TORONTO, Ont. — Beginning Jan. 1, Ontario is removing its track width restrictions for trailers using wide-base single tires – a victory for Ontario-based carriers who can now use the fuel-efficient tires with fewer restrictions.
The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has been lobbying for the change, and hopes the latest victory could pave the way for a new national agreement. The announcement comes on the heels of a declaration earlier this year that axle weight penalties would be removed when using wide-base single tires in Ontario.
Carriers in Ontario will now be able to spec’ trailers that can use either super-singles or traditional duals, making it easier to switch between the two types of tires. Because weight allowances for wide-base singles vary from region to region in Canada, carriers are finding a need to switch between the two types of tires rather than face prohibitive weight restrictions in some jurisdictions.
This was complicated in Ontario thanks to wheelbase requirements on new trailers that would require a wider (83.5-inch) axles for trailers with wide-base singles to meet the new 2.5-metre minimum wheelbase requirement. Trailers with duals would be spec’d with an axle of 77.5-inches.
OTA has convinced the MTO that beginning Jan. 1, semi-trailers built in 2010 and thereafter and equipped with wide-base tires will be able to operate at a track width of 2.45m to 2.65m rather than 2.5m to 2.6m, as the new law requires under Regulation 413/05. Now carriers can spec’ a trailer to use both single and dual tires and still comply.
Carriers will, however, have to dole out permit fees ($300 per trailer or $1,000 per fleet) to take advantage of the change initially. By summer of 2010, however, OTA is hopeful the change will be made permanent with no permit requirements.
“This is an important step forward for the industry in implementing GHG-reducing tire technologies, while at the same time allowing carriers more flexibility in spec’ing equipment,” said OTA chief David Bradley.
The OTA is now hopeful other provinces will harmonize their weight allowances for wide-base tires to make them even more practical for Canadian fleets.
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