Whether you’re travelling the busy streets of metro Vancouver or the most secluded highway, you’ll find them. Commercial truck drivers. They go where trains can’t, and deliver the goods we need to keep our communities thriving. Their loads can be huge, but do you know just how much cargo those trucks are carrying?
A logging truck and tridem drive quad axle trailer- just one of many commercial vehicles to be studied.
Knowing the weight of these trucks is a very important factor for those of us who build and maintain our highways. Loads that are too heavy can cause serious damage to roads and bridges, and they can also create safety problems by making the vehicle more prone to tipping or making it more difficult to stop.
That’s why the ministry’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement team keeps a very close eye on vehicle weights and works with trucking companies to make sure their load is carried properly. Strict limits on how much a commercial truck can carry have been in place for years, but things change. Recently, there has been a movement to lower truck weight limits across Canada, and we’re considering it, too. Before going ahead with it though, we’ve got to examine the issue carefully to see whether the current limits are still appropriate for truck drivers in B.C.
So we’re conducting a study to look for the optimum balance to allow truck drivers to carry as much as possible without increasing safety risks. The results should be in sometime early next year, and in the meantime, we intend to put off the scheduled trailer weight reductions from December 31, 2011.
Once the results are in, we’ll be consulting the trucking industry to get their input as well, and if changes are necessary, we’ll be working closely with them to make the transition as easy as possible.
Regardless of the study’s findings, the focus on truck safety will help ensure drivers are getting their loads where they need to go safely. And that’s good news for everyone!