Most of the provinces in Canada have agreed to allow full-sized trailer tails on the road.
Federal, provincial and territorial ministers of transport recently approved a number of recommendations put forth by the National Task Force on Vehicle Weights and Dimensions Policy, officially known as the Memorandum of Understanding on Interprovincial Weights and Dimensions, according to Truck News. One suggestion they authorized was an increase to the size limit for aerodynamic devices on the back-end of trucks.
Following the approval each province was presented with two options, Commercial Carrier Journal explained. They could issue permits allowing the trailer tails, or they could defer enforcement until laws are revised to coordinate with Federal allowance for the larger trailer tails.
Ontario set-up a deferred enforcement policy prior to the October 1 approval of the lengthier aerodynamic devices, with a plan to allow their use until the new Memorandum of Understanding takes effect. Meanwhile, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia all intend to issue permits for use of the trailer tails. The western provinces will wait until the memorandum is finished. Newfoundland did not participate in the discussion on aerodynamic devices.
"Trailers with tails, the original focus of our company, are now legal to circulate throughout North America, with a few tiny asterisks," Andrew Smith, CEO and founder of ATDynamics, a leading trailer tail producer, stated at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition, according to Truck News.
Extended Trailer Tails Could Lead To Huge Savings
He explained that the use of the trailer tails could help Canadian fleets save us much as $3 billion on fuel over the next decade, the publication reported. The devices have been shown to improve fuel economy by 5 percent, and between 9 percent and 12 percent when used in conjunction with trailer side skirts.
ATDynamics currently produces 99 percent of the trailer tails currently on the road, according to Truck News. Currently there are 30,000 in use, and the company plans to produce 200,000 more by 2017.
ERB Group, an Ontario-based firm, ordered 350 of the aerodynamic devices immediately following the province's approval of their use, Commercial Carrier Journal noted. The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption is expected to be equivalent to removing 300 passenger vehicles from the road.
"This amendment will harmonize regulations in Canada with those in the US and support the trucking industry in improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions," the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat stated about the devices' approval, according to Truck News.
Around 40 percent of the cold-tested trailer tails produced by ATDynamics sold today have an auto-deploy feature. When the vehicle reaches 35 mph, the tail automatically extends in order to being improving fuel efficiency. Additionally, the devices feature a warning signal which alerts the driver when he or she is backing up to a dock with the tail still extended.