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Truckstop Canada is the Information Center and Portal for the Trucking Industry, Trucker Forum, Photo Gallery and Live Chat: Trucking News

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Paccar, Daimler, Autocar recall some 15,000 trucks
Trucking News

Nearly 15,000 trucks are being recalled by their manufacturers for various defects, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Daimler is recalling some 6,795 Freightliner and Western Star tractors and chassis equipped with certain Eaton Electronic Clutch Actuation heavy-duty truck clutches. The company says an internal component in the clutch assemblies could fail, possibly resulting in unintended vehicle movement. Affected models include:

  • 2018-2019 Freightliner 108SD
  • 2018-2019 Freightliner 114SD
  • 2018-2019 Freightliner 122SD
  • 2018-2019 Freightliner Business Class M2
  • 2018-2019 Freightliner Cascadia
  • 2018-2019 Western Star 4700
  • 2018-2019 Western Star 4900
  • 2018-2019 Western Star 5700

Daimler will notify affected truck owners, and dealers will update the software and repair any physical components for free. Owners can contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-803. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-903.

Paccar is recalling approximately 6,857 Kenworth and Peterbilt tractors for an issue with the seat belt assemblies. The company says seat belt buckle assemblies in the affected trucks may have been glued and not sewn during manufacturing, possibly causing the assembly to come apart in the event of a crash.

Affected trucks include model year 2018 Kenworth T680 and T880, and model year 2018 Peterbilt 567 and 579.

Paccar is notifying affected truck owners, and dealers will replace the seat belt buckle assemblies that weren’t sewn for free. Owners can contact Paccar customer service at 1-918-259-3258 with recall numbers 18KWG and 18PBD. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-870.

Autocar announced it is recalling about 1,003 2019 model year Xpeditor trucks due to an issue where the universal joint strap bolts at the transmission output yoke may not be properly tightened. If these bolts are loose, the strap may disconnect from the truck, and the drive shaft could detach.

Autocar has notified owners, and dealers will properly tighten the bolts for free. Owners can contact Autocar customer service at 1-888-218-3611 or 1-877-973-3486 with recall number ACX-1901. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-889.

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Semi-truck driver killed in crash
Trucking News

A 36-year-old man is dead after a crash on I-69 in Genesee County.

Flint Township Police say the man was driving a semi truck westbound toward Miller Road when he hit a car in the roadway.

The semi truck left the road and overturned as it traveled down a steep embankment.

The crash happened around 9:00 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10.

The car had become disabled after its driver lost control. It's not clear how long the car was in the roadway before it was hit.

The driver of the semi truck has not been identified, but police say he was from Ontario, Canada.

Six other vehicles crashed while trying to avoid the same disabled car.

Two people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Police believe slippery road conditions and speed contributed to the crashes.

Westbound I-69 was closed for several hours as crews removed vehicles and debris from the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Highway reopens after semi crash near Three Valley Gap
Trucking News

Highway 1 has reopened following the earlier semi-truck crash.

Drive BC reports the highway is open to single lane alternating traffic and motorists should expect delays due to congestion.

Original Story:

Bales of hay were strewn across the Trans-Canada Highway after a semi truck crashed and jackknifed across both lanes of the highway near the western end of Three-Valley Gap.

According to RCMP traffic services, officers from Revelstoke were called out to the accident scene at approximately 9 a.m. The single-vehicle accident occurred near the Camp Creek Bridge.

The highway is closed as the truck is blocking both lanes of traffic. Cpl. Mike Halskov of RCMP traffic services reported the driver of the truck is out of the vehicle and seems uninjured but will still be checked out by emergency medical services as a precaution.

Halskov said travellers should monitor Drive BC for updates on the condition of the highway.

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New CNG Refueling Being Built Near U.S.-Canada Peace Bridge
Trucking News

Envoy Energy Fuels Inc. and Truk-King Logistics Inc. have started construction on a public-access compressed natural gas (CNG) station in Fort Erie, Ontario.

The CNG cardlock station, located at 1521 Bowen Rd., will include four fast-fill lanes for heavy-duty vehicles and two dedicated lanes for filling large-capacity tube trailers for Envoy Energy’s mobile CNG refueling operations.

The facility, located along Ontario’s QEW highway and just minutes from the U.S.-Canada Peace Bridge, has the capacity to fuel Class 8 trucks in approximately five minutes and over 200 trucks each day. The opening of the station is planned for April.

Based in Fort Erie, Truk-King is a privately owned and operated dry-freight trucking company, providing cross-border transportation services to North American customers. In early 2018, Truk-King became the first third-party carrier in Ontario to adopt CNG Class 8 trucks. Truk-King plans to have its entire fleet of Class 8 trucks running on natural gas by the end of 2019, and the new station will provide the company access to another source of CNG fuel.

“I am thrilled that we are able to help Truk-King solve their problems with fuel costs and diesel emissions,” notes James Ro, president of Envoy Energy.

