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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Purpose and Scope

This is a case study of trucking across the western U.S.-Canada border, and how it is influenced by TS&W regulations. Western border trucking differs from eastern border trucking in terms of the types of commodities being handled (high quantities of relatively low value, resource-based commodities), the density of truck volumes (many miles of roads with relatively low volumes of traffic), and the TS&W regulatory regimes arising from many grandfather exemptions and the resulting truck configurations. Figure 1-1 shows the area under consideration--the U.S.-Canada border region from the western end of Lake Superior to the West Coast. The western border accounts for one-third of all trucking between the United States and Canada. The implications of a range of possible Federal TS&W policy initiatives are also considered.

1.2 Report Organization

Chapter 2 characterizes the road network serving the western border region; details current TS&W provisions; illustrates how the regulations in combination work to affect vehicle characteristics; examines Truck Inventory and Use (TIUS) data regarding fleet make-up, commodity-handlings, operating range, and truck weight characteristics in the western border States. Chapter 3 summarizes readily-available information respecting cross border trade flows. Chapter 4 examines readily-available data regarding truck flows across and along the western border in terms of volumes and vehicle classification. Chapter 5 examines the implications of the above findings for TS&W policy. The appendices include detailed information on the border crossings and research related to TS&W issues specific to the western border region.

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