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Drivewyze’s bypass service available in North Dakota
EDMONTON, Alta. – Canadian trucking software company Drivewyze
will be expanding its weigh station bypass service to North Dakota,
marking the first time the program will be offered in the state.
The Drivewyze PreClear program provides weigh station bypass
opportunities to qualified carriers in several states and Canadian
provinces, including Alberta, where it recently added 23 new vehicle
inspection sites throughout the province.
The service became active in Alberta in April, which was the company’s first in Canada.
PreClear will be available at 13 various approaches to seven fixed
weigh stations, as well as eight mobile sites, for a total of 21
locations in North Dakota.
“Drivewyze PreClear now debuts offering five times as many bypass
opportunities as that of an anticipated transponder-based system when it
goes live,” said Brian Heath, president and CEO of Drivewyze. “Truck
fleets and drivers who operate safely and within legal weight limits and
meet the state’s criteria can obtain bypasses through Drivewyze.”
Heath said the company’s PreClear program is the largest bypass
service in North America, and that the addition of the sites in North
Dakota closes a near 400-mile service gap between Moorhead, Minn. and
“Drivers traveling from Chicago to Idaho now have bypass opportunities in all six states over a 2,000-mile stretch,” said Heath.
Drivers for Manitoba-based trucking company Wildwood Transport are
excited about the addition of PreClear in the Peace Garden State.
Matt Holland, manager of information technology for Wildwood, said
with 35 of his company’s trucks activated on PreClear, and now the
addition of the service in North Dakota, it will greatly impact
Drivers for Wildwood, who haul over 1,000 loads through North Dakota
and into various states, obtain weigh station bypasses through the
Drivewyze app that is preloaded on the company’s electronic logging
devices (ELDs), which Holland said helps to reduce delays.
“Each time our drivers encounter a weigh station increases the
chances that they will undergo an inspection that can last up to an
hour,” Holland said. “With driving time being limited, once that
happens, staying on schedule can be nearly impossible for our drivers.”
Drivewyze uses commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) technology to
deliver weigh stations bypasses and can read weight data transmitted
from WIM sensors embedded in the pavement as the truck passes over them.
SPECIAL REPORT: The early days of mandatory training
TORONTO, ON -- Darryl Robitaille belongs to a rare graduating class, one of the first future truck drivers to study under Ontario’s new Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) regime.
That means he had to complete at least 103.5 hours of approved training
before the Ontario Ministry of Transportation would allow him to take
the road test for an AZ licence to drive tractor-trailers.
He failed on the first attempt.
“The road test I did fine on,” says the resident of Caledonia,
Ontario, referring to actions like steering and backing. His challenge
was with new questions linked to pre-trip inspections. “I was extremely
nervous,” Robitaille adds. This despite the fact that he personally
completed a 200-hour training program, well above the mandated minimum
introduced on July 1. But with a little extra studying he passed the
test on his second attempt. Now he is looking to secure his first job
behind the wheel.
Robitaille can take comfort in knowing he wasn’t alone. Exact figures
have yet to be compiled by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, but
training schools across the province have reported higher-than-usual
failure rates in the face of new tests at Ontario’s DriveTest centers.
Written tests now include 30 questions, up from 20 that existed
earlier in the year, and are more specifically geared toward related
licence classes. The directions of road tests are also more prescriptive
than ever before, specifying the number of tasks and subtasks that
licence candidates need to demonstrate, so there’s less room for
interpretation by evaluators. In a bid to break away from circle checks
that some trainees were memorizing, the ministry has also introduced
randomly generated questions about pre-trip inspections. When presented
with a component, those being tested must explain the minor and major
defects that can arise, as well as what they would do in each case.
It’s been a learning process for trainees and trainers alike.
"When procedures change, there's obviously going to be some growing pains."
“When procedures change, there’s obviously going to be some growing
pains,” says Matt Richardson, sales and operations manager at KRTS
Transportation Specialists, where Robitaille completed his training.
“It’s got to do with the examiners getting used to a new way and
protocol of testing.”
New backing tests align more with daycabs than highway tractors, says Yvette Lagrois, of Ontario Truck Training Academy.
more-difficult test is better,” Richardson says, suggesting that the
new training regime will bring an end to most of the so-called licensing
mills that prepared trainees for ministry licensing tests but often
failed to develop the skills needed to earn a job.
Yvette Lagrois of Ontario Truck Training Academy, headquartered in
Oshawa, is among those who believes there is still room to improve the
new test procedures themselves, particularly when it comes to the layout
of backing exercises. “Previously the cones were further back,” she
says, suggesting that today’s layouts for 90-degree turns align more
with day cabs than highway tractors.
While schools have insights that could help address issues like that,
she says the exact test changes came as a surprise. “We should have had
at least some sort of meetings with those who are providing the
training,” she says. “I’m sure there’s some political reason why we
didn’t get it.”
But Lagrois also believes the new training standards have helped to
force out schools with questionable training practices. “They’re looking
for different business models,” she says of those operations, many of
which had no dedicated training facilities. In some cases that might
mean shifting training businesses to focus on DZ licences, which allow a
driver to operate a truck or vehicle combination weighing more than
11,000 kilograms if the towed vehicle weighs less than 4,600 kilograms.