The station’s partners also include ComTech Energy, Enbridge Gas Inc. and Natural Resources Canada.

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Kriska acquires Icon Transportation
Trucking News

PRESCOTT, Ont. – Kriska Transportation Group has announced its acquisition of Icon Transportation Logistics (ITL) out of Puslinch, Ont.

The company will continue to be led by general manager Alen Delija and its current management team.

“ITL is a great fit with the Kriska Transportation Group,” said Kriska CEO, Mark Seymour. “We’re happy to bring their team of drivers and staff into the KTG family. ITL’s expedited team service is an exciting new addition to our transportation menu.  We know that they have been growing in this space and we hope to help them achieve that.”

“Becoming part of KTG offers ITL the opportunity to access a network of transportation companies that will help us better serve our existing customers,” added Delija. “We’re excited to be part of a group that will help to grow our reach and share our strengths.”

Icon Transportation Logistics offers domestic and cross-border truckload and expedited services. It operates 46 trucks, including 12 teams, and 78 dry van trailers.

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'I'm 80,000 pounds, there's no way I'm stopping that truck
Trucking News


EUGENE, Ore .- Icy, slippery conditions are adding to an already dangerous drive with a wave of recent crashes along Interstate 5, partly due to wintry conditions.

“It's slick, it's icy in spots," said Rick Arres, a Truck Driver for JR's Freight Services. "Most other trucks are doing 35-40, cars are going along 50, 65 and they spin out and cause major accidents."

Oregon State Police report responding to 372 crashes statewide on Monday and Tuesday, with 93 on I-5 alone.

“They're going way too fast for the conditions," said Matthew Riverman, another truck driver. "They never learn and this happens every year."

Some of the most dangerous winter driving has been north of Eugene.

Truck drivers at Travel Centers of AmericaTruck Stop in Coburg say years behind the wheel have taught them that being aware of the roads and the drivers around you are key to staying safe.

“We live in these things, we're in these weather conditions all the time," said Arres. "They pay attention to what the trucks are doing, they wouldn't have so many problems."

From January 27th through the 29th, there wasn’t a single crash along I-5 from Albany to Salem. However, in the last few days from February 3rd-5th, there have been three.

“You know I'm 80,000 pounds, there's no way I'm stopping that truck and people just don't get it," said Riverman. "They think to save two seconds they're going to risk their lives and I see it everyday."

Oregon Department of Transportation Public Information Officer, Angela Beers Seydel, says bridges and overpasses are some of the more risky spots along the corridor.

Both areas are more likely to have ice buildup causing slippery conditions.

“Slow down, you know you don't need to be doing 65 mph when it's 32 degrees,” said Riverman.

Safety tips from longtime drivers who are on the road every day.

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Titanium touts recruitment and retention success
Trucking News

BOLTON, Ont. – Titanium Transportation Group says it grew its driver base by 14% in 2018, while limiting driver turnover to 18.6%.

In the U.S., driver turnover is often more than 90%. Titanium credits its success to establishing a culture of safety and offering attractive retention and recognition programs, including a share purchase plan.

“We are extremely proud of our reliable, safe and hardworking driver group,” said Ted Daniel, CEO of Titanium.  “While the industry continues to experience high turnover, Titanium continues to attract and retain the best drivers in the industry. We have maintained our leadership position with attractive pay packages and a one of a kind share purchase plan to ensure the highest level of job satisfaction because we understand drivers have to make a choice.”

Daniel said the company’s ability to recruit and retain drivers positions it well for organic growth in 2019.

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Large ice chunk falls off transport truck, smashes vehicle's windshield
Trucking News

No one was injured but the transport truck's driver has been charged

It had to have been quite the scare for one driver on Highway 401 in Chatham-Kent.

Ontario Provincial Police say a large piece of ice fell off a transport truck, smashing a westbound vehicle's windshield on the passenger side.

Officers responded around 11 a.m. Feb. 2 to the area of the highway close to the Highway 40 exit.

 

OPP say no one was injured but the vehicle was deemed inoperable and needed to be towed from the scene.

The driver of the transport — a 43-year-old Mississauga man — has been charged with having an insecure load.

Police are warning all motorists that failing to remove ice and snow from their vehicle can result in a fine or potentially serious injury.

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Canada Moves Forward with Autonomous Truck Testing
Trucking News

The trucks will be must be equipped with SAE level 1 or 2 technology.

On January 22, 2019, Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation  is  expanding its 10-year pilot project to test and evaluate the use of automated vehicles (AVs) on Ontario roadways

The government announced a pilot program for cooperative truck platooning (Platoon Pilot). A cooperative truck platoon means two or more commercial motor vehicles that use an advanced driver assistance system and vehicle-to-vehicle communication system to travel in a convoy where the vehicles steer, accelerate and brake cooperatively and synchronously.

The Ministry is allowing a limited pilot of truck platoons to demonstrate their potential, compatibility with existing road users and infrastructure and confirm their overall safety.

