by Rob Penner

When will Canada and the provinces put their words into actions. We say we are serious about the environment, yet there is tried and true technology that we as responsible business people cannot legally deploy in our fleet.

There are several technologies that are having significant positive impacts on fuel economy in the USA that are either illegal here in Canada and/or the provinces, or they have been modified to the point where the true benefit has been eliminated.

Wide-based tires: We can improve fuel economy by 3-5% and save on GVW, but have to give up payload to use them domestically across the country. Doesn’t work for the shipper, hence we can’t spec it.

Boat tails: Fleets south of the border are touting 5-8% fuel savings with the 48-inch tails, but we can’t deploy them. There is a shorter Canadian-approved version, but the fuel savings are muted accordingly. I am not sure how those hollow collapsible devices pose a danger to the public, but because they violate a length law that never contemplated the benefits, this is what we get.

And then there’s 6X2’s, which I am sure you’ve read about recently. Again, we have the opportunity to knock 400 pounds off the truck and win back 5% fuel economy, but the technology has been deemed illegal. Given it only shifts weight when it senses slippage at low speeds, it is ridiculous that this technology is thought of as a lift or tag axle.

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