That licence class is not included in the new mandatory training regime.
“These people who were in the business for training were also freight
operators,” she adds. “Those will probably move back into being
owner-operators. They’ll have to figure out how to make money.”
Looking for loopholes
It hasn’t stopped some private career colleges from looking for
shortcuts in the new training path, as they search for ways to attract
lucrative students who can represent thousands of dollars in tuition.
In the weeks following the rollout of mandatory training, the Ontario
Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development issued a blunt memo
on news that some schools might not be complying with their approved
training programs and conditions – specifically when it came to
upgrading BZ or DZ licence holders to an AZ licence, or offering hourly
lessons. (The holder of a B licence can drive a school bus that seats
more than 24 people, while the Z endorsement indicates the licence
holder can operate a vehicle with air brakes.)
“Any AZ training which does not adhere to the MELT standard does not
provide the student with the ability to challenge the AZ road test,” the
memo stressed, threatening potential fines of up to $250,000 for
corporations as well as $50,000 fines and one-year prison terms for
Approved schools must now use an online portal to identify students
who have met the new training requirements, before the individuals are
allowed to take the road test. Prior to July, anyone could be tested.
Schools that don’t comply with the new rules could have programs
revoked, requiring refunds for students, wrote Terry Tretter, manager –
compliance and enforcement unit at the Ministry of Advanced Education
and Skills Development’s Private Career Colleges Branch. Ads promoting
unapproved licence upgrading programs and other “non-vocational AZ
programs” could run afoul of the province’s Consumer Protection Act,
too, which has similar fines and includes maximum two-year prison terms
Like private career colleges that support other industries, these
schools and trainers can issue “advanced standing” -- and that counts
toward the mandated 103.5 hours, depending on a trainee’s previous
experience or demonstrated skills. Each school must have its related
policy assessed by someone recognized as a qualified third party, and approved by the ministry’s superintendent.
“The application submitted by a PCC (Private Career College)
is reviewed separately by the adult education experts and sector
subject matter experts,” explains Ministry of Advanced Education and
Skills Development spokeswoman Ingrid Anderson. “The advanced standing
policy may include such factors as the documented types of
training received, the number of years of driving experience, and other
relevant qualifications that would make an individual eligible for
The emphasis on “may” is ours. Each school can propose its own standards.
“It’s not something that’s new. The schools, or some of them, have
been doing it for some period of time,” says David Bradley, the retiring
Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Trucking Association, and now
interim Chief Executive Officer of Trucking HR Canada – the organization
that established National Occupational Standards, which helped define
minimum training outcomes.
The concept can also make sense depending on an individual’s
background, he says, referring to DZ drivers with many years of
experience, or people who grew up around farm machinery. “Ultimately
what you would want is a situation that provides for advanced standing,
but is subject to enough oversight that it precludes the irresponsible
people from taking advantage of the situation.”
"If you can exempt as many hours you want, then MELT is melted."
The lack of common tests to confirm advance standing concerns Naeem
Cheema, the owner of Pine Valley Driving Academy in Etobicoke,
especially since individual policies are ultimately approved by ministry
personnel who are not necessarily experts in trucking.
Cheema says limited controls around advanced standings are a loophole to close.
should have a standard how the road test should be, [and] there should
be a knowledge test,” Cheema says, suggesting that there should also be
limits on the number of training hours that can be trimmed. “Advanced
standing has to be standardized in terms of how many hours in class, in
vehicle, in yard you can exempt ... If you can exempt as many hours you
want, then MELT is melted.”
In the weeks after the 103.5-hour minimum was introduced, he says he
heard from potential students who were promised they could be trained
for just $2,000, covering all the material in a fraction of the hours.
“These are not too many hours,” he says of the 103.5-hour limit. “So
what? Make them know more.”
If he had his way, the 103.5 hours would be the bare minimum.
Long-term drivers may still lack formal training in factors like
Schedule 1 inspection standards and Electronic Logging Devices, he says
as an example. “MELT, the way it’s laid out, is beautiful.”
“Maybe we need to make them enter the number of training hours they
had behind the wheel,” suggests Private Motor Truck Council of Canada
president Mike Millian, referring to the information that schools
provide about trainees with advance standing. Someone who has worked for
20 years as a DZ driver is not going to require the same amount of
training to secure an AZ licence, he says. But even then, he believes
there is room for more training than they had in the past.
“You shouldn’t be able to go any lower than half (the 103.5 hours),” Millian says. “They’re still pulling a trailer.”
Regardless, the advanced standing option doesn’t apply to carriers
who train and upgrade employees under a Driver Certification Program.
“Arguably it should. Part of what we were trying to accomplish is
harmonize (Driver Certification Program) with the (Private Career
Colleges) program, and I don’t get any sense that there’s a desire to
abandon advanced standing on the (Private Career Colleges) side of
things,” Bradley says.
