Date Posted

December 19, 2023

Column 1: Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) Fall 2023 

AMTA Advocates serves to shed light to the efforts the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) makes behind the scenes to advocate on behalf of our Carrier members. Interested in learning more? Email us at membership@amta.ca. 

 

Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) Fall 2023 

AMTA Compliance and Regulator Affairs (CRA) Senior Advisor, Andrew Barnes recently attended CCMTA’s fall conference and here are some of the highlights from that event that could be of value to our Carriers: 

  • We continue to see Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) being fully implemented across Canada. However, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and a few eastern provinces, are still not in a position to adopt federal legislation as well. On Prince Edward Island, provincial ELD enforcement will begin spring 2024, in addition to six new commercial enforcement officers coming into place.  
  • Human trafficking is a major problem in North America, and the world. The issue is being addressed by a series of educational meetings for provincial enforcement bodies to ensure this illegal and devastating practice is curtailed as much as possible.  

 

Provincial updates:  

Nova Scotia: Has been reducing their driver testing backlog. In addition, Nova Scotia will have Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) in place by spring 2024, which will catch them up with most provinces in Canada. 

Saskatchewan: Is doing a few minor regulatory updates around trip inspections and how their regulations will deal with this. However, nothing is expected to change as far as requirements for companies. 

British Columbia: Speed limiters – maximum 105 km/h – for heavy-duty commercial vehicles are being introduced and will be in place by the end of the year. Additionally, there is a task force being created to determine why so many bridges are being struck by transport vehicles and enforcement will be increased in this area. 

Quebec: Reviewing vulnerable road users and hoping to enhance safety guidelines for pedestrians and cyclists around heavy-duty commercial vehicles. As well, Quebec is developing MELT for those looking to obtain a Class 1 licence, which will meet Standard 16, bringing them up to date on the National Safety Code standard. 

Ontario: Will be implementing a new storage and towing app, which will come into effect January 2024 for tow operators and storage yards.  

New Brunswick:  Moving ahead with soft enforcement for ELDs. 

Newfoundland: Will introduce provincial ELD legislation in the spring of 2024 and has adopted a partnership with Drivewyze to allow for pre-clearance in that province.  

Manitoba: Is making large changes using Bill 21, which will allow the province to revoke National Safety Code certificates more easily for carriers not operating in a safe manner. In addition, economists and platooning enabling legislation is being introduced to allow for the testing of these new technologies. 

Other updates: 

  • Transport Canada is currently moving ahead with ELD exemptions for drive away tollway situations and has announced it is looking at towing companies around potential exemptions for ELD’s as they have received a request from Manitoba. Cyber security is also being reviewed around ELDs to enhance security for all carriers using this technology. We are expecting more autonomous vehicle trials to be announced by Transport Canada as well. 
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from the United States completed its updates, and are in the process of hiring more staff. FMCSA is also publishing a notice on a new process for safety fitness determination – the first update in 20 years. In addition, FMCSA has changed the inspection software for roadside inspectors to allow for these inspections to be more easily updated within their carrier profile system. 
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) reported road checks, as well as the yearly break checks and hazmat checks, will continue. The Education and Training Quality Committee is developing a new Transportation of Dangerous Goods course for Canada, which will allow officers to be trained in a more consistent fashion across all provinces. 

Conclusion

The highlight of this meeting was the industry roundtable. Alberta and many other provinces spoke to the need for shifting to one carrier profile evaluation system for all of Canada. This would put us on a level playing field with the United States’ safer system. Currently, every province has its own way of evaluating violations and determining roadside fitness, which makes it almost impossible for carriers, as well as shippers, to determine safe carriers from unsafe carriers. Thus, this is going to become a critical movement forward for this committee and all provincial associations.
 

 

Column 2: 2023 Compliance and Regulatory Affairs: A Year in Review 

AMTA Advocates serves to shed light to the efforts the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) makes behind the scenes to advocate on behalf of our Carrier members. Interested in learning more? Email us at membership@amta.ca. 

This has been an extremely busy year for AMTA advocacy and our work with Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors (TEC), as well as our federal work through the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), and various other federal ministries has resulted in some key successes. 

