First Ministers find common ground on trucking issues

by John G. Smith

Canadian flag waving with Parliament Buildings hill and Library in the background

MONTREAL, Que. – There may be undeniable tensions on issues like carbon taxes, but Canada’s First Ministers have found some common ground on topics including wide base tires and electronic logging devices.

“We have agreed to develop harmonized standards in the trucking sector, building on federal investments in the National Trade and Transportation Corridors initiative,” they announced in a joint communique. “Federal, provincial and territorial governments will work together on an accelerated basis to harmonize standards for wide base tires, electronic logging devices, and size and weight restrictions.”

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) was quick to applaud the stance, issuing a statement of its own on Friday evening.

The news moves Canada toward allowing the same weight on single tires as dual tires, updating the National Memorandum of Understanding on Vehicle Weights and Dimensions that was first introduced in 1988.

“CTA and its provincial association partners have been advocating for these changes since 2008 and we are grateful for efforts by all levels of government to move forward on this issue,” said Geoff Wood, senior vice president – policy. “This is truly a show of support for the Canadian trucking industry and the supply chain.”

The change, the alliance notes, will allow one tire spec’ for domestic and international operations without weight penalties. The tires are also known to offer weight savings and reduce rolling resistance — improving fuel economy in the process.

“It also opens the door for further positive discussions for some provincial trucking associations to work with provincial government representatives to review and expand the highway network on which these tires can be used,” Wood said.

Federal rules to mandate electronic logging devices have yet to be finalized in Canada Gazette Part 2, a final step before a rule can take hold. The Canadian version of a mandate is expected to include a form of third-party verification of the devices, currently not required under a U.S. mandate. Concerns have been raised that some self-certified devices can be hacked.

The alliance has been lobbying to have rules in place by January 2020 to align with the U.S.

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  • Ya well we will see if the west buys into the feds ideas about ELDs if the truck doesn’t leave the province I’m believe it when I see it . They can’t agree on the definition of a commercial vehicle in some provinces it’s all over the place so ELD implementing should be a a walk in the park ?

  • E-LOGS should not come in until truck drivers are to be paid by the hour. The parking Problems need to be solved before E-LOGS become required in Canada. The G.T.A. and Vancouver has a large parking.shortage. E-LOGS will push more offshore truck drivers with the result of more bad crashes as truck drivers race the clock. The C..T.A does not care about the number of truck drivers in the homeless shelter system.