“At the end of the day, when we went into this thing with MELT, we
said we wanted to take back our industry from the training schools,” he
adds. “The benefits still far outweigh the issues. It’s a work in
Canada prepares for its version of the ELD mandate
If draft rule issued this fall as expected, deadline for compliance
would be 2019, with those using automatic onboard recording devices
(AOBRDs) getting until 2021.
Though it has been a long time coming in Canada – almost
six years by one reckoning – an electronic logging device (ELD) mandate
similar to the one in the U.S. is poised to be issued by the close of
2017 if all goes as planned.
Geoff Wood, senior vice president of policy for the Canadian Trucking Alliance
(CTA), explained during a presentation here at TMW and PeopleNet's 2017
in.sight user conference and exposition that Canada’s version of the
U.S. ELD mandate – which will be “99.8% in line” with the rule
promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) –
is entitled “Gazette I” and a draft should be published sometime this
fall by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).
expects that draft to be quickly approved, as the technical standards
have been in development for six years now, with a final rule – dubbed
“Gazette II” – likely to be issued by the end of 2017.
published as expected, the deadline for compliance with Canada’s ELD
mandate would be by December of 2019, with those using automatic onboard
recording devices (AOBRDs) getting until 2021 to make the switch.
don’t expect a lot of surprise over this rule, partly because we’ve
taken a lot of time to develop it,” Wood said. “We also needed more
buy-in from the provincial governments as our federal rules work a
little bit differently compared to here in the states.”
rules of who is and who is not covered under Canada’s ELD mandate will
mirror those in the U.S., he noted. Federally-regulated motor vehicles
operating vehicles over 10,000 lbs. (some 4,500 kilograms in Canada)
where the driver currently must maintain a paper logbook are covered.
Exemptions are for truck rentals under 30 days and for drivers who stay
within a 160 kilometer (99.14 mile) radius of home base – though those
“short-range” drivers must still comply with hours of service (HOS)
under what are known as “federal HOS permits” are exempted as well, such
as those serving in the oil fields and hauling dry or liquid fertilizer
switch to using ELDs if they want to; they are just not being made
mandatory for them,” Wood pointed out, though they must still use paper
logbooks as well, like they do today.
are a few differences, however, between Canada’s soon-to-be proposed
ELD mandate and the one on the books in the U.S., he added. Some of
In Canada’s case, the technical standards ELD’s will be required to meet will only be referenced in its mandate; by contrast those standards and embedded within the U.S. mandate.
in Canada will be required on commercial vehicles back to the 1995
model year, as opposed to the 2000 model year cut off in the U.S. If
that wasn’t done, Woods said some 65,000 to 70,000 trucks “would not be
captured” by the ELD rule.
There is a “deferral of off duty” option in the Canadian HOS rules that the U.S. does not have.
In terms of personal use, the device must measure 75 kilometers (some 46.6 miles)
within 24 hours. If 75 kilometers of personal conveyance is exceeded
within 24 hours, the ELD automatically changes status from “personal
conveyance” to “drive status.”
However, Wood stressed that those differences aside, Canada’s ELD mandate will closely track what’s been established in the U.S.
“The long and short of it is, if you buy and use and U.S.-compliant device, you will have no issues in Canada,” he said.
ON – The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is implementing electronic
single trip permits for oversize/overweight vehicles beginning Monday,
If permit holders choose to carry an electronic version of the
permit, it has to be downloaded to a handheld device or tablet before
departure – or printed as a hard copy, the ministry notes. Cellular
coverage, after all, can be limited in certain areas.
Those who choose to carry and surrender an electronic permit must
also agree to hand over the hand-held device or tablet when requested by
police or other ministry-appointed personnel carrying out provisions
under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. They must also, on request, email
the permit to the officer.
Thursday is deadliest day of the week for truckers
Fatal Thursdays. It sounds like the title of a horror film. In many
ways, it is a nightmare scenario on our roadways that re-occurs week
after week. In the trucking industry, Thursdays are one of the deadliest
days of the week for new and experienced drivers of 18-wheelers.
this startling statistic been brought to light to scare new prospects
from the trucking industry and to give drivers a bad reputation? On the
contrary, as truck drivers, you deserve to know all the information
that’s available to keep you safer and alive while on the road.
The biggest crash factors
you’re starting out in the industry or have been behind the wheel for
decades, the road can be a fascinating and challenging place to work.
More often than not, when sharing the highway with other motorists, you
may have a “now I’ve seen everything” moment. Some motorists are
terrible drivers and are hazardous to everyone on the road.
driver, you may have made (or will make) a few mistakes of your own.
Driver errors are a leading contributor to crashes, but can be avoided.
Ditching bad habits like tailgating or driving too fast can save your
You’ve learned everything you need to know how to drive
safely, use that knowledge each and every time you get behind the wheel
of your rig. Taking time to follow all protocol from your company and
paying extra attention in an unfamiliar area will not only keep you
safer but will allow you to keep your job and commercial license.
to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, truck accidents are more
likely to occur during the week, rather than the weekends, because more
trucks are hauling freight. While some truckers are behind the wheel on
the weekends, crashes that occur on a Friday or Saturday typically
involve standard auto drivers who are distracted or intoxicated.
on a steady income and a clean driving record, truckers rarely take the
risk of driving while intoxicated. So why Fatal Thursdays? For the
typical Monday through Friday truck driver, there’s a greater risk of
feeling fatigued, and the ability to stay alert or react quickly are
Fighting off fatigue
fatigue can be tricky sometimes but as a trucker, it’s essential that
you know how to combat nodding off behind the wheel, regardless of the
day of the week. Sitting long hours on the road can make you feel like
you’re on auto-pilot. Recognizing the signs of fatigue are the first
step in avoiding a preventable, fatal accident.
