Vehicle load and Size Regulation Changes

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Auto-steer axles will be obligatory for certain categories of vehicles in Quebec and Ontario

            For those who are looking for clarity on some of the changes to come for quad axle tank trailers, rest assured that these concerns will be addressed in this article. Back in November 1998, the government of Quebec adopted modifications to the regulations on vehicle weights and dimensions. Some of the motivation behind the changes were to preserve and prolong our road infrastructure and reduce the number of special permits that were required for specific vehicles. The province of Ontario has made similar changes that will also be discussed further. One of these changes, as it pertains to quad tank trailers, is the requirement of an auto-steer axle1 on a trailer manufactured before January 1st,2003 in Quebec that has a non-steer lift axle situated at least 2.4 meters in front of a tridem that is spaced between 3.0 and 3.7 meters (referred to as category B.44 or B.45 in the Quebec guide for vehicle weights and dimensions). Ontario regulations with regards to SPIF (Safe & Productive Infrastructure Friendly) trailers manufactured January 1st, 2006 became active.


           The regulation was effective January 1st,2015 for trailers but was postponed for tank trailers and will only come into effect on January 1st,2020 in Quebec. For Ontario, the grandfathering of pre-SPIF tank trailer configurations is 25 years from the date of manufacture and a one-time permit is required. For those quad tank trailers that do not comply to the changes as well as those that are assembled after December 31st, 2002 that are not equipped with an auto-steer axle and that fall in the category B.44 and B.45 will see the maximum payload reduced to 28,000 kg in Quebec for non-thaw periods. Another important note, according to the guide of vehicle weights and dimensions is that trailers equipped with an auto-steer axle with only two tires will be penalized by a reduction of 1,000 kg of the maximum payload in Quebec. However, under the agreement on harmonized load limits and vehicle dimensions between Quebec and Ontario, special permits are issued to allow the use of a self-steering axle with single tires without penalty, under certain conditions.


              Tank trailers that are affected by the changes will have to accept the lower payload or make the necessary changes to retrofit with an auto-steer axle. Important to note that according to Transport Canada, in order to make these changes the facility performing the changes need to be certified with the National Safety Mark Authorization. For more information or questions concerning how to proceed with the modifications please contact us.

Refer to table below:

1  Steering axle refers to an axle equipped at its ends with a piece that pivots about an axis allowing wheels automatically steer with respect to the vehicle path.

2 This expense limit may, under certain conditions, be increased to 34 000 kg under a special permit issued as part of the agreement on the harmonization of load limits and vehicle dimensions between Quebec and Ontario, when the spacing of the triple axle is between 3.6 and 3.7 meters inclusively.

3 This limit is reduced to 28,000 kg after December, 31st 2014


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