With input from more than 4,500 respondents, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has identified the industry’s key issues in its latest report, Interprovincial Trade Barriers in Trucking.
From increasing access to truck rest areas, cell service and trade data to twinning Hwy. 185 and strengthening oversight and accountability for truck safety – nationwide issues identified by provincial trucking associations and the country’s carriers align with several of CTA’s core policies.
The alliance says it welcomes the opportunity to discuss the outlined issues with Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Dominic LeBlanc.
Addressing these interprovincial barriers will help combat non-compliance in the industry and level the competitive playing field for responsible trucking companies, said Greg Munden, CTA’s chairman.
Winter road maintenance standards and access to rest areas for truck drivers were the first barriers listed in the report, as both affect the efficiency and productivity of the driver and the fleet – whether truckers refuse to work out of safety concerns or slow down on the road during inclement weather.
According to the CTA’s report, for every 1 km/h reduction in speed from a truck’s average operating speed, an efficiency decrease of 1.25% is expected.
More rest areas needed
Better rest area accessibility is also important, as drivers are struggling with identifying guaranteed parking and are forced to cut this short to comply with hours-of-service regulations.
“For every hour where the driver/truck are dormant represents an impact to efficiency of 7-10%,” reads the report.
Rest areas should be located approximately 80 to 160 kilometers apart, between one and two hours of driving time. However, the research found that rest stops are outside of that reach across provinces. Key highways across Canada were identified, along with the areas lacking truck stops.
Another suggestion was the twinning of Quebec’s Hwy. 185, often referred to as one of the most dangerous ones in Canada. According to the CTA, this twinning would enable the use of long-combination vehicles (LCVs) for more efficient and eco-friendly goods delivery from Halifax to Toronto. While funding for the project is available, it has been delayed.
Further, LCV harmonization in Western Canada would allow for more streamlined movement of LCV vehicles throughout Western Canada.
Carriers have also identified that rapid modernization in the oversized and overweight hauling sector is needed, as inefficient processes often delay infrastructure projects, says CTA in the report.
While the modernization would include the development of electronic permitting systems to improve permit approvals, addressing other interprovincial barriers, such as varying definitions of sunrise and sunset is needed. To address these challenges, the ultimate goal should be to establish consistent definitions and regulations across all provinces, promoting smoother and more efficient cross-border transportation.
Inconsistencies in spring weight restrictions were another issue discussed in the report.
Further suggestions for overcoming the interprovincial trucking barriers included strengthening oversight and accountability for truck safety, expanding access to cell service, increasing access to trade data and creating a centralized motor carrier data system with information such as verification of labour and tax compliance.
The full report can be found on the CTA’s website.
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