N.B. eliminates general freight quad permits

by Matthew Sylvain

MONCTON, N.B. – The New Brunswick government has stopped its quiet program of issuing permits authorizing the use of quad-axles to haul general freight at weights of up to 28,000 kilograms, 2,000 kg heavier and one axle larger than the province’s own stated limits.

Permits will continue to be issued for that configuration and weight, but only for rigs carrying raw forest products, as New Brunswick’s Department of Transportation has done for unrefined products like wood chips and logs for years.

In early August, the department of transportation had quietly begun issuing quad-axle permits, for general freight, with most going to Quebec-based, for-hire fleets.

The maximum allowable general-freight configuration in the province is tridems with weights capping out at 26,000 kg.

Ralph Boyd, APTA president, told Truck News that he has been assured by New Brunswick Minister of Transportation Margaret Ann Blaney that she is reversing the department’s new stand on the quad-axle permits, effective immediately.

The root of the problem was simple. New Brunswick-based companies hadn’t purchased quad-axles for general freight, because those configurations weren’t legally permitted in the province.

Very few New Brunswick companies would benefit from the change when the government decided to open up its roads to quads.

“By (Blaney) passing a general permit allowance, for everybody to use quads, we were at a disadvantage, just simply because we hadn’t invested in quad-configured vehicles,” says Boyd. The province has already begun spreading the news of the reversed position.

“We are in the process now of reissuing four-axle trailer permits,” said Denis Goguen, Transportation Policy Officer for the department.

“When they receive a new permit, they are notified at the same time (that the previously issued permits) are now null and void.”

Boyd contends the government’s move is good for the province and its fleets.

The holders of quad-axle permits for general-freight loads of up to 28,000 kg would have found themselves coming up short, he says.

“To my mind, when you look at the additional cost and additional maintenance,” Boyd adds, “granted you’ll get some additional payload, (but) I don’t think that that’s what carrier’s should be doing today.” n

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