Final Phase of SPIF grandfathering came to an end on December 31, 2020

As reported in previous issues of Rock Talk, the Ministry of Transportation announced that under the Safe, Productive, Infrastructure-Friendly (SPIF) regulations, the grandfathering period for Phase 4 vehicles established on July 1, 2011 came to an end on December 31, 2020.

Non-SPIF Vehicles that are less than 15 years old may apply for a one-time permit to extend the grandfathering.  Vehicles that are older than 15 years may operate as a non-SPIF vehicle – subject to lower weights.  Vehicles may also be upgraded to become SPIF compliant.  Fleet or individual truck owners are encouraged to visit MTO for more information.

OSSGA has received a number of questions from members who hire trucks about this issue and how they are to know if a truck is in compliance or not.  Some white sheets have SPIF compliance indicated on the sheet – but others do not.  Yesterday we learned that in some areas of Ontario MTO is issuing overweight tickets to Non-SPIF compliant trucks.

The OSSGA Transportation Committee is looking at developing some guidance for the scale house, but in the meantime we suggest that effectively immediately, as part of your scale house procedures, that all incoming drivers be asked to verbally confirm that their trucks are in fact SPIF compliant, or that they have the appropriate permit if they are not

MTO has suggested the producers could also ask the driver the age of the vehicle:

    • A vehicle that is 2005 or older would have had to have been upgraded to be SPIF compliant, or have a permit (for example, non-dump semi trailers (live bottoms and hoppers) have a grandfather life of 20 years, thus can operate until they reach a life of 20 years so long as they have a permit.)
    • A vehicle manufactured between 2006 and 2011 could have been upgraded and/or applied for a permit.

The producer could ask the driver to show a picture of the VIN (for each component) – which would indicate that it is SPIF.

If a vehicle is not SPIF compliant – it is subject to much lower weight maximums.  Please see the VWD Guidebook for the tables (Chapter 8) and grandfathering chart (page 95).

It is important for Aggregate Producers to understand that it is possible for them to be held responsible if a non-SPIF vehicle (or any vehicle) is overloaded.  The following is the relevant section of the Highway Traffic Act:

Overloading by consignor

126 Every consignor of goods, or the consignor’s agent or employee, who causes a vehicle or combination of vehicles not owned by the consignor to be loaded so that when operated on a highway,

(a)  the weight on any millimetre in the width of the tire exceeds a limit set out in subsection 115 (1) or in the regulations;

(b)  the axle unit weight on an axle unit exceeds a limit set out in section 116 or 119 or in the regulations;

(c)  an axle group weight exceeds a limit set out in section 117 or 119 or in the regulations;

(d)  the gross vehicle weight exceeds a limit set out in section 118 or 119 or in the regulations; or

(e)  the gross vehicle weight exceeds the gross vehicle weight specified in a permit referred to in section 121,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine as if the consignor had been convicted under section 125.  1994, c. 29, s. 1; 2015, c. 27, Sched. 7, s. 23.

 

The OSSGA Transportation committee is meeting to provide further suggestions on this issue and we will report back shortly.

MTO Grandfathering Regime for SPIF

As of this date (November 2, 2020), MTO has not reported any changes to the published Grandfathering Regime for SPIF vehicles.

That said, they announced a survey that fleet owners are invited to complete regarding the grandfathering regime.  The survey can be found here, and is available until November 6, 2020.

Please find the revised 2019 VWD Guidebook here - the Grandfathering chart can be seen on page 95.

  • Grandfathering is by vehicle type
    • Most vehicle types have run out of Grandfathering (see chart below)
  • Grandfather extensions are still available by special permit for vehicles less than 15 years of age if they are:
    • Specialized Bulk Tank Semi Trailers
    • Other Bulk Tank Semi Trailers
    • Truck and Trailer Combinations (if either were built before July 1, 2011)
  • Grandfather extensions are also available by special permit for vehicles less than 20 years of age, if they are:
    • hopper dump semi-trailers,
    • non-dump semi-trailer with 4 or more axles
    • double trailers,
    • tank full or pony trailers, and
    • concrete mixer trucks.
  • Also of note, Grandfather extensions are available by special permit for vehicles less than 25 years of age, if they are:
    • tank semi-trailers with 4 or more axles and
    • tank double trailers

Please contact VWDMonitoring@ontario.ca for more information.

Insurance and Trucking

Many aggregate producers who own their own fleets, as well as truck brokers and independent carriers have voiced concern regarding the ever-increasing insurance rates in Ontario.

In the past three or four years, fleet owners and brokers in the aggregate sector have been reporting premium increases – first at a level of 15 per cent, but in this past year, some are experiencing rate increases as high as 40 to 50 percent.  Drivers without proven experience of at least three years, or who are under the age of 25 – in most cases simply cannot be insured without going through ‘facility insurance’ – at a price of $30 to 40K per year.

OSSGA has been discussing this issue with various other associations to understand their experiences.   A meeting was held in July 2020 with the main insurance carriers and brokers who provide policies in the ready-mix and aggregate sectors.  There were some suggestions offered, such as better documentation for driver experience, and the idea of an industry finishing school to top-up the training that AZ and/or AD drivers receive; however, it was pointed out even by the insurance companies that such measures would help – but not fundamentally change their business model.

In addition to the insurance issue, the aggregate industry has been experiencing of a growing trend of a shortage of truck drivers in our industry.  Older drivers are gradually retiring, and younger drivers are not moving in to replace them.  But our product still needs to be delivered!  We estimate approximately 6,000 aggregate trucks on the road in Ontario on any given business day – making between four or five loads per day.  As these older drivers retire and replacements are not found, the impact to the Ontario economy will be very real.

We are continuing to reach out to our partners and will be working on a strategy to address this important issue.

Deferral of Regulation allowing switch in the cab in SPIF vehicles

On July 1, 2019, O.Reg.413/05 was modified to allow self-steer axles to be lifted in emergency situations via controls installed in the cab of Safe, Productive, Infrastructure-Friendly (SPIF) trucks or tractors.  As you might know, the modifications came as a result of a third party completed regulatory review; Impact of Regulation 413/05 VWD for SPIF Vehicles, on the Goods Movement Industry in Ontario.

The modification requires an independent switch to lift the self-steering axle in the trailer from the cab of tractor or truck in emergency situations while activating the 4-way flashers.  Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have only recently expressed that meeting the provisions of the regulatory conditions is possible, but would require about one year to plan, engineer and implement a proper technical solution.

In response to the manufacturers’ difficulties, most recently in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry will extend the current enforcement deferral of the regulations governing the in-cab emergency override controls until November 1st, 2021. This will give the time required for manufacturers to produce and pilot beta technology to a more workable solution that meets the needs of both road safety standards and the regulatory regime.

 

Please download and share with your vendors and drivers.

IHSA Guidance on Precautions for Transport Drivers During COVID-19

Employers and constructors have obligations to protect workers from hazards in the workplace as set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations and the directives coming from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The IHSA has provided employers with guidance on how to protect their Transport Drivers and Operators during the current pandemic. Click here to read more.

Axle Weight Pilot Complete: Work on a Solution Continues!

The Axle Weight Pilot came to close at the end of 2018.  Thank you to all those who participated.

The OSSGA Transportation group is now working with the Ministry of Transportation translating the learnings from the data collection into a viable solution for axle weight enforcement in Ontario.

While the COVID-19 Pandemic has put added pressures on us all, this work is continuing and we will update you as we have more information.