Yes, deadlines are
important but stop pushing yourself. If you need to take a small break,
take one. Drink water, do some stretches, close your eyes at a rest
stop for 20 minutes. Self-care is essential if you plan on making
trucking a lifelong career.
Don’tignore mechanical problems
addition to driver errors and drowsiness, mechanical errors also play a
big role in crashes involving a truck. Even though you may not be a
mechanic, you need to understand the basics of your truck. Your rig is a
hardworking machine and puts on many miles and hours a week so it’s
only natural that the tires and brakes will wear down.
for a company that values your safety and will take the time to examine
and fix your truck. If something doesn’t sound or feel right while
you’re behind the wheel, you’re putting your life and many others at
Where are roads the deadliest?
Thursdays are the deadliest, where are the deadliest roads, and can they
be avoided? More than half of fatal accidents involving a truck occur
on major roads other than interstates or highways and about one-third
occur on interstates and freeways.
Unfortunately, as a trucker,
it’s difficult to avoid either type of road. Minimal maintenance and
rural roads are never a good idea (and should be avoided as much as
possible). They can slow down your time and may put you at greater risk
for getting lost or having a hard time maneuvering your large truck.
Indiana, the most numerous crashes from 2011-15 occurred in and around
the Indianapolis area. Within this region, 57 trucking accidents
occurred, with a total of 59 fatalities.
Fatal Thursdays don’t
have to continue to affect the trucking community. By improving company
rules that focus on the safety of the drivers and improving training and
continued education, this dismal day can become a thing of the past.
IL – Navistar will stop producing medium-duty engines at its plant in
Melrose Park, Illinois, beginning in the second quarter of its 2018
Most of the proprietary engines made in Melrose Park are nine- and
10-liter models for Class 6 and 7 trucks. Navistar reintroduced the
option of a 6.7-liter Cummins engine in 2013, followed last year with
the option of a nine-liter Cummins.
Cummins engines for Class 6 and 7 trucks are produced in Indiana and
North Carolina, while Navistar makes big-bore engines for Class 8 trucks
About 170 employees will be affected, reducing Navistar’s operating
costs about US $12 million per year. The company says a “significant
portion” of the hourly employees are eligible for retirement.
"Ceasing production of engines at Melrose Park is a difficult
decision, but represents another important step on our journey to
strengthening the company's competitiveness," said Persio Lisboa,
Navistar’s Chief Operating Officer. "Our N9/10 engine family was updated
in 2014 and since then has served as a competitive niche offering for
specific medium-duty vehicles. As we approach future regulatory
requirements, the low volume nature of the platform could not justify
further product development investments on it."
The company still has a presence at Melrose Park, where facilities
are being transformed into a technical center for testing and validating
trucks and engines, and also selling and reconditioning used trucks.
That transformation began in 2010.
Truck rollover closes eastbound lanes on Highway 401 near Whitby
The rollover is causing heavy delays during the morning rush hour, according to police
A tanker truck carrying water rolled over on Highway 401 Wednesday morning.
All eastbound lanes on Highway 401 just east of Lake Ridge Road near
Whitby remain closed due to a crash involving a truck carrying water
that rolled over, according to the Ontario Provincial Police.
Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the tanker spilled some of its water onto the highway.
It's unknown when the eastbound lanes will reopen, he said.
Police have not received reports of any injuries in the rollover.
The eastbound lanes are closed only in the area of the accident, but that is causing traffic to back up, according to police.
"Obviously it's the morning rush, there is lots of traffic in that
area, and it's a big visual distraction as well for traffic on the other
side of the highway," said Schmidt. "It will be an area you want to
avoid for the next few hours."
Just after 10 a.m. police provided an update on twitter that the
truck has been removed, but all lanes remain blocked while the road is
General Motors recalls 80,000 pickup trucks in Canada due to power steering defe
The Silverado 1500 at the Canadian International Auto Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, February 19, 2013
General Motors is recalling nearly 800,000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks worldwide that could lose power steering, according to documents made public Friday.
The largest U.S. automaker said the 2014 model year trucks could
suffer a temporary loss of electric power steering, especially during
low-speed turning maneuvers, according to documents disclosed Friday by
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
includes about 690,000 vehicles in the United States, 80,000 in Canada
and around 25,000 in other markets. GM dealers will reflash the
vehicle’s software to address the defect.
GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson did not have any details on whether crashes or injuries are connected to the recall.
told regulators that before the 2015 model year it made a series of
changes to address potential sources of temporary low voltage conditions
that disable the power steering.
GM has not said when dealers will begin repairing vehicles.