As the number of participants is limited, not all applicants who apply and satisfy the preconditions to participation may be approved. Conditions to participation in the Platoon Pilot include:

  • Trucks must be equipped with SAE level 1 or 2 technology
  • A driver is required in each AV to steer and take over full manual control of the AV if required
  • A maximum of three AVs is permitted in each platoon
  • The platoon must only operate on certain designated highways, which include portions of the 400 series of highways, and only with notice and approval from the Ministry of the days and times of testing
  • Reporting requirements, including an annual report, as well as the requirement to complete daily reports to be provided to the Ministry on demand
  • Limits on the types of cargo that may be carried
  • A declaration of the cybersecurity measures taken by the applicant
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5 tips to keep truck drivers safe in the deep freeze
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. — Winter can be very unforgiving. Every year we read about drivers who perish in their trucks during extended road closures where the driver goes off the road or runs into impassable conditions. It can be hours or sometimes days before help arrives. Would you or your drivers be able to stay warm and safe if you were caught in such a situation?

Here are five tips that will help keep drivers alive if the worst should happen.

1. Keep Fuel Tanks Full

Your engine is your only reliable source of heat, so you need to keep it running. You stand a much better chance of surviving if you have enough fuel to last a day or two stranded at roadside. Tanks that are less than half full also have greater risk of gelling or freezing, because the water that is always in diesel fuel has less fuel in which to disperse. That means there’s more water present per gallon, and that increases the possibility of freezing up.

You can prevent fuel from gelling by using anti-gel additives, or even a cupful of basic rubbing alcohol (alcohol absorbs water) if you’re in a pinch, but you can’t un-gel your fuel with an additive. The idea is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

2. Keep Emergency Rations in the Cab

Most of us would not starve to death if we went without food for a day or two, but it can get pretty uncomfortable. In addition, eating generates body heat, so it’s important that you consume some food, and especially water, if you’re storm stayed. It’s a good idea to stock a small supply of high-calorie snacks for emergency use, such as candy bars, granola bars, easy-to-heat meals, and dried fruits and nuts (such as trail mix).

A couple of cans of soup or ready-to-eat canned food is useful if you have a means to heat it (don’t forget to buy pop-top cans or include a can opener in your emergency kit), but you can always use some alternate source of heat such as the defroster, the engine exhaust manifold, or a can of Sterno. Put a small stash aside and leave it alone until you need it.

3. Be prepared to stay warm

A winter survival kit is a must for any driver on an irregular route where you don’t know where you might be going next. Don’t lull yourself into thinking that because you run the same busy four-lane highway all the time that you might not need it. That kind of thinking kills people. Driver who run remote, less-traveled roads in winter carry winter kits, but it’s usually not those folks we read about after a storm. Winter coats, boots, etc. can be purchased cheap at Goodwill stores and used clothing shops. Don’t go without because of the high cost of new winter clothing.

Warm clothing is a must. It’s far better to have and not use it than need it and be without:

– A good winter coat, mitts and a hat, at the very least

– A pair of thermal underwear or several T-shirts you can layer on

– Several pairs of heavy socks in case one pair gets wet

– Insulated coveralls for working outside the truck in winter

– A quality pair of winter boots.

4. Pack a Winter Tool Kit

One can easily go overboard prepping for a winter emergency, but no tool is more important than the one you don’t have. These would be the essentials, and perhaps surprisingly, not all drivers equip themselves with even these basics.

– Several small cans of Sterno (gelled alcohol used to keep food warm) or candles (good for a little heat and light), butane lighter, plug-in rechargeable flashlight (flashlight batteries are always dead when you really need them).

– Sleeping bag for additional warmth

– Spare fuel filter and a filter wrench to change filter, and written instructions on how to change a fuel filter if you’re not sure how it’s done

– Anti-gel fuel additive

– Air-line antifreeze with instruction from the shop supervisor on how to use it

– Windshield ice scraper

– A large bag of road salt or cat litter for traction

5. Have a Survival Strategy

If you find yourself stranded and isolated and not going anywhere because of foul winter weather, don’t panic. Take stock of the situation and assess

your options – which are usually limited to waiting it out until the road is cleared or help arrives to get you going again.

– Try to alert someone to your situation so they know where you are

– Consider your fuel supply and how long you might be able to leave the engine idling to keep warm. Engines burn one to two gallons per hour at high idle, so roughly speaking you’ll need 30-40 gallons of fuel to idle for 24 hours

– If your fuel is low, idle sparingly; run it long enough to warm the cab and then shut it off again

– If you have a downdraft exhaust, dig out any snow around it so you aren’t overcome by carbon monoxide fuels, and always crack open a window when the engine is running

– If you’re gelled up and the engine won’t run, use your batteries sparingly. The cold will limit their effectiveness too at some point

– Don’t leave the truck in search of shelter. Inside you have some protection from the elements, and body heat will help warm the inside of the cab

– Dress warmly even when inside

– If you sleep, set an alarm to wake you periodically so you don’t slip into hypothermia.

