Ontario updates SPIF rules

John G Smith

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.

John G Smith

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, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • 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

  • 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