ON – Ontario’s private career colleges have received a stern warning
from the ministry that oversees them, after complaints that some schools
are trying to bypass newly introduced mandatory training for commercial
The Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) program was introduced by
the Ontario Ministry of Transportation on July 1, and sets a minimum of
103.5 hours of training for anyone looking to earn a Class A licence.
It's the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce such a
In a memo obtained by Today’s Trucking, the Ontario Ministry of
Advanced Education and Skills Development says it has heard some schools
may not be complying with approved training programs and conditions.
The issue includes programs designed to upgrade BZ or DZ licence holders
to AZ licences, or simple hourly lessons.
“Any AZ training which does not adhere to the MELT standard does not
provide the student with the ability to challenge the [Ontario Ministry
of Transportation] AZ road test,” the memo stresses, referring to the
Private Career Colleges Act’s potential fines of up to $250,000 for
corporations as well as $50,000 fines and one-year prison terms for
Schools must use an online portal to identify trainees who have
completed the ministry-approved training regime, before the individual
can go to a DriveTest Center to take the road test for the licence
Schools that don’t comply with the rules could have programs revoked,
requiring refunds for students, writes Terry Tretter, manager –
compliance and enforcement unit at the Ministry of Advanced Education
and Skills Development’s Private Career Colleges Branch.
Ads that promote unapproved licence upgrading programs and other
“non-vocational” AZ programs could also contravene the Consumer
Protection Act. That also carries potential fines of up to $250,000 for
corporations as well as $50,000 fines and two-year prison terms for
There are ways for trainees to be recognized for “advanced standing”
toward the required schooling. But schools must have their approach
approved before offering it.
PIT Group participating in truck platooning research
MONTREAL, Que. – PIT Group announced recently that it is
participating in Transport Canada’s Cooperative Truck Platooning Systems
(CTPS) testing program.
The test began July 24 and ends August 18 at the Motor Vehicle Test Centre in Blainville, Quebec.
The testing program is led by a joint effort by Transport Canada,
National Research Council, Partners for Advanced Transportation
Technology (University of California at Berkeley); the U.S. Department
of Energy; the U.S. Federal Highway Administration; the California
Department of Transportation, and Volvo Trucks.
PIT Group was chosen to participate because of its testing expertise
and will manage track operations and provide trailers, drivers, test
engineers and scientific equipment, in addition to conducting fuel
consumption measurements using the TMC Fuel Consumption Test Procedure
in a ISO 17 025 context.
In 2016, the same team successfully conducted Fuel Economy Testing of
a Three-Vehicle Truck Platooning System. This year, the group is
focusing on the real world performance and reliability of CTPS using a
range of tractor-trailer configurations, speeds, separation distances
and weights in various traffic conditions.
Through reductions in aerodynamic drag and vehicle spacing, CTPS
offers the potential to improve fuel economy, emissions, traffic flow,
and road capacity by employing wireless communications and automation to
create a convoy or “platoon” of multiple trucks following in close
succession. The technologies employed by CTPS also have potential
benefits for drivers and for increasing road safety.
“Platooning is an important step towards autonomous vehicles and to
realizing the potential to reduce fuel consumption, eliminate highway
congestion and improve safety,” said Yves Provencher, director, market
and business development of PIT Group. “This year’s testing program will
provide a valuable understanding of the real savings potential of
platooning. We are pleased to contribute our ten years of testing
expertise to assist in this valuable industry research effort.”
Life is not without risks. It’s why we buy insurance and buckle our seat belts.
why, for the first time ever, the Mackinac Bridge will be completely
closed to vehicle traffic for this year’s Labor Day Bridge Walk. In past
years, car and truck traffic was shifted onto the southbound lanes
while walks used the other half of the bridge.
year, following the advice from the Michigan State Police and U.S.
Department of Homeland Security, the bridge authority will bar regular
traffic from the bridge from 6:30 a.m. to noon. Simply put, too many
cars and trucks have plowed into crowds of pedestrians in recent years.
police and the Mackinac Bridge Authority are not the only people
responsible for keeping the thousands of walkers safe on Labor Day. The
participants themselves have responsibilities as well. Walker are
advised to wear closed-toe shoes, apply sunscreen and avoid horseplay on
the bridge — and to make sure they are physically capable of a
numerous authorities are working together to mitigate and minimize the
risks of participating in the Port Huron Float Down on Sunday afternoon.
Also for the first time, marine and law enforcement officials from both
sides of the St. Clair River are coordinating their efforts to get
everyone to the end of the float and out of the river safely.
It’s a smart move and one that all of us appreciate.
bridge walkers, though, Float Down participants also have a role in
keeping themselves safe while enjoying Sunday’s event. There could be a
record turnout this year following the worldwide attention that last
year’s escape to Canada received. There will not be rescuers to mind
every single Float Down participant.
safety begins with being aware of your physical capabilities. It is
longer, farther and more difficult than it looks. It is not safe for
Wear a personal floatation device and
bring a suitable paddle to keep your float on course. You’re going to be
out in the sun for several hours, which means you’ll need sunscreen,
clothing to protect your skin and probably water and food. Avoid
Carry identification, preferably sealed
inside a waterproof bag, in case you need to explain yourself to
Canadian customs. Obey the law and respect private property.
