Members from Canfor and FPInnovations (non-profit, scientific forestry research organization) presented to Council on Monday night about the possibility of larger trucks one day heading through our city.
The small team noted the discussion of implementing these 9-axle trucks has been in the works since October 2013. There have been road impact studies, bridge discussions, and performance measures conducted. Tom Hoffman, Manager of External & Stakeholder Relations for Tolko Industries Ltd., says the larger vehicles will actually put less pressure on roads than current vehicles.
“They maintain or reduce the impact levels on the public infrastructure. The 9-axle units are actually 5% per axle less impactive on the pavement than the 8-axle are currently.”
Larger trucks can, obviously, carry more, which means fewer trucks are needed to make deliveries. An FPInnovations document calculates streets will be safer with fewer trucks traveling them, and the 20-wheelers will reduce the BC forest sector’s transportation costs $34 million. Fewer trucks also mean less fuel, addresses the driver shortage; money saved helps the industry stay sustainable.
Hoffman and his group are continuing to meet with and present to other groups, including different ministries and municipal governments. He says many he’s talked to are in favour of the larger trucks, and he’ll continue spreading the word.
“If we have done our job properly, if FBinnovations has done their job properly, if the ministry has reviewed it and then the municipality has reviewed it, the public should gain some level of assurance that these configurations are safe.”
Currently, there is no implementation timetable.