More praise for mandatory speed limiters

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Dear Editor,

The OTA wants speed limiters on trucks and Quebec want it on TDG Haulers. How great this news is. What’s regrettable is that it should have been instituted about 20 years ago. Let me cite three reasons why this only makes sense.

First the historical perspective – about 20 years ago the Ontario government had an excellent program called Truck Save. It centered on driving at 90 km/h, progressive shifting, aerodynamic trucks, fuel savings (the Kenworth T600, air shields, fairing packages and so on). The big debate was to run 90 km/h or 100 km/h. Looking at this solely from a driver perspective (and many bosses fell into this trap as well) running 90 increases my work day by 10 per cent. That’s absolute utter balderdash.

My employer then had a run twice weekly from Varennes, Que. to Bramalea, Ont. I remember asking the driver (we had a policy of 90 km/h) to time his run on the first run of the week at 90 km/h. Then I asked him to redo the run on the second trip, and to run at 100 km/h for as long as he could but to not break any speed limits. The difference was 20 minutes each way. Think of this for one second – from the south shore of Montreal, through the Montreal expressways, through the top end of Toronto, all for 20 minutes. So what’s the rush? Today, I have a customer with 40 identical tractors.

They all run the same routes with the same payloads. But 20 units used to be management-controlled. The other 20 were driver controlled. The managed fleet was averaging between 7.8 and 8.25 mpg Canadian. And the driver controlled fleet was averaging 5.90 mpg. Do the math any way you want, that’s money.

The other important reason to control the speeds is that the fuel curves on the newer engines are not “as tolerant” or as “fuel friendly” as in the past. Get out of the “sweet spot” and it’s brutally expensive.

Peter Roy Paccar Leasing Company, Montreal

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