Ontario Extends Auto Transmission Option for Road Tests

TORONTO – The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) said that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has said “yes” to allowing potential, upgrading or renewing commercial drivers to use an automatic transmission on Class A road tests.

Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli said that beginning May 1 2012, all applicants going for their Class A are permitted to use trucks equipped with either a manual or automatic transmission – provided all other minimum vehicle configuration requirements are met.

“Over the past 15 years, many fleets have invested in automatic transmissions to expand recruitment and retention potential and also to try and improve fuel economy and reduce the GHG output of their fleets,” said OTA president David Bradley.

“Not having the ability for new drivers to take the Class A with an automatic transmission created logistical challenges for a growing number of carriers,” Bradley explianed. “As the driver work force ages and the driver shortage becomes more pronounced, automatic transmissions can play a role in making it easier for older drivers to stay in the seat while opening new doors for other people from non- traditional sources, such as individuals who may be embarking on a second career in the industry.”

Minimum vehicle configuration requirements

  • A fifth wheel covering; a single trailer having an overall length of 45 ft; and a full air brake system on both truck and trailer.
  • Dump trucks must include a dump body pup trailer having a pintle hook connection and a full air brake system on both truck and trailer.
  • Applicants who pass their Class A road test with a vehicle configuration that does not meet above requirements will be granted a restricted Class A driver’s licence.

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