News Release - May 31, 2010
NEW B-TRAIN CARRIER WEIGHTS HARMONIZED ACROSS WESTERN CANADA
Saskatchewan shippers will now be allowed to transport their goods by truck at the same weight as their counterparts in Alberta and B.C. in an effort to harmonize rules for commercial carriers across the three provinces.
The amendment to The Vehicle Weight and Dimension Regulations, 1999 will improve the productivity of carriers operating B-train truck tractor and semi-trailer combinations by allowing an increase in the weight limit from the current 62,500 kg to 63,500 kg on Saskatchewan's most heavily travelled highways. Alberta and B.C. allow a weight limit of 63,500 kg for these vehicles.
"This weight increase is an example of the New West Partnership at work," Highways and Infrastructure Minister Jim Reiter said. "It's a change specifically requested by the commercial carrier industry that will have tangible and immediate benefits, and it supports the goal of the New West Partnership in creating a barrier-free trade zone and investment climate in the three western-most provinces."
"We're very pleased to see the provincial government moving forward on harmonization of regulations for our industry," Saskatchewan Trucking Association Director Steve Balzer said. "The largest impact on commercial carriers is the ability to operate B-train combinations through the Saskatchewan-Alberta-B.C. corridor without having to reduce shipping weight."
For B-trains which maximize their loading, the payload increase will bump up productivity by an estimated 2.5 per cent. An additional benefit is that carriers will have more flexibility when loading their vehicles. Carriers hauling dry bulk commodities often have difficulty in properly distributing their loads and are therefore not able to maximize their loading. By increasing the allowable weight by one tonne on the centre axle, carriers will have the flexibility they need to increase their payload.
The increase in weight limit will be done in two phases. Phase 1 will be implemented June 1, 2010, providing a weight limit increase to specified provincial highways (see backgrounder) as well as all cities and urban centres located along these routes. Phase 2, which would be implemented at a future date, would see the weight increase expanded to the remaining primary weight highways capable of supporting the increased weight, and would allow both urban and rural municipalities the ability to increase primary weight within their respective jurisdictions by bylaw.
In order to take advantage of the new 63,500 kg weight allowance, commercial vehicle owners can increase the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) on their commercial vehicle registrations by visiting any issuer's office or one of SGI's branch offices.
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