Boat tails one step closer to reality

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OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is lauding a proposal by the federal government that could pave the way for the use of full-size trailer tails in Canada.

Trailer tails, which extend off the rear of the trailer, improving airflow and fuel efficiency, are not yet allowed in Canada, despite proven fuel savings of up to 6%. The devices are increasingly popular in the US, with 10,000 units deployed there. Just this week it was announced a Canadian carrier, Groupe Trans-West, has committed to equipping its entire trailer fleet with TrailerTails from ATDynamics, even though they’ll have to be withdrawn while on Canadian highways.

The company tested the devices and since most of its miles are run in the US, it found the fuel savings were worthwhile even when the tails could only be extended while south of the border.

The proposed regulation, published in Canada Gazette Pt. 1, would allow for the manufacture and installation of extended length boat tails on commercial trailers in Canada, the CTA reports. Previously, regulators were concerned that unsafe designs could have created safety implications when the rear of a truck was struck in a crash situation.

“It was a long time coming, but we are very satisfied with the outcome,” CTA president David Bradley said of the proposed regulation, which is subject to a 75-day comment period. “Indications from the boat tail manufacturers are that the proposed standard should meet everyone’s objectives and allow carriers access to another proven technology for improving fuel efficiency and reducing GHG.”

If the proposed regulation is passed, it would then be up to the provinces to allow the devices, which could exceed current length restrictions. CTA’s Bradley said he’s “hopeful” the provinces would do so, provided the quantifiable greenhouse gas reductions they provide.

“We desperately need to avoid the kind of roadblocks that continue to be thrown up in some provinces to nation-wide use, for example, of wide-base single tires,” says Bradley. “The industry wants to reduce its carbon footprint through proven, currently available technologies and should not continue to be stymied by a lack of provincial regulatory harmonization or willingness to work with industry to find solutions that take into account environmental, safety and infrastructure considerations in a balanced approach.” 

Bradley even expressed hope that the Canadian manufacturing standard could be adopted North America-wide.


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  • Did it occur to the person whom posted this that a (picture) would have been a good idea for people who have no idea what it looks like

  • Hats off to Mr. Bradley and the CTA! This is a great device from anything that I’ve heard and will not only save trucking companies and brokers money but also reduces our emissions. Along with trailer skirts and other devices, this is a a big step forward and a competitive advantage to the prudent. Hopefully, the provinces will get on board sooner than later.

  • As if trailers are not long enough for drivers to already deal with. This is just another dumb item engineered by people who don’t drive for a living , and with truckstop parking that has everyone wedged into their parking spots it will just be another item that gets smashed and trashed. 53′ trailers were the dumbest thing ever allowed. Nothing like having a trailer that has 8′ empty in the back 95% of the time ! And if it does get cubed out it’s usually with cheap paying popcorn freight. I wonder how much fuel is wasted by everyone running around with 53’s instead of 48’s ? Has anyone ever calculated the Insurance costs of 53’s when you see the amount of damage incurred in tight truck stop parking spots especially when the tandems are set at the California 40′ mark and you see the classic tail swing manoeuvre wipe the hood off the truck it was parked beside. I used air tabs on my trailer they were simple to install, effective, non intrusive to the operation of the trailer and didn’t require government permission to install. As for my opinion on David Bradley if you have nothing good to say about someone, say nothing !