) has lobbied for the approval of automated tire pressure control systems after studying the benefits for some time.
“We believe this is an excellent opportunity to gain more working hours for truckers while reducing the size and cost of log yard inventories carried through the spring load restriction period,” said Allan Bradley, senior transportation researcher at the FERIC.
Pilot programs conducted in 2001 and 2003 showed forestry companies saved up to $200,000 over a four week period.
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