Apr 17, 2019 - 5 months ago
By Supply Post
FPInnovations has led a number of initiatives to develop and promote the adoption of safe, more efficient heavy vehicles, which can provide immediate opportunities to significantly improve the industry’s competitiveness, and cut down on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation ministries across Canada use stringent performance criteria to determine the safety and impact of vehicles before they are approved for use on their roadways. The evaluation process includes analyses of the vehicle’s dynamic performance, its road space requirements, and the impact these vehicles would have on existing roads and bridges.
The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation (TRAN) has approved 9-axle log hauling B-trains, equipped with 2.9 m-wide bunks, to operate on authorized provincial highways. This is a major achievement, and a big step forward in enhancing the competitiveness of the forest sector and sustaining the communities that rely on them. By adding an additional axle to the standard eight axles approved across Canada, a 9-axle B-train configuration realizes a payload increase of more than 15% and reduces pavement damage by over 5%. The payload increase translates to a reduction in energy intensity (the amount of fuel consumed per unit of payload) of between 5% and 10%, and leads to a similar reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Since larger trucks mean fewer trucks on the road, overall safety for the travelling public also is improved.
One of the keys to broader adoption will be the approval of numerous, connected routes in areas of B.C. with terrain that is well suited to the 9-axle B-trains. Currently, there are 24 public highway routes authorized for 9-axle B-train use. Many log hauling routes flow from forest roads to highways so both provincial highways and the connecting resource roads need to be considered. FPInnovations worked with TRAN and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) to create a guide for the provincial highway route approval process, and for assessing the road fit and bridge sufficiency of resource road networks.
“We wish to thank the TRAN staff who worked with us, as well as all of the other collaborators on this initiative, including our industrial partners and FLNRORD. We look forward to continued efforts to improve transportation opportunities based on sound science and engineering, while maintaining or enhancing road safety and the integrity of provincial infrastructure,” adds James Sinnett. For more information, contact James Sinnett at [email protected]