Winter survival begins with preparedness, so if you or your drivers don’t currently have any of the supplies we mentioned, consider finding them as soon as you can. Come springtime, pack it all up in a box and stow it for next winter – except the food.

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New list details 100 worst congestion spots for truckers
Trucking News

If you pick up and/or deliver to or near most major U.S. cities, you don’t need a study to tell you how bad traffic congestion is; you’re mired in it on a regular basis. But, the latest data pinpoint the 100 most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America, and illustrate its cost.

The American Transportation Research Institute today released its annual list of trucking bottlenecks, which is based on GPS information from 1 million trucks. In general, this year’s report shows congestion is getting worse, the speed of travel through these locations is slowing, and the cost to the industry is increasing.

The top 10 locations for the worst congestion for truckers includes:

  1. Fort Lee, New Jersey: I-95 at SR 4
  2. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
  3. Atlanta: I-75 at I-285 (North)
  4. Los Angeles: SR 60 at SR 57
  5. Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59
  6. Cincinnati: I-71 at I-75
  7. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94
  8. Nashville: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East)
  9. Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West)
  10. Los Angeles: I-710 at I-105

ATRI’s analysis also found that year-over-year truck speeds across the top 10 locations dropped by an average of nearly 9 percent as congestion worsened.

Trucks that aren’t moving, or are moving slowly, are expensive. It’s estimated congestion costs the industry some $74.5 billion a year, and 1.2 billion in lost hours of productivity. ATRI said congestion caused by these bottlenecks equates to 425,533 truckers sitting idle.

“Congestion is a persistent issue for our industry and our company specifically,” said Rich McArdle, president of UPS Freight. “For UPS, if all of our vehicles are delayed just five minutes a day, every day, it costs our company $114 million a year.”

While Fort Lee, New Jersey (the George Washington Bridge crossing into New York City) is the worst bottleneck, Atlanta has the dubious distinction of being the U.S. city with the most trucking bottlenecks in the top 10 with three. Fully 70 percent of the locations on the top 100 list are located in just 12 states. That list includes:

  • Texas, 13
  • California, 7
  • Connecticut, 6
  • Georgia, 6
  • Washington, 6
  • Maryland/Washington, D.C., 5
  • Minnesota, 5
  • New York, 5
  • Pennsylvania, 5
  • Illinois, 4
  • Indiana, 4
  • Tennessee, 4

The nation’s largest trucking advocacy group wants elected officials to do something about these bottlenecks.

“ATRI’s research shows us where the worst pain points are – but they are far from the only ones,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. “This report should be a wakeup call for elected leaders at all levels of government that we must act quickly to address our increasingly congested highway system. Without meaningful investment in our nation’s infrastructure, carriers will continue to endure billions of dollars in congestion-related costs – which results in a self-inflicted drag on our economy.”

You can see a detailed list of the top 100 most congested bottlenecks online.

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Truck Drivers Idle During Travel Ban
Trucking News


VIDEO

KIRKWOOD, N.Y. -- A ban on commercial vehicles on interstates was enforced throughout the day Tuesday.

State troopers pulled over truck drivers violating the ban. For those following it, there was nothing to do but wait.

Love's Travel Stop near Binghamton is the last stop for truckers before entering Pennsylvania from New York, so a travel ban on all commercial vehicles on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania means a crowded parking lot full of tractor-trailers in New York.

"Nowhere near as much as we do when we're hauling. It's half pay. It's better than nothing. I'd rather that than being out there risking my life or someone else's," said driver Andy Blythe from Ontario.

Truck drivers explain to Newswatch 16 that it varies from company to company as to whether drivers get paid during a travel ban. Some drivers will get paid half.

"So, it's something. It pays for a motel if you're going to get it, or food or whatever. Other companies don't. Drivers are only paid when the wheels are turning," said driver Stephen Smith from Ontario.

Drivers tell Newswatch 16 if they have perishable items in their trucks, a travel ban can be a little more stressful.

"They're only going to be good for a couple days, so if we do get stuck in a situation like this, we hope it's something quick where they can get the highways done so we can make this delivery. After a couple days, people more than likely won't receive it," said Virginia driver Finny Cureton.

We found several refrigerated trailers at the rest stop near Binghamton. Drivers say their loads should stay fresh despite the one-day delay.

"It can be anywhere from 10 degrees to 70 degrees depends on what the product is that's in there."

RVs were also included in the travel ban, so a cross-country road trip for one family will take a bit longer than expected.

"Probably do it in seven days, but 10 to 12 is probably reasonable."

Traveling from Canada to Seattle, Washington to visit their daughter, the Laforest family made the best of making the time pass.

"Internet is a wonderful thing. We have this huge Wi-Fi thing so we can get internet anywhere. We can do the Netflix and catch up on whatever we want to. We said what would we do without it? We'd have to read a book, which is actually kind of nice. I brought one, so I'll probably do a little of that, too," said Stephen Laforest.