Tractor-trailer collisions on the rise in Chatham-Kent
Construction zones on Highway 401 near Chatham seeing bulk of crashes
A truck fire on Highway 401 in Chatham-Kent. (OPP)
A section of Highway 401 near Chatham has seen a spike this
construction season in the number of collisions involving tractor
Figures from provincial police show 61 collisions have been reported
in the first three months of construction season, which stretches from
May to November. That figure is already close to the 88 crashes in the
entire construction season in 2016.
Of the crashes reported since May, 47 per cent have included tractor
trailers, compared to 32 per cent last year, according to police
OPP spokesman Const. Jay Denorer couldn't pinpoint a reason for the increase.
"Everything is set up for traffic to flow safely," he said. "As
you're approaching the construction zone slow down, enter into the
construction zone, give space in front of you and the most important
thing, don't be distracted whether it be by things in the vehicle or by
OPP Const. Jay Denorer said there have been
61 collisions in the Highway 401 construction zone near Chatham so far
this year season. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)
Tony Tanghe has been a truck driver for almost 40 years and he said it seems as if the roadway has become more dangerous.
He travels on the 401 in Chatham-Kent a few times a week and is concerned when travelling through that stretch of road.
"It's too much traffic, too close together," he said. "It only takes one person to screw up and then you have a big mess."
Tony Tanghe has been a truck driver for
almost 40 years. He said all motorists need to leave more space between
vehicles to avoid collisions on the highway. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)
The troubled stretch of road recently claimed the lives of Lacie Brundritt and her 14-year-old son Kyle.
The family was heading home from a family vacation when they became
stuck in slow traffic. While they were stopped, a tractor-trailer
slammed into their truck and several other vehicles near Dillon Road in
The deadly crash prompted provincial police to warn drivers to be
extra cautious around the construction zone, but just nine days later,
five vehicles were damaged in a "chain-reaction" crash involving three
Denorer said he's heard concerns from residents as well.
"I've heard concerned people are afraid to go on the highway when
collisions are happening," he said. "They think there's been a huge
increase and there's a lot of safety at risk."
ON – Ontario’s Peel Region, just west of Toronto, will partner with
private delivery businesses this fall to test the potential of off-peak
The goal is to help reduce congestion and improve traffic flows by
shifting truck traffic off the area’s congested roads during peak hours.
The six-month pilot begins in September, when regional staff will help develop customized delivery plans.
“This is an opportunity to improve the way we do business and create
efficiencies. We are looking forward to following the Region’s pilot
initiative and support their efforts in bringing innovative strategies
to alleviate congestion,” said Jonathan Blackham, the Ontario Trucking
Association’s (OTA's) director – policy and public affairs.
It’s not the first time a Canadian jurisdiction has tried this. When
introduced in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic Games, off-peak
deliveries saw total truck volumes drop 37% during congested periods.
During the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, about 100 businesses and
more than 500 receiving locations participated in such a project.
“OTA is hopeful that shippers and receivers also embrace this
initiative, as we know in the past there has been some hesitation to
shift workers to off-peak shipping/receiving,” added Blackham.
Those interested in participating in the pilot project can contact
Elizabeth Bang, Peel’s principal planner – transportation systems
planning, at 905-791-7800, ext 4694, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TN -- Navistar is disputing allegations that it didn’t thoroughly test
MaxxForce EGR engines, in a case that saw former executive Jim Hebe
testify that the company “did not test sh*t”, and a jury award a truck
fleet US $30.8 million in damages.
The Tennessee jury found that Navistar committed fraud and violated
the Tennessee Consumer Practice Act in connection with the sale of 243
Navistar International ProStars with MaxxForce engines to Milan Supply
Chain Solutions. It awarded US $10.8 million in actual damages and US$20
million in punitive damages.
Tennessee-based Milan alleged that Navistar misled them, saying the
truck maker failed to disclose that the MaxxForce 13L engine, which used
exhaust gas recirculation to meet 2010 emissions standards rather than
the selective catalytic reduction being used by other truck and engine
makers, was launched with “serious known defects.”
Milan also alleged that Navistar, while touting the quality of its
testing program, knew that the testing had serious flaws, was incomplete
at launch, and put the trucks into customers’ hands knowing that the
customers would end up becoming the de facto test fleet for Navistar’s
new 2010 year model engine.
In a statement, Navistar said it is disappointed in the jury’s
verdict and is evaluating its options to challenge it, noting it has
successfully defended similar claims in several jurisdictions, including
dismissal of claims of fraud in courts in Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan,
Indiana, Alabama, and Illinois.
“Navistar tested the MaxxForce 13 engine consistent with industry
standards,” the company said in a statement. “They were tested for 12
million miles prior to launch under rigorous conditions, in test cells
and on the road. At the time of the product launch, we were confident,
based on this testing, that the product would perform. All products
undergo continuous improvement throughout their lifecycle. When some
parts unexpectedly failed, we fixed them under warranty for our
customers, including Milan Supply. We've invested a significant amount
of resources standing behind our products and supporting our customers.”
Indeed, those warranty claims have dogged Navistar, being a key factor in many quarters of disappointing financial results.
EGR vs. SCR
Milan purchased the MaxxForce-powered ProStars in 2011 and 2012. The
MaxxForce engine used Navistar’s go-it-alone strategy of “advanced
exhaust gas recirculation” to meet EPA 2010 emissions regulations, which
it used hoping to avoid the use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR)
adopted by other truck and engine makers. However, Navistar was never
able to get EPA approval for the MaxxForce engine after the expiration
of its emissions credits, at which point it switched emissions-control
technologies to SCR.
Since that time, Navistar has overhauled its management team and product lineup, moving to engines supplied by Cummins and a new Navistar A26 engine just going into production developed based on proven engine technology from new partner Volkswagen.
What would eventually turn out to be an ill-fated decision by
Navistar to use Advanced EGR instead of SCR led to numerous quality
problems with the engine, which resulted in hundreds of millions of
dollars of warranty costs to Navistar and losses on the resale market
for trucking companies like Milan.
During the trial, numerous executives testified either live or by
deposition, including the aforementioned comment from Jim Hebe, former
senior vice president of North American sales, who said Navistar never
tested the final version of the engine before selling it to customers.
In an email to current CEO Troy Clarke, Navistar’s current Senior
Vice President of Engineering Dennis Mooney quoted former Vice President
of Quality Tom Cellitti (who was in charge of testing the Maxxforce
engine) as saying over and over again prior to the launch to customers,
“we have no field testing,” because the company only tested engineering
development trucks rather than validation trucks.
In the same email, according to plaintiff’s attorneys, Mooney
admitted that customers ended up uncovering problems that Navistar would
have uncovered with the Maxxforce had it been able to do more
In another email exchange between Mooney and Clarke revealed at the
trial, Mooney said the management had told the board of directors in
2013 that the “physics of the EGR strategy is (sic) not sound.” None of
these things were ever revealed to the public prior to trial, according
Navistar's MaxxForce engine
The jury also heard evidence that Navistar knew when it launched the
engine that critical engine components had serious quality problems and a
shortened life span. For instance, the EGR cooler allegedly had a life
span of less than 20% of the design requirement based upon testing done
before the sale of the engines to the public, according to the
While the attorneys for the plaintiffs charged that none of this
information was disclosed to customers, Jack Allen, the former chief
operating officer and president of truck operations, testified for
Navistar that in his opinion it was “normal business practice” for
companies to not disclose to customers in advance of a sale about known
defects in the products or to disclose to customers that they were
buying a product that had not been fully validated or tested by the
“The jury seemed shocked to hear this testimony about the corporate
culture and philosophy of Navistar from one of the company’s top
executives,” said Clay Miller of the Dallas law firm Miller Weisbrod,
lead trial attorney for Milan, referring to Allen's testimony. Miller
said he believed this played a key factor in the punitive award.
Milan and its attorneys also criticized Navistar, saying the company
refused to work with the fleet to address issues and instead went the
Navistar said it “strongly disagrees with plaintiff counsel's
characterizations of Navistar's conduct. Navistar has and will continue
to defend our products, our reputation in the market, and the integrity
of our employees.”
Edmonton company to maintain Alberta’s road weather information system
EDMONTON, Alta. – Edmonton’s Campbell Scientific Canada has
signed a multi-year contract to take over the maintenance of Alberta’s
152 road weather information, camera, and digital messaging systems.
As part of the Road Weather Information System (RWIS) contract
between Amec Foster Wheeler and Alberta Transportation, the effort is
vital for ensuring the safety of motorists on the province’s highway
system, enhancing roadway maintenance efficiency, and reducing the
“Our goal as a company has always been to provide the best
measurement possible and we’re extremely excited to apply that principle
in our own backyard,” said Campbell Scientific Canada president and CEO
Brian Day. “We live and breathe the weather in this province every day,
so we understand what Albertans deal with and we look forward to
playing a role in the safety of Alberta’s roads for the foreseeable
Alberta’s weather information network includes 112 road weather
information stations, 10 mobile road weather stations, 17 digital
messaging signs, 10 road camera stations, and 3 road condition warning
The contract includes the possibility of installing up to 20 new
stations over the next five years on Calgary’s Stoney Trail and
Edmonton’s Anthony Henday Drive.
Alberta’s RWIS network gathers road and weather information in
real-time and reports on current conditions and forecasts, which helps
road maintenance personnel plan and prepare for weather events, and
drivers plan trips to ensure safe travel.
Suspects sought for break-in at Swarovski Canada warehouse in Markham
Crime Stoppers is appealing for help identifying three suspects
wanted for a break-in at the Swarovski Canada Limited warehouse in
Markham March 30.
They gained entry to the warehouse, on Gough Road, through an
adjacent unit, according to a news release. Once inside, they ransacked
several rooms and stole several watches and crystal items. The suspects
fled in a Budget rental truck and a silver sedan.
Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call
Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can also leave an anonymous
tip online at 1800222tips.com, or text your tip to CRIMES (274637) starting with the word YORK.
If the information you provide helps solve the case, you may be eligible for cash reward of up to $2,000.
