Ontario updates SPIF rules

Avatar photo

TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario has introduced the latest updates to the weights and dimensions linked to Safe, Productive, and Infrastructure-Friendly (SPIF) vehicles.

As of July 1, Regulation 413/05 eliminated the special vehicle configuration permits required to operate long-wheelbase tractors with multi-axle semitrailers, longer saddlemounts, and trailers equipped with smart lift axles.

The recent changes extend the same tire weight allowances to wide-based single tires and dual tires when mounted on single axles; allow boats to be hauled by stinger-steer auto carriers under the same weight and dimensional limits; and allow for an emergency lift axle override, making it possible to lift a self-steering axle in emergency situations.

“SPIF vehicles are designed to perform more safely on our highways and within an acceptable amount of space. They are also designed to better protect bridges and pavement from excessive wear while maintaining industry productivity,” says Joe Lynch, senior vehicle standards engineer with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. “Technical changes include a move to self-steering axles in place of rigid lift-axles and a requirement that axles automatically load-equalize under all conditions of loading.”

Semitrailers and double-trailers were addressed in the first three phases of SPIF reforms, completed between 2000 and 2006. Straight trucks, truck-trailers and buses were the focus in changes that came in July 2011.

Once grandfathering periods end, the affected vehicles can be upfitted to SPIF standards or be treated as non-SPIF equipment at Highway Traffic Act length and weight limits as well as gross weight limits under Regulation 413/05 Table 32.

Additional details will be available on the ministry’s website at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/trucks/index.shtml.

Avatar photo

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.


  • This spiff axle is bull shit. Whoever thought up this crap and whoever thinks it’s a good idea don’t have a clue nor have never sat there asses behind the wheel of a truck. I hope the insurance companies get involved, because these axles have been the cause of accidents. They should be outlawed, and more mto brain work, they cut us back 1500 kg but spend $25000 to put a spiff axle on your truck witch guys can’t afford, and you get it back. Just another money grab. You guys are pathetic. Time to stand up to you assholes and maybe shut down every big highway until some of these bull shit laws are done away with.

    • I am owner operator. I have a dump truck 2002. I want to know when this spif rule will apply. How much will be cost and where we can find manufacturers for steering lift axle.


  • this spiff axel are designed for air ride not for truck that have rubber blocks I keep spending money every year on sensors that r not sheep beside they r dangerous when the pavement is wet the steer axel is great but with a switch to control it

    • This is my issue right now when the ground is wet or it’s raining my spif axle tires don’t want to turn with the truck and only want to go straight causing me issues where I need to back up to get the tires moving I feel there is way to much pressure on the tires this meaning they won’t move freely when the tires go down the truck lifts up quite a lot it’s in the shop right now but so frustrating to drive in wet weather

  • Hi I am a small business owner and been in business in the Dump Truck business for many years I keep hearing hearsay from other people but I’ve never heard this from the Ministry of transportation are dump trucks included in the spiff requirement in Ontario nobody can seem to answer this question and always seems so involved trailers semi trailers or other vehicles other than dump trucks I’ve never seen the word Dump Truck involved in the spiff requirement is this a requirement that dump truck operators are to remove their existing lift axles and put a spiff axle in place is this going to be a law and this this going to be all years of dump trucks. Thanks

    • YES, for 2006 you are compliant for one more year.

      NON-DESIGNATED trucks less than 15 years old can purchase a permit annually
      Year — Oldest truck eligible for permit
      2021 — 2006
      2022 — 2007
      2023 — 2008
      2024 — 2009
      2025 — 2010

  • who ever came up with this steer axle cannot be very smart and never driven much truck, on slippery or extremely wet makes the front axle float if you are on a rough road. the mto should compensate truck owners for the replacement of the change.

    • I totally agree.
      If it was safe enough when the truck was manufactured it should be able to stay on the truck.
      If the law came out 15 years ago Maby the truck should not have been built with straight lift axles.
      I’m wondering how this works with mine. It’s 20 years old

  • Hello sir, I already apply for permit on this January 4 but I didn’t get my permit. If u have any knowledge about this plz let me know.thanks

  • I started driving bus and trucks back in 1957 and over the years i have seen companies going out and buying the best then told there no good now this is the way it has to be . I WOULD THINK any truck that was sold at any time was okay by the department of transport should still be safe in 20 years or for the life of the truck . I BELEIVE this is nothing but a Hugh rip off to get rid of the little guy ,and it will .
    What is wrong with your thinking ,do you hate the little guy that much to force him out .
    Geez what a mess and helplessness you have made for the normal man out there trying to survive in this dog eat dog world you have made.