At the American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition in San Diego last week, ATDynamics held a press conference to announce Canadian lawmakers have finally agreed to allow full-length trailer tails right across this great country. Well, as the asterisk in the headline denotes, Newfoundland, for reasons known only to them, is holding out. But few of you go there anyways, so it’s still great news for Canadian carriers who want to save 5% in fuel economy just like their American friends (and enemies) currently can do.
I remember meeting with ATDynamics founder and CEO Andrew Smith in the lobby of the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto four years ago, shortly after he had addressed Canadian lawmakers about the potential fuel savings that could be realized if they tweaked the regulations to allow for the use of trailer tails. He was optimistic at the time that tails would be legalized before long. Well, he now knows how slowly things move in this country when it comes to our government.
Nonetheless, I give him credit for keeping at it. Canada’s an easy market to overlook. It represents just 10% of the US market in terms of volume and because of our geographical splendor, it can be a tough market to properly serve. But ATDynamics has kept at it and pushed for changes to the laws, which finally were agreed upon in early October.
Canadian fleets have been quick to respond. Erb Group bought 350 units before the ink had dried on the MOU. Laidlaw’s getting some and I bet you’ll begin seeing many other Canadian fleets sporting tails on the back of their 53-ft. long-distance trailers. Now, while they’re at it, perhaps Canadian lawmakers will do the right thing and allow the use of modern 6×2 axle configurations – or are we asking for too much here? Some of the provinces are allowing full-sized trailers immediately, others immediately by permit and yet others are going to wait till the MOU is finalized. More details can be found here.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies