OTTAWA, Ont. — Word out of Ottawa that the feds are considering implementing fuel economy standards for heavy trucks has the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) concerned it may not consider the complexities of the Canadian trucking industry.
For instance, the CTA points out there many different requirements for various vehicle configurations and Canadian weights and dimensions are different here than in the states. As a result, mirroring a US standard, which is expected to be based on California’s recent fuel economy regulations, may be a bad idea, the CTA pointed out.
“Trucking is not a homogenous industry,” says David Bradley, CTA’s CEO. “There are all kinds of issues relating to the type and weight of the commodity being shipped, the distance, the region of the country, etc., that need to be considered. You can put certain rear aerodynamic fairings on a van trailer, for instance, but not on a flatdeck.”
Bradley also pointed out some of the fuel-saving devices widely used in the US are not yet permitted in Canada.
“The current truck weights and dimensions standards in Canada were developed in the mid-1980’s – long before environmental concerns became the consideration they are today,” says Bradley.
“Also, while it’s obviously a good idea to harmonize with the United States as much as possible, you can’t simply take US standards and superimpose them on Canada,” he adds. “It’s not like cars which can be operated in either country; Canadian truck configurations – in terms of allowable truck weights and dimensions – are different from those in the United States. Canada tends to allow higher weights; the trucks here can carry more payload and in total attain better fuel efficiency, compared to the United States.”
The CTA is also urging the federal government to provide incentives for carriers that invest in fuel-saving technologies and equipment.
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