The commercial vehicle travel ban in parts of Pennsylvania went into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday, and despite the frustration,  drivers say they understand.

"The state's doing the right thing. Keep everyone safe then clean the roads."

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Convoy of angry truckers heading to Sudbury
Trucking News

A fleet of frustrated Westerners will roll through Sudbury this weekend en route to the nation’s capital.

The United We Roll convoy, featuring about 300 trucks, is departing Red Deer, Alta., on Valentine’s Day, and should reach Sudbury by Sunday.

“It’s tough for us to stop in any given city, because we have 4,000 kilometres to travel and four days to do it,” said organizer Glen Carritt, a municipal councillor in Innisfail, Alta. and owner of a company that provides fire services to oil and gas operations.

“But what we’re doing is encouraging people to come out and support us, whether it’s on the highway to watch us go by, or for trucks to join in from city to city or border to border.”

The goal is to reach Ottawa by Feb. 19, where speeches and a rally are planned for Parliament Hill.

Carritt said convoy participants are fed up with the slow pace of pipeline development and feel the federally imposed carbon tax will only cause more economic pain for an already struggling region.

“We need pipelines to get our product to tidewater, and also to the rest of the country, so that we can stop spending $50 million a day on foreign oil from countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela,” he said.

He said Canada counts the third largest reserves of oil in the world — nearly all of it in Alberta — “but we don’t use our oil to the best of its capacity.”

Apart from importing foreign oil, “we also sell it to the States cheap and buy it back at a higher rate,” he said. “The reason for that is the U.S. has no interest in Canada getting our pipelines to tidewater, because then that changes the world market for them.”

Convoy members oppose Bill C48, which prohibits oil tankers from stopping at West Coast ports, and Bill C69, a revamp of environmental assessment rules that will inhibit energy projects through “over-regulation,” according to Carritt. “We’re already losing businesses right, left and centre in Alberta and Saskatchewan and B.C., because they can’t keep up with the regulations.”

His group also feels the price on carbon “needs to be revisited or abolished,” as it taxes Canadian families while “doing nothing to reduce emissions.”

Carritt said Jason Kenney, leader of the United Conservative Party in Alberta, is on board with Ontario’s Doug Ford and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe in challenging the federal carbon plan.

Even in B.C., there are many people — including Indigenous people who welcome the work that would come from pipeline construction — who see the price on pollution as an impediment, he said.

Just before Christmas, the Trudeau government announced $1.6 billion for Alberta’s ailing energy sector, but Carritt said that is not the answer.

“We don’t want handouts in Alberta,” he said. “We don’t want to become dependent on any government. We just want to get back to work and get our product out there. The $1.6 billion is almost a slap in the face.”

There has been some confusion and controversy in getting the rolling protest out of the garage, largely because the yellow vest movement, which counts some extreme elements, was initially involved.

“I stand behind what the yellow vests believe in, but I don’t stand behind the radicals and discrimination that come from certain Facebook pages,” said Carritt.

People identifying with the movement can still be part of the United We Roll convoy, he said, as long as they aren’t spreading an intolerant or hateful message.

“We only accept respectful, peaceful, hard-working Canadians that want to have their voice heard in Ottawa,” he said.

These include members of the oil and gas industry, but also farmers, military veterans and members of the Metis community, he said. And he hopes other allies will be found along the way, including, perhaps, some auto workers in Ontario.

“This is a united coalition,” said Carritt, who will be driving a red fire truck from his OP Fire & Safety business in the convoy. “This is a movement that says ‘we’re fed up’ and anybody is welcome — yellow vest, pink hat, blue carnation, I don’t care — as long as you are respectful.”

The organizer said about 200 trucks are committed to driving the full distance to Ottawa, but others will join for shorter stretches along the way, swelling the fleet size to as many as 400 vehicles at times.

They won’t be driving bumper to bumper, however, and shouldn’t impede other traffic too much.

“We’ll have space between so people can pass,” Carritt said, adding he’s consulted with OPP, RCMP and Ottawa Police to make sure they are aware of the plan and all requirements are met.

“This is a peaceful, respectful protest, where we’re following all the laws,” he said. “We’re not just jumping in trucks and driving across the country. This has been a huge logistical undertaking and we’re trying to make sure we have all the bases covered.”

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Manitoba scraps non-RTAC standard, harmonizing with western provinces
Trucking News

WINNIPEG, Man. – Manitoba regulations for vehicle weights and dimensions are changing with the removal of the non-Road Transportation Association of Canada (RTAC) standard.

The province had adhered to two standards – RTAC and non-RTAC – and said scrapping the latter from the Vehicle Weights and Dimensions on Classes of Highway Regulation will simplify the rules and reduce regulatory requirements for commercial vehicles in Manitoba.

