Trailer Tails and Moose Bumpers, What's Next?
The moment of inertia for a fully-loaded tractor-trailer is nothing compared to the difficulty encountered when trying to pass much needed changes to trucking industry regulations. Senseless regulatory differences between the United States and Canada further complicate the lives of truckers and interfere with their ability to make a decent living. Hopefully, a few recent changes to the Canadian Memorandum of Understanding on Interprovincial Weights and Dimensions (MOU) will provide momentum toward further improvements in driver safety, comfort, and efficiency.
Tractor Tails and more improvements
The allowable size for rear aerodynamic accessories will increase from 0.9 to 1.52 meters. The Task Force on Vehicle Weights and Dimensions Policy has also increased the maximum length for double-trailer combinations to 27.5 meters from the current 25 meters.
This added length will provide room for fuel-saving equipment like LNG tanks. It also makes safety equipment like moose bumpers a more viable option on more trucks. The task force also notes that larger sleeper berths will equate to improved sleep for drivers and less fatigue while truckers are behind the wheel.
Regulatory differences between countries
Initiated by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama, the Regulatory Co-operation Council (RCC) began approximately three years ago. Industry leaders, along with government officials from both countries, met in Washington, DC the first week of October 2014 to discuss the removal of regulatory differences that hinder trade between the two countries.
The RCC has focused a great deal of attention on developing joint-effort and mutually beneficial plans for the transportation of dangerous goods and vehicle safety standards. Any future plans will also include integration of intelligent transportation technology. The recent increase for tractor-trailer length and the allowable enhancement to trailer tails in the MOU brings some much need consistency between Canadian standards and U.S. regulations. It should reduces some of the headaches encountered by cross-border carriers.
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