2023 Advocacy Success  

The year started off strong with a meeting with TEC where we planned for an aggressive approach in developing and tackling policy positions for 2023: 

  • April 17, 2023: The blue lights pilot project with Alberta Transportation and the Minister of Transportation was extended another five years. This project, Factors in Emergency Vehicle Visibility and Detection, allows flashing blue lights on tow trucks and maintenance vehicles ensuring roadside workers can be safer on Alberta highways.
  • June 15, 2023: After months of working diligently with Alberta’s International Registration Plan (IRP) Prorate Manager and the Executive Director, AMTA was successful in reducing prorate processing wait times for companies to register new vehicles within their fleets from 30 days to five. The increased wait times meant companies were losing up to $1,500 a day in revenues when a vehicle was not operating. This is continually being monitored to ensure Carriers can register vehicles in a timely manner in order to continue with the successful movement of goods on Alberta highways.
  • June 17, 2023: The AMTA Oilfield Sub-committee received notice and overview of the changes to permit conditions on the Oilfield Exemption Permit which, when finalized, now allows for less restrictive movement of oilfield equipment around Alberta.  This win is critical to ensure AMTA members are not in precarious positions when attempting to move rig components directly to- and -from oil well sites. As well, this helps aid in Hours of Service (HOS)  violations with the permissible hours and cycle switch. 
  • June 17, 2023:  New advocacy is being considered for the Loaders Excavators Oilfield Permit Conditions to allow for ‘excavator’ on the permit.  TEC heard the importance and reasoning for loaders to be included, and other western provinces are being involved in the discussion. We suspect this will result in additional allowances. 
  • September 25, 2023: AMTA successfully obtained additional weights for the Alberta Zero Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration (AZETEC) trailer for two years, which will allow for full loads on all equipment. AZETEC is a first-of-its-kind industry-lead project that will involve the design, manufacture, and testing of two long-range hydrogen fuel cell trucks for operation year-round between Calgary and Edmonton with typical loads of product for a B train and Turnpike LCV. Since this is the largest and first design of this truck globally, we needed additional weights. Through work with TEC , AMTA obtained 65,300 kgs for the B Train, and 67,500 kgs for the Turnpike for a two-year test permit. This is a historic victory as it is showcasing AMTA’s dedication to introducing lower emission technology to our industry with funding from Emissions Reductions Alberta (ERA) as well as our contributing partners in the project. This project has already proven to be a success prior to the trucks hitting the highways as vehicle manufacturers are now looking seriously at designing lower emission equipment hydrogen trucks for the Canadian market.

  • November 10, 2023: A policy position developed in 2015 around Cargo Securement is now possibly heading to Congress as one of the major initiatives on the agenda. When a cargo van or container has a customs seal which can not be opened by a drivers, the driver should not be held responsible for the cargo securement of that load. Should the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) pursue policy changes that would move the violation from the driver or motor carrier to the shipper when the load has been pre-sealed by the shipper and is found to have blocking and bracing issues.  

Column 3: Task Force on Vehicle Weights and Dimensions Policy 

AMTA Advocates serves to shed light to the efforts the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) makes behind the scenes to advocate on behalf of our Carrier Members. Interested in learning more? Email us at membership@amta.ca. 

In December 2023, AMTA Board Member Dave Schmidt presented to the Task Force on Vehicle Weights and Dimensions during their annual Government/Industry meeting in Montreal, hosted by the Council of Deputy Ministers responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety. 

The presentation, Low Emission Technologies was in support of AMTA’s policy position requesting the Provincial and Federal Government create a task force to develop a strategy to increase weights to accommodate the increased weight of zero emission vehicles (approximately 3,000 kg). 

The presentation was well received, and a unanimous decision was made to establish this task force made up of both industry and government representatives. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a benefit of an AMTA Carrier Membership, Carriers are able to bring forward industry challenges or opportunity for change for AMTA to advocate to government on their behalf. This particular issue was brought forward by Dave, and it was presented to AMTA’s board for consideration following our Compliance and Regulatory Affairs advocation process.

