Trucking industry wants federal help

by MM&D staff

OTTAWA, Ontario: The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) says the federal government needs to do more to help the industry improve safety and environmental practices.

Speaking in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, CTA president David Bradley said there are a lot of positive initiatives underway, including the use of GHG-compliant trailers and tractors, LNG tractors, and smog-free trucks.

But it’s not enough for the industry to try to adopt new technology. It needs support from the government to make greater progress.

“Trucking is an under-capitalized industry in Canada,” said Bradley.

“We can either wait 20 years to maximize the safety and environmental impact that is possible, or we can partner with government to re-equip our fleets over the next five years, through a combination of regulatory and fiscal measures such as accelerated capital cost allowances, repayable grants and regulation.”

Bradley said he’d like government co-operation on the issue of electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs), and would like the government to support CTA’s position to require the use of EOBRs on all trucks required to carry a paper logbook.

He also wanted Canada to mandate the use of anti-rollover technology such as electronic stability control, just as the US government is doing.

Bradley argued that forthcoming fuel efficiency and GHG regulations aren’t strong enough to have a real effect. He suggested that the regulations should be accompanied by a program of complementary measures aimed at retrofitting and new investment in GHG-reducing technology for trailers.

“By working more closely together, policy makers across various levels of government can remove jurisdictional regulatory impediments and boost incentives that will undoubtedly help the trucking industry accelerate investment in proven CO2-reduction and fuel efficient technologies,” said Bradley.

He urged the government to do its part in shaping the industry and improving the environment.

“Proven technology exists today, right now, that can make our industry even safer, that can level the competitive playing field and make the air we breathe cleaner.

“The industry is moving in this direction, but the goal should be to accelerate the penetration of this equipment into the marketplace.”