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Ontario to Review Longer Tractors

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4/7/2011 11:00:00 AM

Move Could Accommodate New Devices, OTA Says

The Ontario Trucking Association said it was pleased that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation will begin reviewing whether to permit motor carriers to use longer tractors.

The move would allow for greater flexibility to accommodate many of the anti-idling and emissions-reduction technologies currently available, and accommodate larger sleeper berths for drivers, OTA said.

“As of today, Ontario stands alone . . . in not allowing some flexibility on tractor wheelbase when spec’ing a tractor, so we welcome the fact that [Ontario] is going to review the matter,� OTA President David Bradley said in a statement.

Canada’s standard maximum allowable tractor wheelbase of 6.2 meters (244�) was established in the mid-1980s among provinces, ushering in what are often referred to as the “RTAC standards.�

But over time most jurisdictions — with the exceptions of Ontario and one or two others — have provided flexibility in terms of the overall tractor length by special permit, or in the case of Nova Scotia, by regulation, OTA said.

Bradley said that the many new technologies and items for driver comfort “are all driving the need for the industry in Ontario to be able to spec a tractor that can legally accommodate more comfortable sleeper berth designs and/or the technologies and devices proven to improve fuel efficiency and reduce [greenhouse gas emissions].�

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