The Council of Ministers Responsible for Highway Safety announced it has approved in principle changes to the national Memorandum of Understanding on Interprovincial Weights and Dimensions (the MoU) to allow use of longer tractors. Finalization of the changes is subject to Cabinet approval in certain jurisdictions.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has lobbied for longer tractors based on the need for more frame rail space to accommodate emission reduction technologies as well as larger sleeper berths to address driver comfort and fatigue.
“CTA is extremely pleased with the announcement as it signals another step forward by transportation ministers from across the county to adjust regulations to provide greater flexibility for fleets and OEMs to adapt to forthcoming GHG regulations,” said Geoff Wood, CTA’s Vice President, Operations and Safety.
All provinces and territories are signatories to the MoU and agree to allow vehicles which comply with MoU weights and dimensions to travel on designated highways in their jurisdiction. They also attempt to accommodate amendments to the MoU within a reasonable timeframe. Although some provinces already allow longer tractors by regulation or special permit, such vehicles should not travel in other jurisdictions until it is verified regulations have changed or permits are available.
“CTA is hopeful all jurisdictions will work in an expedited manner to move this important issue forward and amend appropriate regulations. While this is taking place, enforcement deferrals should be strongly considered, which have worked well for other key GHG reducing technologies such as trailer boat tails,” added Wood.
Background and Details
Tractor semi-trailers in MoU Category 1 include two or three axle tractors pulling single, tandem or tridem-axle semi-trailers. Once finalized, the maximum tractor wheelbase for this category is expected to increase from 6.2m to 7.2m. Maximum trailer wheelbase will remain at 12.5m for tractor wheelbases up to 6.2m, but gradually reduced to a maximum of 11.87m for the longest tractors. The MoU amendment includes a table of allowable trailer wheelbases for tractor lengths between 6.2m and 7.2m. The overall maximum length of this combination remains at 23m.
MoU Category 3 includes two or three axle tractors pulling B-train double trailers. The overall length of this combination was increased from 25m to 27.5m in a 2014 amendment to the MoU. Once the latest amendment is finalized, the maximum tractor wheelbase for this category is expected to increase from 6.2m to 6.8m. As before, the sum of the two trailer wheelbases may not exceed 17m for tractor wheelbases up to 6.2m, but this maximum is gradually reduced to 16.1m for the longest tractors. The MoU amendment includes a table listing the sum of allowable trailer wheelbases for tractor lengths between 6.2m and 6.8m.
For full details of the Communique from the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety, please click here