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EDMONTON, Alta. — In an effort to further harmonize Canadian weights and dimensions, Alberta Transportation has increased the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of medium spread tridems and B-trains.

The allowances will increase from 23,000 kg to 24,000 kg per tridem axle, with a spread between 3.0 and 3.6 metres. Meanwhile, the GVW for B-trains increases from 62,500 kg to 63,500 kg, bringing Alberta’s regulations in synch with those of British Columbia, much to the delight of the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA).

“We’ve been dealing with the government about this for some time,” says AMTA general manager Al Smythe. “There are two reasons we wanted this. One, it maximizes our efficiency, and two, B.C.’s at 63,500 kg already so if we were travelling to or from B.C. we had to load to 62,500 kg or when we were in Alberta we’d be illegal.”

The regulations now allow the same weight loads on narrow tridems as are currently permitted on wide spread axles, reducing the demand for the wide spread axles, which cause more infrastructure damage.

“They’re trying to discourage the use of the wide-spread tridems because they scuff badly at the intersections,” explains Smythe. “By giving the additional weight on the narrower spread axle, there’s no benefit to going to a wide spread axle.

The changes, which apply only to primary and secondary highways, come into effect Apr. 1.

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