Yukon gov't says Alaska Highway should re-open Tuesday evening
Alaska Highway has been closed since fuel truck and tankers crashed Monday evening west of Rancheria Lodge
The two fuel tankers at kilometre 1105 on the Alaska Highway just west of the Rancheria Lodge.
The Yukon government plans to re-open the Alaska Highway Tuesday
evening and have pilot cars escorting the flow of traffic past the site
where a fuel truck towing two tankers crashed, with at least one tanker
The territory's department of environment said in a release that
approxmately 20,000 litres of fuel was spilled. Foam was put on the
spill to mitigate the fumes and prevent it from catching on fire.
"The incident site has been stabilized," said a later release.
Whitehorse based Pacesetter Petroleum, which operates the truck, has
hired a contractor to deal with the incident, said the release, adding
that "fuel is being removed from the site."
The release said that the government's emergency social services unit
was assisting people stranded on the highway, "by providing portable
toilets, food and water."
However, some people waiting in long lines of traffic told CBC News that they had not seen or talked to any officials.
The crash, which took place at around 8:30 Monday evening, was at
kilometre 1105, just west of Rancheria Lodge and about 125 kilometres
west of Watson Lake.
RCMP say the driver was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Traffic was lining up at points on the Alaska Highway while people waited for the highway to reopen. (Philippe Morin/CBC)
Flagpersons were on the highway all day at several locations near
communities on each side of the crash to alert motorists to the closure,
said Heather McKay, who works with the territory's department of
highways and public works.
A Pacesetter truck also overturned at the intersection of the Alaska
and North Klondike highways in Whitehorse in June, closing both roads
for hours. An employee at its Whitehorse office said the company was
trying to determine what had happened.
The RCMP said the public should monitor Yukon highways' emergency road closure website www.511yukon.ca for updates on the closure.
TORONTO, ON -- Ontario is preparing to tighten the requirements to
renew Class D licences, bringing medicals and knowledge and vision tests
in line with other commercial classes, the Ontario Trucking Association
reports. The changes would be effective July 1, 2018.
Formal notice is expected to be issued to licence holders by the end of August.
Class D licence holders up to 80 years old will now be subject to a
Class D knowledge test and vision test every five years, when they renew
their licences. Air brake knowledge tests for a Z endorsement will
occur at the same time. Drivers 65 to 79 years old, with three demerit
points or an at-fault collision on their record, will have to take a
road test as well.
Medical reports will have to be submitted every five years for those
under 46, three years for those 46-64, and annually for those 65 and
older. Forms will be mailed to licence holders 90 days in advance of the
TORONTO, Ont. — The Province of Ontario has begun consultation
sessions on the legalization of marijuana and has asked stakeholders to
provide it with input on how the introduction of drug could impact
their sector and how government could develop a responsible policy
“Historically drug and alcohol use among commercial drivers has not
been a safety issue in the Province of Ontario, and the Ontario Trucking
Association (OTA), wants to keep it that way,” said Ontario Trucking
Association’s Jonathan Blackham. “Operating commercial vehicles comes
with an added responsibility and strong commitment to road safety.
Ontario needs to make sure that all vehicle operators understand that
operating a motorized vehicle under the influence of marijuana will
carry strong consequences,” added Blackham.
Statistics show operators of large commercial vehicles are much less
likely to be impaired by alcohol or drugs than all other motorists.
OTA supports the Canadian Trucking Alliance position that the
trucking industry, regardless of the legal status of marijuana, should
be held to a zero-tolerance policy for being under the influence of
marijuana while at work.
The OTA will also be working with the province of on comprehensive
workplace testing policies, a review of the duty to accommodate, and the
benefits/impediments to establishing differing sobriety levels for
commercial drivers and passenger vehicles, similar to those policies
currently deployed for safety sensitive positions.
Regina-area farmers and truck drivers are frustrated with a new
overpass that was supposed to make crossing the Trans-Canada Highway
easier, but has instead made it more difficult.
The Balgonie overpass has been open to the public for less than a week as part of the Regina Bypass Project, but has already faced criticism over the width of the lanes, which are too narrow for farm equipment.
Farmer Ryan Leibel was initially excited for the new overpass as trying
to cross the highway has always been difficult with his heavy farm
equipment. But he says the new overpass hasn’t solved the problem.
“I tried to take the maiden voyage across and try it out,” Leibel told
CTV Regina. “I realized quickly it wasn’t quite wide enough.”
The overpass itself is wide enough for both farm equipment and trucks,
but the access lanes are only 4.5 metres wide. Leibel’s tractor is
nearly 5.5 metres wide.
Leibel came away from the overpass with scuff marks on his tractor
tires from scraping the curbs on the road. Tire marks from other large
vehicles can also be seen on curbs approaching the overpass.
Other motorists like Clint Walker, who uses the overpass, are
frustrated with the miscalculation made for the access lanes and what it
might mean for the just-opened overpass.
“I think it’s absolutely horrible,” said Walker. “A complete waste of money and will not work.”
Saskatchewan highway officials are expected to come out to the Balgonie
overpass next week and to assess the situation and determine whether
they will have to change the design.