The changes, which come into effect Feb. 15, are also expected to improve clarity of the regulation for businesses, staff who issue over-dimension and overweight permits, and enforcement officers.

Non-RTAC vehicles will continue to fall under legal length, height, and width, and carriers can keep operating with their existing non-RTAC equipment under permit.

Inter-axle spacing will impact allowable weights, therefore any vehicle that does not meet spacing requirements will need a permit to operate legally. A new permit for short inter-axle spacing will be required for a fee of $24.

Permits will no longer be required for long wheel base semi-tractors, full and semi-trailer lift axles, and tandem steer axles under a 2.2m spread.

The new regulation aligns with other provinces in the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, harmonizing across the western provinces. Ontario continues to use both the RTAC and non-RTAC standards.

A review process of the regulatory change will take place during the first year to determine any impact on the industry.

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Progress made towards allowing weight parity for single tires
Trucking News

Michelin has sold one million X One wide-base single tires such as these ones.

OTTAWA, Ont. – Changes to the Heavy Truck Weight and Dimension Limits for Interprovincial Operations in Canada pave the way for truckers to use wide-base single tires at the same weight limits as duals right across Canada.

The decision was made during the meeting of the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety in late January.

“We are grateful for the leadership shown by the First Ministers, Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety and the provincial and territorial government representatives of the Task Force on Vehicle Weights and Dimensions Policy for moving forward on this issue so that the trucking industry can take advantage of this progressive equipment technology under the MOU umbrella,” said Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) senior vice-president of policy, Geoff Wood.

The CTA says the next step is for the provinces and territories to amend their regulations to reflect the recent changes, and in the interim, to offer permits to facilitate the movement of single tire-equipped vehicles.

“The outcome of this policy decision which also saw an all-hands-on-deck effort from the provincial trucking associations in the Alliance strikes a good balance between road infrastructure preservation and productivity, safety and environmental considerations. It also levels the playing field with respect to Canadian and U.S. fleets in their tire spec’ing options. The ultimate goal of this effort now and all MoU updates is to have all jurisdictions adopt the MOU changes in their regulations as quickly as individual regulatory/legislative timetables permit,” added Wood.

The MOU can be read here.

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Velvac combines mirror and camera
Trucking News


Velvac’s LaneOptics Mirror Cam integrates a color camera to help enhance visibility in traditional blind spots.

The 50-square-inch mirror incorporates the camera in the upper corner, delivering a 73.7-degree field of view. The lens is also pre-positioned. Once the mirror head is adjusted for the best viewing angle, the camera is aligned.

The unit comes with a five-pin (B) type cable connector.

The mirror’s overall head measures 9×7 inches, and is attached with one-inch stainless steel arms. The black powder-coated four-stud universal mounting base uses the same hole patterns as Velvac Pod or Mod Pod mirrors, and will mount to almost any truck hood, the company says.

The unit is also offered with a monitor and backup camera.

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More Private Parking Spaces on the Way as Natso, FHWA Count Spots
Trucking News
Love's truck stop outside of Las Vegas

Love’s Travel Stops plans to add 40 new locations and more than 3,500 parking spaces in 2019.

Some of the nation’s largest travel-stop companies are adding parking spaces and expanding operations in 2019, as national demand for truck parking continues to rise.

Availability of parking has been the second-most important issue facing truck drivers for two years running, according to those polled in an annual survey of industry challenges conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute. According to ATRI Vice President Dan Murray, truck parking ranked fifth industrywide in last year’s survey.

Natso — formerly the National Association of Truck Stop Operators — set a Feb. 8 deadline for responses to a member survey seeking information about nationwide availability of truck parking spaces, an effort to assist the Federal Highway Administration in a new round of assessments under Jason’s Law. That law, part of a transportation reauthorization package in 2012, seeks to study and address the shortage of long-term parking for trucks. The law is named for Jason Rivenburg, a truck driver killed in 2009 while parked at an abandoned gas station. He was attacked as he slept and robbed of $7.

The latest survey is part of a second effort to quantify truck parking spaces in the nation. Helping 18 state governments compile the numbers is ATRI, which monitors almost 1 million trucks in real time, according to Murray.

Getting the numbers right will be crucial because of the legislative timing. If the trucking industry and policymakers can divine how much parking is needed and where, it could be addressed in future federal legislation, perhaps within 2019.

“We’re on the cusp, we hope, of a new infrastructure package,” said Murray.

The demand is an opportunity for truck stop operators, even though most privately run companies do not charge for parking.

Love’s Travel Stops plans to add 40 new locations and more than 3,500 parking spaces in 2019, according to a news release. The Oklahoma City-based company asked fleet customers about where to locate new stops, and was able to plan 40 new locations, according to Jon Archard, Love’s vice president of sales.

He noted that it’s not always easy to plan a truck stop, despite the demand. “Sometimes the land is not always available, sometimes the price is prohibitive,” Archard told Transport Topics. Plus, zoning restrictions and congestion in cities can prevent Love’s from finding a site suitable for a location, Archard said.

