Winter Driving

January 15, 2013 – 1 person dead, 45 injured on the E4 motorway in Sweden involving 100 vehicles. Preliminary investigation shows three transport trucks collided that created the chain reaction.

January 25, 2013 – 3 people injured seriously in approximately 60-80 vehicle collision on Highway 401 near Newtownville. Looking at the pictures in the link below, how is it someone wasn’t killed? Some reports have a transport truck jackknifing as the initial cause.

In both these accidents, visibility was poor, yet operators were not driving according to the road conditions.

Some jurisdictions (like Quebec) have made snow tires mandatory. And some in Sweden are calling for mandatory high-spec winter tires for trucks. But if the operator is not driving according to the road conditions, what’s the point?

Why is it that people feel the need to be on the road when the road conditions and visibility are poor? And when they are out there, the windows are not cleared of snow, the windscreen is fogged up and they drive like the roads are dry.

To all operators (passenger and transport), can we do the following:

  • prepare for the road and weather conditions
  • have properly inflated tires
  • full washer fluid container (including good wipers)
  • full fuel tank
  • all windows clear of snow, ice and fogging
  • ALL lights on
  • have emergency supplies – blanket, candles, first aid kit, snack bars, water, etc.
  • SLOW down, it’s not a race

And above all, look down the road, Continue Reading…

2012 Load Restrictions

For Ontario load restrictions, please go to http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/trucks/loadnotice.shtml.

Highway with vehicles

In Michigan:

Effective 8:00 AM Monday February 27th, 2012 weight restrictions will be imposed and enforced on all state trunkline highways within the Upper Peninsula in the State of Michigan. State trunkline highways typically carry, M, I, or US designations.

Weight restriction information and updates may be obtained by calling 1-800-787-8960. For companies located in Canada or New Jersey, information may be obtained by calling:
517-373-6256.

– On routes designated as “All Season Routes” (green or gold on the MDOT Truck Operators Map) there will be no reduction in legal axle weight.

– On routes designated as “Seasonal” (solid or dashed red on the MDOT Truck Operators Map), there will be a weight reduction of 25% for rigid pavements and 35% for flexible pavements.

Extended permits will be valid for oversize only in the weight restricted area.

Single trip permits will not be issued for overweight loads or loads exceeding 14 feet in width, 11 axles and 150 feet in overall length in the weight restricted area.

Detailed Weight Restriction information may be obtained by linking to www..michigan.gov/truckers. Please refer to the MDOT Truck Operator’s Map for route designations.

Spring Weight Restrictions: http://mdotwas1.mdot.state.mi.us/public/alerts/bulletins.cfm?bulletin=weight

 

Courtesy of Steven Horwood, Michigan State Police

Michigan – Weight Restrictions

Updated Spring Weight Restrictions Bulletin List:

See the attached for MDOT Sping Weight Restriction Bulletin #1 Information.
Currently, there are no spring weight restrictions active for state trunkline highways.
However, the Michigan Department of Transportation has initiated efforts to begin monitoring spring frost.

Please take the necessary precautions to ensure your transporting operations are accomplished prior to the weight restrictions being imposed.

Although no one can predict when the restrictions will be imposed, you can review when they were imposed in previous years by accessing the web at: http://www.michigan.gov/truckers and clicking on “MDOT Spring Weight Restrictions.” This website also provides detailed weight restriction information.

The current weight restriction status can also be obtained by calling MDOT’s toll-free number at: (800) 787-8960.

When the restrictions are imposed, the following will apply in the restricted area:

– On routes designated as “All Season Routes” (green and gold on MDOT Truck Operator’s Map), there will be no reduction in legal axle weights.

– On routes designated as “Seasonal” (solid or dashed red on the MDOT Trucker Operator’s Map), there will be weight reduction of 25% for rigid pavements and 35% for flexible pavements.
Refer to the MDOT Truck Operators Map for route designations.
Extended permits will be valid for oversize only in the weight restricted area.

Spring Weight Restrictions: http://mdotwas1.mdot.state.mi.us/public/alerts/bulletins.cfm?bulletin=weight

Courtesy Steven Horwood, Michigan State Police
Also take a look at our Trucking Supplies page and download or request our Trucking Solutions Catalog

1/2 Load Season

The provinces have posted their spring thaw load restrictions:

Drive safe.

Inspections – Cargo Tanks

The CACD (Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors) office in Oakville received a telephone call from a dangerous goods inspector regarding cargo tanks. Two of the member companies had been inspected and the inspector indicated that for loading and unloading cargo tanks, the weakest link is the transfer hose.

Under the TDG Regulations in Part 5 Means of Containment, specifically 5.14 Large Means of Containment (MoC), to transport dangerous goods by ground, the large MoC must be manufactured, selected and used in accordance with the CSA standard B621 Selection and Use of Highway Tanks, Portable Tanks, Cargo Compartments, and Containers for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods, Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8, and 9.

CSA standard B621 also references another standard, CSA B620 Highway Tanks and Portable Tanks for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods.

In B621, clause 7.1 is Pre-loading Requirements. A MoC shall not be loaded unless it has been selected in accordance with the following clauses of the standard:

  • 4 Selection of the Means of Containment,
  • 8 Tank Selection Requirements for Dangerous Goods of Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8 and 9,
  • 5 Highway Tanks, or
  • 6 Portable Tanks.

The remainder of this section requires the MoC to be inspected, tested, retested and marked. In addition, before attaching hoses, the hose and its coupling must be visually inspected for compatibility with the dangerous goods, mechanical Continue Reading…

Driving distrations

The province of Ontario has announced that October 26 is the implementation date of the new regulation forbidding the use of electronic devices while driving. That’s good.

Now, can the enforcement authorities do something about some of the other distractions? For example, bus drivers that read the newspaper while at a stop, coming to a stop and/or starting up. Or bus drivers that drive to the end of a right turn lane and expect other drivers to let them in when they are no longer in the bus bay. How about enforcing the speed limit on the motor coaches?

How about the truck driver making a left turn at an intersection with a coffee in one hand and a smoke in the other?

If I’m seeing these examples while driving, then the enforcement officials must as well. So how about a little more action and less talk?

Road Trains

Get ready people, here come the road trains or "long combination vehicles" as is known in the industry. Ontario is proposing a one (1) year trial period for these trucks. When did Ontario move to the southern hemisphere and become part of the Australian outback?

The Ministry of Transport (MTO) states that these monstrous rigs will provide "environmental benefits and lower shipping costs that come with having one truck haul more cargo". And that there will be "strict restrictions on when, where and how fast they can drive and how much weight they can carry". Well, let’s look at each of the issues:

  • Speed: max 90 kph; the highway is posted at 100 kph and the trucks are now mandated to be electronically limited to 105 kph, anyone see anything wrong with this picture?
  • Weight: trucks are already regulated for weight, now it will be times 2, and when one of these rigs jackknifes and the load spills, it won’t be one trailer load to clean up, it could be 2 trailer loads which will double the time.
  • Where: These rigs will probably be restricted to the 400 series highways; and if there is an accident outside of the GTA, these rigs will not be allowed off the highway to bypass the accident—where’s the economic savings?
  • Lower shipping costs: Guess who’s not going Continue Reading…