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Province to restrict equipment for road tests

TORONTO, Ont. - Ontario will soon restrict the equipment that can be used in road tests, Ontario Transportation Minister David Turnbull has told the Ontario Trucking Association. And the province will...


'THINGS HAPPEN': Pre-trip inspections could soon reflect the realities of on-road failures, David Turnbull says. (Photo by John G. Smith)
'THINGS HAPPEN': Pre-trip inspections could soon reflect the realities of on-road failures, David Turnbull says. (Photo by John G. Smith)

TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario will soon restrict the equipment that can be used in road tests, Ontario Transportation Minister David Turnbull has told the Ontario Trucking Association. And the province will also pilot new pre-trip inspection rules that recognize the reality of breakdowns on the road.

Addressing the association’s annual convention, Turnbull said the ministry wants wannabe truckers to be tested in equipment such as the rigs they’ll actually drive on the job. “We want to stop the practice of people showing up for a Class 8 road test with a pick-up and a horse trailer.”

Changes to such rules are expected to come next month.

The recent doubling of the number of licence examiners (with 184 new employees) will also reduce test backlogs and expand testing schedules into evenings and weekends, he said. “The problem will not be solved overnight, but when we double (and train the new inspectors), the problem will be solved.”

The province is also looking at changes to pre-trip inspection rules, to recognize that “things happen” on the road,” he said. “Ontario is going to pilot this new national standard.”

There may even be movement in the harmonization of weights and dimensions that Ontario has blocked for years.

“My officials are meeting weekly,” he says, referring to negotiations with Quebec. “I hope by the end of the year we’ll have a deal. I’m pretty confident in it.” n

Clement pledges Drive Clean improvements

TORONTO, Ont. – While it has stumbled out of the gates, Ontario’s plans to mandate emission tests for trucks are on track, Environment Minister Tony Clement has told the annual meeting of the Ontario Trucking Association.

“There were some, shall we say problems with the start-up on the heavy-duty side,” says Clement. Specifically, there wasn’t enough testing equipment available for a planned September start-up. A 90-day transition period has since been set up until Jan. 15, after which time all of the province’s heavy duty trucks more than three years old will have to pass the emission test before having plates renewed.

There are 300 accredited testing facilities and 410 pending applications, Clement added, referring also to the addition of nine full-time Smog Patrol officers. The Smog Patrol has conducted 3,800 pre-inspections and issued 522 tickets for gross emitters. n


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