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Ontario updates SPIF rules


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.


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