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49 when adding a vehicle to regulation (53), (54), and when con- not like trucks, then they will not like a larger or heavier truck. sidering a vehicle for a special permit, and they continue to do However, if the larger or heavier truck can be shown objectively this. A province's assessment of a proposed new configuration to have better dynamic performance than existing trucks, and is not just based on the assessment of dynamic performance, will reduce the number of trucks by (say) 10%, with attendant but also on the impacts on infrastructure, on safety, and on the reductions in congestion, fuel consumption and emissions, the economic benefit to industry and to the province. It is not un- public might (grudgingly) concede that there might be a ben- common for a province to reject a proposed new configuration efit to the larger or heavier truck. Most members of the public because it perceives deficiencies in the dynamic performance have a range of objections to trucks that relate simply to the fact of the vehicle outside the range of the fleet as a whole. How- that they are trucks, most of which have little or no relation- ever, some provinces use the process to allow vehicles config- ship to the size or weight of the truck. These issues must be dis- ured for weights higher than legal limits to operate by permit connected from the discussion. on remote highways where they can operate safely. For exam- Technology for improving safety on large trucks is being ple, Alberta and Saskatchewan allow some log trucks a 2.89-m introduced, but unless there is a government mandate, mar- (114-in.) track width. ket penetration will depend on industry anticipating a return When Canada's provinces approached the task of harmo- on investment. Technology could be a prerequisite for allow- nizing size and weight regulations, many of the axle arrange- ing larger or heavier trucks, to ensure that safety improve- ments and configurations that had become common in On- ments occur simultaneously with greater productivity. There tario were not allowed by most other provinces. The research have been studies in Canada consistently showing the safety conducted during the CCMTA/RTAC Vehicle Weights and benefits of adopting LCVs. It boils down to adopting policy Dimensions Study showed conclusively that this position was that encourages safety benefits. Also, the use of technology well-justified. The study identified the deficiencies of these ve- can be a prerequisite to allowing bigger vehicles (86). hicles in numerical terms. Vehicle manufacturers and carriers had long since reached exactly the same conclusions and un- 3.4.10 Grandfather Rights derstood the characteristics of these vehicles very well, though in non-numerical terms. Thus, the decision not to allow these In Canada, it has become apparent that when a province configurations was quite reasonable to carriers. When Ontario changes its regulations to allow a configuration with a higher ultimately began to deal with the issue of liftable axles, as dis- allowable gross weight than existing vehicles, the new config- cussed in section 2.1.10, manufacturers and carriers again ac- uration appears immediately and grows rapidly in numbers. cepted the scientific evidence that the province had very good Most examples of the previously preferred configurations dis- grounds for their eventual elimination, both as vehicles and appear, though some that are ideally suited for their mission for the damage they did to the infrastructure. and would not benefit from the new regulation may remain The process described here is an administrative process used in service for an extended period. by staff in the provincial highway departments. They all use the A similar result might be expected if the United States same performance standards and essentially the same process. would change its size and weight regulations. Suppose, for ex- It is not known to be formally documented, though it could be. ample, that a configuration would be mandated nationally at This type of process is not used widely in the United States, a gross weight of, say, 43,091 kg (95,000 lb), in the same way however, it is clearly applicable to any vehicle that would be that STAA mandated the twin trailer combination. This con- considered. It is also clear that some of the vehicles that states figuration would be expected to displace all the diverse con- allow to operate in the U.S. might not be allowed to operate by figurations operating under state permits or state grandfather Canadian provinces, as they are unlikely to meet the perfor- rights at weights between 36,287 and 43,091 kg (80,000 and mance standards. Canadian provinces have assessed, in some 95,000 lb), and may also displace some vehicles with a slightly cases, the same vehicles that would be considered for more higher allowable gross weight. The same thing would happen widespread use in the United States. The assessment protocols if new configurations would be mandated, for example, are well established but would need to be reviewed and formal- 49,896 or 54,431 kg (110,000 or 120,000 lb). Vehicles config- ized if being used as part of a federal, or even regional, initia- ured under grandfather rights and state permits would quickly tive to change truck size and weight regulations. Such an assess- diminish in numbers. The new vehicles would be more effi- ment methodology would allow decision makers to determine cient, as they could travel an all highways, and would open up preferred configurations and to set allowable weights and lim- new business opportunities for many carriers. The resale value its on dimensions critical to performance. There might also be of the older vehicles would plummet. route restrictions, special driver qualifications, a requirement, The grandfather rights of states are perceived as an imped- perhaps, for a B-train over an A-train, and technology or iment to changes in U.S. truck size and weight regulations. equipment requirements. After all, if the public at large does However, there would be no need for the federal government