HUNGRY?: Getting stopped at the Balzac weight scale wasn't all bad on Aug. 9, as the AMTA and inspection officers served up breakfast.
BALZAC, Alta. – After six months of revamping the Partners in Compliance (PIC) program, the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) is putting the final touches on the program’s revival.
The AMTA and Alberta’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Branch (CVEB) teamed up to host a breakfast at the Balzac weigh scales north of Calgary on Aug. 9, providing insight into the program’s redevelopment.
The weigh station breakfast has become an annual event for the partnership and this year Lane Kranenburg, PIC director, delivered the information session; served up alongside the pancakes, sausages and scrambled eggs.
“We’re reintroducing Partners in Compliance to the industry and it’s a program of excellence,” Kranenburg told the early morning crowd. “The reporting process will be simplified, it used to be reams of monthly paperwork and now it will be quarterly electronic reporting.”
A cumbersome monthly reporting process is one of the reasons PIC fell to the wayside in 2003.
Initiated in 1993, the program was launched in 1996 and it did not take long before participating carriers were looking for more of a return on their time and investment as PIC members. The AMTA eventually parted ways with the program and turned its administration duties over to Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation.
With the hiring of Kranenburg in February, the AMTA realigned itself with the PIC program. The program’s new director has spent his time during the last six months fine-tuning the program and initiating some incentives that aim to make the program more attractive to carriers.
One of the new features of the program will allow carriers participating in the PIC program to bypass all 12 weigh stations in Alberta.
“There will be a 5% requirement to stop for a CVSA equipment inspection,” noted Kranenburg. “So you’ll only have to stop five times every 100 that you pass a scale and it’s just a method of keeping everyone honest.”
The bypass system will be operated through on-board transponders equipped on PIC trucks. Receptive poles will be constructed about 500 metres from each weigh station.
The transponder will hold information about the approaching truck, including the vehicle identification number, the licence plate number, carrier name, PIC status and GVW of the truck.
This information is then relayed to the weigh station.
“The inspection officer will be able to see a picture of the truck and the VIN number,” noted Kranenburg.
If everything is in standing order, a green light will be displayed on the truck’s transponder and the driver can continue down the highway at full speed.
Construction of the receptor poles and full operation of the system is expected to be in full swing by the end of November.
As well as providing quarterly insight into safety issues for a fleet, PIC members will also qualify for financial benefits.
“Companies will be able to apply for the top level of WCB rates,” commented Kranenburg.
About 60 people attended the breakfast with a cross section of drivers, fleet owners, safety managers, insurance representatives and enforcement officers, which Kranenburg noted are all the people involved that will help make the program successful.
Kranenburg mentioned he has received a positive response from the industry on his work with the PIC program and ultimately he would like to see it spread beyond the Alberta borders to increase its benefits.
The standards to qualify as a PIC member are pretty much in line with the National Safety Code and after working out most of the issues with re-introducing the program, Kranenburg is set to begin accepting applications from interested companies.