Truck News


PMTC Delegates Updated on HOS, Pre-Trips

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. - Canada's new hours of service regulations probably won't be adopted until January 2005, delegates learned at the Private Motor Truck Council's annual general meeting and conference in June.

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. – Canada’s new hours of service regulations probably won’t be adopted until January 2005, delegates learned at the Private Motor Truck Council’s annual general meeting and conference in June.

Provinces won’t be able to adopt the new regulations by fall, as previously expected, explained Glenda Prudhom of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

The good news is the new hours of service regulations will include a split sleeper berth provision for single drivers, as in the HOS regulations recently adopted in the U.S.

Even better, the provision will probably parallel the 10-hour split allowed for in the U.S., Prudhom said.

“My feeling is Canada will adopt a split berth based on 10 hours rather than eight,” said the MTO insider.

Canada will also likely adopt a 34-hour reset rather than a 36-hour reset period to mesh better with the U.S., Prudhom said.

“That way you won’t have to take an extra two hours to come into Canada,” she said.

But it’s highly unlikely Canada will change its proposed 13-hour on-duty window to 11 to match our southern neighbours, she added.

“That would mean you couldn’t do a turn-around from Toronto to Montreal in one shift,” Prudhom said. “It just wouldn’t be practical.”

The Canada Gazette Part 1 version of Canada’s new hours of service rules is available at under the Hours of Service legislation icon, but has already been found to contain some inaccuracies, said Prudhom.

“Basically when the lawyers got hold of it they made some mistakes,” she said. “These will be cleared up in the Gazette II publication of the new rules.”

For a more accurate reading of the proposed new HOS rules visit the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators site at, and click on the publications and reports icon. Then click on Report Centre and scroll down to the National Safety Code heading. A more accurate draft of the final HOS rules appears under the Final Draft Hours of Service Standard – August 13, 2002 heading.

As for pre-trip inspections, they’re being beefed up with the ongoing development of the National Safety Code, according to the MTO’s Dawn Steveley.

“There’s a significant difference in the number of inspection items (there are more in the newly adopted federal safety standard), however, the new criteria moves towards defect identification as opposed to checking various systems,” Steveley said.

“An example of this is air brakes. Ontario’s current legislation requires drivers to inspect the entire air brake system, whereas the new national criteria identifies two minor and five prescribed (major) defects that the driver should be looking for. When major defects are present the driver is not to operate the vehicle.”

Minor air brake defects include an audible air leak, or slow pressure to build-up rate. Major ones include: pushrod stroke exceeding the adjustment limit, air loss rate exceeding prescribed limit for the inoperative towing vehicle (tractor) protection system, low air warning failure or system activation, and inoperative service, parking or emergency brakes.

The pre-trip inspection criteria for trucks have already been adopted nationally, but have yet to be adopted by the provinces, Stevely said. There is no projected date for provincial adoption, but British Columbia seems to be moving the most quickly, she said.

In the meantime, drivers must use the pre-trip inspection criteria required in their home provinces.

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