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2.6 Effects of TS&W Regulations on Crossborder Truck Operations

Except for crossings between Manitoba and Minnesota, a variety of truck combinations having five or more axles routinely operate across the western border. While the five-axle tractor- semitrailer is the “work horse” of the crossborder fleet, other combinations include: six-axle tractor-semitrailers, seven-axle tractor-semitrailers (with a lift axle on the tractor), eight-axle tractor-semitrailers (with lift axles on both the tractor and semitrailer), A-trains with five to nine axles (including western doubles and Rocky Mountain doubles), a few seven- or eight-axle C- trains, eight-axle B trains, a variety of truck-trailer combinations having five to eight axles, specialized units (such as the Stinson trailers on the I-5), and specially-permitted vehicles (such as the Kleysen potash trucks at Northgate). The photographs on the following pages illustrate some of the more unique truck types operated in the western border States, and examples of how the de facto TS&W provisions on the western border affect selected trucks and trucking operations are discussed by carrier below.

Canadian Freightways [9]

Alberta has recently permitted the operation of Rocky Mountain Doubles on selected undivided highways. These double-trailer combinations with either 48- and 28-foot trailers or 53- and 28- foot trailers can now operate freely along I-15 and Alberta on Highway No. 4, a two-lane undivided highway, to Calgary.

Most of Canadian Freightways' freight cubes out at roughly 10 pounds per cubic foot, with most vehicles being operated at substantially lower GVW than their size and number of axles would permit. Canadian Freightways does not use wide-base tires.

Paul's Hauling [10]

In the past, Paul's Hauling has used a seven-axle, A-train hopper-trailer operation from its terminal in Brandon, Manitoba on a four-leg route that involved: (1) a vehicle dead-heading from Brandon to Rocanville, Saskatchewan, (2) hauling potash from Rocanville to Idaho, (3) dead- heading from Idaho to Wyoming, and (4) hauling soda ash from Wyoming back to Brandon. In Brandon, the soda ash was re-loaded into pneumatic equipment for delivery to Thompson, Manitoba. The second and fourth legs were subject to a GVW limit of 105,500 pounds, the limit in Idaho and North Dakota.

The configuration's length is about 75 feet, with a 3.5 meter spread between the dolly axle and rear-most axle on the semitrailer. When the unit arrived at the U.S. border, its drawbar was stretched by 10 feet to comply with Bridge Formula B. On re-entering Canada, the unit was shortened by 10 feet for the movement into Brandon. Stretching and retracting drawbars is common on crossborder A-train operations.

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