Column 4: Understanding the Domino Effects of Provincial Advocacy – Safety Improvements and Operational Efficiencies

AMTA Advocates serves to shed light to the efforts the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) makes behind the scenes to advocate on behalf of our Carrier Members. Interested in learning more? Email us at membership@amta.ca. 

The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) is focused on serving the transportation industry in Alberta, specifically commercial carriers, as we raise safety standards and influence change through advocacy.  

While there are many components to consider when advocating for change, one of the most critical components to consider is the specific need, which is communicated to AMTA, from a commercial carrier(s). In order for AMTA to effectively advocate for change, we rely on our Carrier Members to communicate pain points they’re experiencing in their operation, and to share specific hurdles that can be explored, to determine if advocacy can in fact help resolve such pain point.  

Another critical component of advocacy is validation. AMTA will determine the cause of the pain point and if it can be changed without negatively impacting the safety of others. Then, in collaboration with our Carrier Members, we help validate the need, and the potential solution.  When we consider the steps taken to determine if an issue will be advocated for, it’s critical that AMTA listens to our Carrier Members.  

  

Compliance and Regulatory Affairs 

AMTA developed a committee, known as the Compliance and Regulatory Affairs (CRA) committee, which is designated for Carrier Members of AMTA, to work on a broad range of transportation industry advocacy topics around safety, environmental, social, economic and compliance matters that impact Alberta fleets.  

The CRA committee meetings occur quarterly and provide an opportunity for AMTA Carrier Members to meet with representatives with Alberta Transportation, Alberta Sherrif Highway Patrol, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and special guests to discuss regulatory issues, and to interact with senior level government officials.  

AMTA’s Compliance efforts are overseen by Michelle Spacil, Director, Member Services and Andrew Barnes, Sr. Advisor – Compliance and Regulatory Affairs.  

For transportation issues of national scope, AMTA works in tandem with other provincial trucking associations as well as the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), and other stakeholders as required.  

AMTA’s Carrier Members can bring forth compliance questions to the forefront, where the association assists in research and helping determine the best path forward or an interpretation to the question. Many of these questions arise around federal and other province issues, which highlights where the relationship AMTA has between other Provincial and Federal Associations, Workers Compensation Board, Commercial Safety Vehicle Alliance, Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridor, Sheriff Highway Patrol, and others, are so critically important. 

 

AMTA Cost Analysis Calculator  

To help showcase the critical impact Carrier Members have on enhancing road safety through advocacy, and an opportunity to improve their organizations efficiency which positively impacts the bottom line, AMTA has developed a Cost Analysis Calculator. 

The Member Services team explored the operational and safety benefits for recent advocacy wins and constructed the tool in such a way that commercial carriers can clearly see the impacts of this collective effort by answering a series of strategic questions.  

To date, some of the commercial carriers that we have navigated the Cost Analysis Calculator with, have seen thousands of dollars saved, and have a better understanding of how recent advocacy wins positively impact their organization and their ability to operate on our highways safely and effectively. It is worth noting, that in addition to the commercial carriers’ findings and the benefits to their organization, other commercial carriers that operate a similar business structure are also benefiting from the advocacy efforts.  

Understanding that some of AMTA’s advocacy positions can take up to five or six years for the more complicated ones to be resolved, while others can be navigated with a successful result much faster, in the end, each advocacy effort impacts the safety of our roadways, and has an operational benefit to commercial carriers.  

In addition to advocacy, AMTA is utilizing the tool to showcase additional benefits of joining AMTA as a Carrier Member, such as cost savings on training, and selecting AMTA as your organizations Certifying Partner to pursue and maintain Certificate of Recognition (COR).  

  

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of a full Carrier Membership, and scheduling an appointment to review your operations with AMTA’s Cost Analysis Calculator, please contact us at amtamsc@amta.ca.

AMTA Advocates article submitted by Andrew Barnes, Sr. Advisor of Compliance & Regulatory Affairs and Josh Hannaberry, Sr. Advisor of Member Solutions, Alberta Motor Transport Association  

Date: February 2024