There’s Strength In Numbers For Alberta Construction Truckers
January 1, 2010
Last month, Truck West reported that the province of Alberta was deferring gross vehicle weight reductions on non-RTAC trailers and pups. The announcement was seen as a major accomplishment for the Al...
Last month, Truck West reported that the province of Alberta was deferring gross vehicle weight reductions on non-RTAC trailers and pups. The announcement was seen as a major accomplishment for the Alberta Construction Trucking Association (ACTA). My name is Ron Singer and I am the current president of the ACTA. Truck West has agreed to allow me to write a column that will address the many issues facing the construction trucking industry in Alberta and across Western Canada.
First, let me give you some information on my personal background.
I was born and raised in Calgary, Alta. and groomed by a trucking icon; Mr. Ron Singer -number one dad and owner of R. Singer Trucking. I came from a large trucking family.
I am a second generation trucker grooming the third and fourth generations. My career in the trucking industry started with washing, fueling, servicing and parking any one of my father’s 100-plus gravel trucks.
I began my truck driving experience by stockpiling gravel in the local gravel pits until I was old enough to obtain my driver’s licence. I then graduated from truck driver to driver-trainer, mechanic, welder, dispatcher and manager until my dad retired in the early 70s.
I started my own trucking company in the early 70s, hauling many different truck and trailer combinations across North America. I figure I have at least four million (almost incident-free) miles under my belt over the last 40 years.
I currently operate one of five different pieces of earth-moving equipment and one of at least six different configurations of heavy truck and trailer equipment, travelling 100,000-plus miles per year with a clean Class 1 licence (knock on wood).
In addition to running my trucking company, Ron Singer Truck Lines, I have served the industry and community as a director for the: Alberta Gravel Truckers Association; the ACTA; the Canadian Dump Truck Federation; the Canadian Owner/Operators’ Co-op; the Alberta Trucking Industry Safety Association; the Alberta Motor Transport Association; and the Shepard Community Association.
I have been representing the trucking industry in many capacities for the past 25 years and my goal in this column is to interact with members from all sectors of the trucking industry. I hope to provoke your thoughts, comments, opinions and advice.
But for starters, I want to discuss some recent accomplishments of the ACTA. One of the things we’ve been successful at is lobbying the federal, provincial and municipal governments’ weights and measures committees and engineers to increase gross vehicle weights for specific configurations used by the construction trucking industry.
We’ve had many successes. For example, we received a gross vehicle weight increase on front axles from 5,500 kgs to 7,300 kgs (9,100 kgs in B.C.).We also lobbied for and received GVW increases on seven-axle quad configurations from 53,500 kgs to 55,300 kgs.
If you operate a configuration that was affected by the increases, you will enjoy a gross revenue increase of about $20,000 per year for each configuration.
ACTA has also lobbied the federal and provincial governments for several specific configurations: truck and tri-axle wagon (six-axle); truck and quad wagon (seven-axle); tri-drive truck and quad wagon, super quad (eight-axle); tractor and double trailer, Super-B (eight-axle); tractor and double trailer, reverse Super-B (eight axle); truck and tri-pup (six axle); tri-drive truck and tri-pup (seven-axle); tractor and tridem E/D (six-axle); and tri-drive tactor and tridem E/D (seven-axle).
ACTA has also convinced regulators to reduce the axle spacing between the axle groups to allow for better maneuverability at construction sites.
Every one of those configurations provides a direct payback for our industry on a daily basis with every load they’re used to haul.
The recent announcement about non-RTAC trailer weights was just the latest of many victories for our association. Our members also benefit from a fuel rebate program we have secured with Chevron. Another thing we do at ACTA is conduct an annual rate survey for all configurations across Alberta.
The contractors look forward to receiving it on an annual basis so they know what to charge or pay their hired trucks.
ACTA has also developed a Code of Ethics and standards for our members to follow which will help distinguish them from the rest of the industry. But most importantly, ACTA provides a regular forum for our members to meet, network, discuss and develop strategies to tackle the many challenges our industry faces.
Over the coming months, I’ll be using this space to discuss many of the issues facing our industry. I look forward to your comments, concerns and suggestions. Till next month, catch you later!
-Ron Singer is owner of Ron Singer Truck Lines and president of the Alberta Construction Trucking Association. He can be reached at 403-244-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.ACTA’s Web site is www.myacta.ca.
‘If You Operate A Configuration That Was Affected By The (Weight) Increases, You Will Enjoy A Gross Revenue Increase Of About $20,000 Per Year.’