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Western Carriers to CTA: Tell Ottawa We Can’t Afford to Operate Unreliable Equipment

The Canadian Trucking Alliance recently visited western carriers to solicit their views on potential changes to commercial tractors, engines and trailers as a result of proposed changes to the greenhouse gas regulation expected to be released next month.

Carriers operating in the west echoed the feedback CTA received at a special session at the annual general meeting in Scottsdale – they were adamant that if Ottawa is to bring in new vehicle, engine and trailer requirements, they must ensure that equipment imported into Canada is ready and proven to operate into the Canadian marketplace, be able to withstand our extreme weather conditions, and be designed with failsafe measures to ensure drivers and equipment do not get stranded in remote areas.

“It’s clear the carrier community and drivers cannot withstand another round of regulations that introduce more service and downtime issues for their vehicles,” said CTA VP of Operations Geoff Wood.

As a result of environmental regulations, carriers have needed to add between 10-20% more power units to build redundancy in their fleets just to ensure they have enough running trucks to service their customers. Fleets explain that drivers are being stranded in the middle of nowhere because of reliability issues, facing not only loss of income but severe cold and heat for countless hours.

“Trucking costs related to downtime and service issues are through the roof. Our western carrier members said the only area for growth in trucking is in the towing and service industry,” said Wood.

Western carriers attribute these rising costs and reliability challenges to regulations forcing equipment suppliers to provide technology not ready for specific markets throughout Canada. These carriers also told CTA that Ottawa must start introducing equipment importation requirements into Canada that ensure such things like wiring and electronic systems are designed for winter operating conditions.

CTA will also meet with eastern carriers over the coming weeks to get more input on similar equipment issues. Following these meetings, CTA, with assistance from FP Innovations, will prepare a position paper that reflects the industry’s preferred technological approach to truck engines, tractors and trailers that will be impacted by the next round of GHG regulations.

Special thanks to the BCTA, AMTA, STA and MTA for organizing meetings of their carrier membership to discuss these important issues.

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