REGINA, Sask. – The Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) was pleased with its lobbying efforts in 2016, and believes the progress it has seen as a result will set an optimistic tone for the current year.
Advocating for single wide-base tire and tractor wheelbase permits, as well as the hauling of livestock in long combination vehicles (LCVs), the STA said lobbying efforts became a more of a focal point when Susan Ewart came on board as executive director last April, as the association wanted to become ‘a force to be reckoned with.’
Bringing other associations and industry groups into the fold, the STA said it has made some big steps as it moves into 2017 in an effort to create a more productive and competitive trucking industry in Saskatchewan.
Single wide-base tires was one of those efforts, as it was for other jurisdictions, like Alberta, where a pilot project administered by the government and Alberta Motor Transport Association is currently underway.
The STA indicated that through its proposal to allow for the use of new generation ‘super singles’ in the province, it had received correspondence from the minister of highways and infrastructure, David Marit, that they too are considering a pilot permit program to operate single wide-base tires at 4,250 kg per tire on Highway 1, 11 and 16.
The ministry will conduct a review of the impact and costs associated with the increased weight, in addition to other issues with the use of super singles, including operating on urban streets and accessing facilities not adjacent to provincial highways.
The ministry will meet with the STA’s governance committee to finalize the pilot program and review any potential issues.
Tractor wheelbase permits were another matter the STA tackled through its lobbying efforts.
Submitting a letter to the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure in early November 2016 regarding updates to the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Memorandum of
Understanding on interprovincial weights and dimensions, the STA said the latest amendment includes a provision to allow longer wheelbase truck tractors in a B-train configuration.
A wheelbase permit system is expected to be in place early this year.
The STA said it did push for a regulatory amendment as opposed to a permit system, and indicated the ministry has agreed to consider the move in the next amendment to the vehicle weight and dimensions regulations update sometime in 2017.
Small livestock animals can now be hauled in LCVs, part of an updated permit condition under the cargo restrictions for A and C trains.
Pigs, goats, poultry and sheep are allowed to be transported in the lead trailer only (either trailer for B trains), while larger animals such as cattle, horses and bison are not permitted in either trailer.
“The STA has been successful in making sure the provincial government knows exactly how big a role our members play in the economy in Saskatchewan” said Ewart. “Our focus throughout 2017 will be working with the other provincial associations in the New West Trade Partnership to ensure regulatory bodies make good on past commitments. We are already seeing good traction on those files, so we are expecting 2017 to be a very productive year.”
The STA said Saskatchewan is the first western province to update its energy efficient motor vehicles (EEMV) permits to reflect the needs of livestock haulers.
The association also said it is proud to have its hands in all things trucking in Saskatchewan, and would continue to do so in 2017.
“We are all here for the members, that is the bottom line,” said STA membership development and services coordinator Russ Turgeon. “If you are a member of the STA, we are working hard each and every day to make it easier for you to run a productive, safe and profitable business in Saskatchewan.”