The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will begin issuing individual and fleet permits for the use of extended tractor b-train double trailer configurations commencing in January 2015.
This is the latest announcement in what OTA president David Bradley, says is “an impressive list of positive decisions by transportation minister, Steven Del Duca, that will contribute to improved safety, environmental sustainability and productivity.”
During his relatively short tenure as minister, Del Duca has announced his intention to move forward with mandatory entry level training for truck drivers; set in motion the plan to bring unplated heavy trucks into the Ontario registration and fuel tax system; expanded LCV operations in Ontario to 12-months a year; introduced “deferred enforcement” to allow for the introduction of full boat–tails in Ontario; and, paved the way for extended B-train lengths.
The benefits associated with this configuration include: the ability to accommodate emission reduction technologies mandated by Environment Canada for all heavy diesel trucks; the accommodation of more appropriate sleeper berths to effectively manage hours of service compliance; and the installation of animal strike devices to protect both truck drivers and other road users. Details of the configuration are below.
The extended tractor b-train double trailer must meet all Safe, Productive, Infrastructure-Friendly (SPIF) requirements, except with overall length of 27.5 metres. The tractor wheelbase also has a maximum of 6.8 metres. For this configuration as tractor wheel-base increases, it is offset by reducing the sum of the trailer wheelbases according to the following trade-off table. There is no change in the 20 metre box length limit for the configuration. This formula allows the configuration to turn within the same space as a regular tractor single semi-trailer configurations.
The permits available, for individual vehicles ($400) or for fleets ($1000) require that a special vehicle configuration permit application be completed. Details and the applications forms will be available from MTO at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/trucks/oversize/
The permits will be in place until MTO can make the necessary changes to its regulations, which are expected within 2015.