Friday, February 27, 2015

Fleets frustrated over impact of new rules and regulations on operating costs

US and Canadian trucking companies have much in common, including their growing frustration over government interference in their businesses, with seemingly little thought given to the full implications of their decisions.

That was evidenced during a panel discussion on The Impact of Rules and Legislations on Fleet Operating Costs, hosted by Performance Innovation Transport at its second annual conference. Providing a fleet perspective on the subject were Mike Kelley, vice-president, YRC Freight and Mark Irwin, director of maintenance, eastern region, Bison Transport. Among their shared frustrations was the idea that government does not hesitate to foist costly regulations on the industry, while it continues to prohibit the use of safe and proven systems such as larger pup trailers in the US and 6×2 axle configurations in Canada.

YRC’s Kelley said the LTL trucking industry in the US would like to move from 28-ft. pup trailers to 33-footers, which would provide an 18% increase in capacity.

“The last time we’ve had any significant productivity increase was in 1982,” he complained. “We can save four billion tonnes of CO2 annually. But this will be anything but an engineering decision, it’s going to be a political decision and we’re in for a dogfight.”

Closer to home, Irwin would like to see the latest generation 6×2 axles allowed in Canada, pointing to weight savings of several hundred pounds.

“We need to get into this,” Irwin said. “This is something where we’re seeing significant fuel savings. It has been tested by PIT and we have confidence in PIT and what they do. The restrictions or the limitations of operating in Ontario as a result of this actually impacts our ability to perform business in Ontario.”

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