The typical Love’s stop is between 12 and 15 acres. In the past, Love’s needed less land, but as demand for tire repair and oil maintenance rose, the company began accommodating truck services, Archard said. Love’s plans to expand its on-site truck and tire care services and to grow its location count to more than 500 nationwide. As of Jan. 23, Love’s has 482 locations in 41 states, with more than 32,800 truck parking spaces, according to Love’s spokeswoman Tara Carr.

Archard said Love’s is also studying whether it can expand the acreage of existing truck stops to add parking spaces.

That type of “organic” growth is something TravelCenters of America is also doing, said Tom Liutkus, senior vice president of marketing for the Westlake, Ohio-based company. TravelCenters just added 82 parking spaces to its facility in Wheeler Ridge, Calif., south of Bakersfield, Liutkus told TT.

Liutkus declined to say how many locations the company might open this year, citing its status as a publicly traded company. He noted that there are currently 250 TravelCenters locations with 47,000 parking spots in 43 states. The company has one Canadian stop as well.

“We’re looking at all options,” said Liutkus. “We expect to add where we can.”

But since TravelCenters already has large stop-centers, expanding them to adjacent land has been difficult, said Liutkus.

The company allows paid reservations for 13.7% of its parking spots, on average, Liutkus said.

Pilot Flying J said the company will expand in 2019, according to a statement from company vice president Brian Ferguson. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based company said it will open more than 15 travel centers across the United States and Canada, with more than 900 new parking spots. The company will also seek more parking spaces from existing locations, with a goal of completing more than 10 facility enhancement projects, according to the statement.

“With only 300,000 parking spots available for more than 3 million drivers, parking is needed across the country, especially in locations near or on major transportation arteries,” Ferguson said in an e-mail to TT. “Because of this, at Pilot Flying J, we continue to increase our presence and bring more parking to these areas, such as in Texas.”

Fergsuon said the company is also looking for ways to leverage technology, like its mobile application, to address the parking problem.

The company’s website said it has 750 locations in 44 states, with 72,000 truck-parking spaces.

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Cattle truck almost ends up in river after driver swerves to avoid skidding car
Trucking News

Police say that the truck came to a stop "almost literally hanging over the water."


A truck driver and the load of cattle that he was hauling almost ended up in a river in Washington State this week.

A truck driver and the load of cattle that he was hauling almost ended up in the Snake River in Washington State this week.

The incident happened around 4:45 p.m. on Monday, February 4 in Pasco, Washington, according to a Facebook post from the Pasco Police Department.

Police say that a semi truck driver traveling on Highway 12 was hauling a load of cattle from Canada to a Tyson Foods processing plant in Wallula just as the driver of a white Chevy Cruze attempted to make a left turn across the icy median.

From the police report:

…the Cruze left the well-traveled highway lane to pull into the median intersection, where the driver immediately encountered more snow and started having trouble continuing. On dry pavement, he would have been long gone before the semi came by. Under the slick conditions, he found himself crawling out of the median area and into the path of the semi.

The Bovine Express had no way to stop in time after the Cruze emerged onto the eastbound lanes in front of it. The driver moved left into the median, went down the steep embankment, bounced hard over the railway at the bottom, and came to a stop almost literally hanging over the water.


Luckily, no serious injuries — human or cow — were reported.

On Tuesday morning, the cows continued their journey to the Tyson plant in another truck.

Pasco Police say that hit might “be awhile” before the truck and trailer are removed from the river’s edge.

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I-59/20 bridge is no more; see it fall
Trucking News

Ever driven over the ramp bridge of the I-59/20 interchange with the Red Mountain Expressway in Birmingham, Alabama?

Well, you can’t anymore. Crews used explosives Sunday morning to drop the bridge 50 feet to the ground as part of a $475 million highway improvement project on the interstate. Al.com was there to record the action

It must be the season for demolition as crews in New York dropped part of the old Tappan Zee Bridge into the Hudson River last month.



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Truck air systems are under pressure in cold temperatures
Trucking News

As compressors age, they spew more oil, which when mixed with water in the dead of winter, creates oily slush that can jam air lines and brake valves.

TORONTO, Ont. — Cold temperatures and water can lead to only one outcome, and ice has no place in a truck’s air system. Frozen moisture can disable compressors, along with any of the multitude of air valves in the system. Plunging temperatures, like we have seen across much of the Lower 48 states in recent weeks, will be put air systems to the test. Hopefully your systems are not found wanting.

Compressed air always contains moisture, and the air leaving the compressor is hot. But as the air travels through the line from the compressor to the air dryer, it cools, and that’s when the moisture in the compressed air condenses to liquid. If it’s cold enough, that liquid will freeze, threatening the air supply to various systems including transmissions, suspensions, and of course, brakes.

A heavy truck’s air compressor puts out four to six U.S. ounces of water during an average day’s operation — more when operating in regions of high relative humidity, and less when air is cold and dry. If all that water is sloshing around in your air reservoirs or some other spot further downstream, you could be in trouble when temperatures plummet.


A chunk of ice the size of a pinhead can jam the tiny passages inside air valves, rendering them useless.

Air Compressors and Air Dryers

Your first line of defense is the air dryer, but there’s potential for trouble even before that. While it’s unlikely under normal circumstances, water vapor can freeze in the line from the compressor to the air dryer. If you have a particularly long line, or if the line has any restrictions or 90-degree-angle fittings, you’ve got a potential spot for problems. As well, any low points in the line can provide a point for water to collect and freeze, cutting off the air supply to the air dryer and thus the rest of the air system.

If the compressor discharge line becomes plugged, you’ll probably hear the compressor banging away as the pressure builds up in the discharge line. Or, if you hear a loud rush of air, it could indicate that the safety valve on the discharge line has opened to relieve the pressure in the line. Either of those symptoms would indicate a blockage or restriction somewhere between the compressor and the air dryer.

If you know anything about the venturi effect, an older and carbon-choked discharge line can be especially susceptible to ice formation. As the warm, moist air leaves the compressor and encounters a restriction in the discharge line (in effect, a venturi), the change in pressure on the downwind side of the restriction causes a rapid and dramatic drop in temperature — sometimes as much as 70 degrees Fahrenheit — that will turn moisture to ice almost instantly. That ice can build up in the discharge line, eventually choking it completely.

Air compressors almost always pass a small amount of oil, which usually collects harmlessly in the air dryer or the wet tank. Older compressors can pass much more oil, which can prematurely foul the desiccant material in the air dryer, reducing theability to remove moisture from the air. The mucky mixture of oil and water from a slobbery compressor also increases the risk of a blockage in the air line as the ice and oil bind together.

“It’s normal for most compressors to pass a little oil, but if you constantly have to replace your air-dryer desiccant cartridge you may have excessive oil passage,” says Jonathan Adams, product manager at Tectran. “Air dryer effectiveness and air system performance decline quickly as oil is passed into the desiccant cartridge. Check your wet tank for moisture and other contaminants.”

If you see sludge in your wet tank, oil is getting through the air dryer and passing into the downstream air system.

Most air dryers are equipped with heaters to prevent the collected waste from freezing in the purge valve reservoir, but these heater elements can fail, too. It’s possible that air could leak past the purge valve if it doesn’t seat properly due to ice after a purge cycle, causing a loss of air through the open valve. Air won’t escape from the tractor reservoirs because of the one-way check valves, but the air used in brake applications and by the suspension won’t be replaced.

Drivers can check the condition of their air dryers by observing how much water and oily sludge comes from the wet tank when it’s drained, says Abe Aon, director of sales – Wabco North American Aftermarket. “We don’t recommend completely draining all reservoirs every day,” he says. “Pulling on the drain cord or opening the drain cock for just a few seconds is a good indicator of the overall health of the air system.”

For linehaul applications, most OEMs and air dryer manufacturers recommend replacing the air dryer cartridge every  two to three years. The air dryer cartridge on vocational vehicles such as garbage trucks should be changed much more frequently. Some fleets can go longer or shorter between cartridge changes than others due to the climate they run in, the amount of air that they use, or the age of the vehicle, Aon says. “Older vehicles tend to have more air leaks and compressors that pass more oil.”


Oil and Water Don’t Mix, The Freeze

Since there will always be some oil in the compressor discharge air, and moisture, the idea is to trap it before it gets downstream where it might do some damage.

“The first place it goes is into the air dryer contaminating the desiccant material,” says Richard Nagel, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions – air charging. “That’s why air dryers lose efficiency. The desiccant does not expire or get used up, but it can become saturated with oil and it will no longer be capable of removing moisture.”

Even though the compressor might be the problem, fleets are more likely to change the cartridge and service the air drier more frequently because that’s much less expensive than replacing the compressor — which can be a six-to-eight-hour job, plus the cost of the compressor.

“It might be cheaper to replace the desiccant cartridge more often, but the desiccant won’t remove oil from the air,” warns Nagel. “Air dryers are available with oil coalescing cartridges designed to remove oil from air systems, but they will need to be changed more often if you have an oily compressor.”

While most brake valves are fairly tolerant of oil contamination, equipment like automated transmissions often have air-operated solenoid valves, which are very sensitive to both oil and water contamination.

Brake valves are more sensitive to moisture. Typically, these valves contain tiny little passages that can easily ice up and close off partially or completely. Depending on the effectiveness of the air dryer, a significant amount of moisture can get into the system and cause problems in these valves. That’s why it’s so important to drain the air tanks frequently. Moisture accumulated during the summer stays in the system like a time bomb, waiting for a minus-40 cold snap.

If your trucks are out in the wild with poorly maintained air systems, it’s probably just a matter of time until sub-zero temperatures sideline the truck.

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Wednesday, February 06
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