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October 27, 2017 6:11 pm

9 Axle Logging Trucks Up for Council Discussion

Monday, April 3, 2017 @ 5:59 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Tonight, at the regular meeting of Prince George City Council, a delegation   will be outlining the  benefits  of  allowing 9 axle trucks for hauling.

The Province has approved the use of  such  vehicles  as  mills  look for  ways to  more economically haul  logs from longer  distances.   The  use of  9 axles  is only allowed  once  the Ministry has approved  the  specific route for  travel.  Four  such   vehicles  and a hauling route have been approved  on a route from Ft. St. James  to Vanderhoof.

Forest Practices  Innovation says the larger trucks  would reduce fuel  consumption.  Although  hauling a heavier load  will increase the fuel   used per trip, there would be fewer trips.

Council will   be asked to  give  the first two  readings  to  a request for an OCP amendment and rezoning to allow the construction of a BC Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility near 18th Avenue and Foothills Boulevard. This facility will be used for the operations of the Prince George Transit System, as well as the storage, fueling, maintenance and washing of Prince George Transit System buses.

In granting  the first two readings,   the matter would then  go  to a public hearing  where  residents can voice their  opinions about the  proposal.

Council  will  be asked to  deny another rezoning application that   is  aimed  at creating a multi residential  development on Range Road.  Staff cite  geo technical concerns  in   their opposition to this  proposal

Also up for the  first  two readings  is a request to  change rezoning  of the Civic  and Convention Centre.   The change would allow the Centre to apply for a liquor primary  licence.
Also on the agenda  for this evening’s meeting , a public hearing  to rezone  property on North Nechako Road to allow for the development of a 27 unit  residential strata development.



Two of my concerns is, That is a lot of weight on our paved highways, we already have issues with the pavement dishing out. I don’t think our highways were designed for that kind of constant loading.

The other is safety for the drivers and the other occupants of the highway. Now we have 160,000 lbs +, on our winter highways traveling 110 km/hr.

If the ministry feels comfortable with this, I guess we need to accept it.

    “If the ministry feels comfortable with this, I guess we need to accept it”


    I do not think the ministry has a collective feeling. It is a body of people, many of whom do not even live around such trucks.

    People have feelings. I feel uncomfortable with trucks. I see the ruts on the highways when it rains. I know what it means to hydroplane.

    They should be able to give the whole dollar equation of savings in hauling and extra costs in improved highway design and more frequent highway maintenance.

    I want to see that. I do not trust “the ministry”.

    There are serious grooves in the pavement on highway 97 through town. Greater weights will mean deeper grooves sooner.

The weight per axle will remain the same, just more axles. Our hiways are just poorly made,they would dish out with five axle truck trailer combinations. My concern is with that much weight in an uncontrolled slide, when it hits something there’s a lot of energy there. Summertime might not be as bad but when you have winter half the year? I am a truck driver. This will only lead to the mills changing rates and nobody will win but the mills.

    logger-have to agree with you. The mills are trying to take advantage of the Log haulers. Safety and damage to the roads does not appear to be a priority.

How nice to see one local licensee promoting their agenda to some numnuts that know squat about log truck configurations and axle weights. It’s indeed common knowledge that it was one of these 9 axle trucks that piled into others resulting in a very unfortunate fatality. Did the extra weight have a play into this crash ? Guaranteed it didn’t help the truck stop any faster on this very snowy, wintery day. Ask any log truck operator his or her views on these longer and heavy combinations and I’ll guarantee they won’t be in favour. Try passing one of these longer combinations on our outdated trails called highways because they’re traveling slower because of heavier load. There’s not enough log trucks available to deliver enough volume to some milling facilities these days because weather, bad ground, and poor return on investment. Even though lumber $$$ is high. So just make the few that are left haul bigger loads.

Commercial trucks need to travel in the right lane on city boulevards and highways.

With the ‘goat’ trails outside of the city there should be a minimum speed and a required distance to stop at max GVW at the speed limit. This may not be met at 100 kph but may be met at 90 kph, therefore, that is that vehicles top speed. If it can not maintain the minimum speed, then it’s not road worthy.

This will reduce the ‘rolling road block’ we get in passing lanes and boulevards, the power and braking performance would be optimized, as the wight of the load will dictate the performance window.

For road safety this would be a step forward, innovations in power and braking will decide on the weight of the load.

    Codger having the truck travel at 90 when the signed speed is 100, are you comfortable passing large trucks? Also think of the distance required to pass and the multitudes of impatient drivers already taking chances. Longer trucks just making an an already bad situation worse.
    Very long trucks on a four lane highway okay, our two lanes, insane combined with winter conditions, insanity. This greedy delegation should with no thought about safety but money should be run out of town.

      Agreed , longer vehicles take more time to pass. That is the reasoning that they must go close to the posted speed limit so there is not the need to pass.
      Also, some drivers run nose to tail with an other semi in the chance that can pass given the opportunity……the race of turtles sucking up the few passing lanes available.
      Two lane ‘goat’ trails are the real issue here but can somewhat be mitigated by procedures that enhance the smooth flow of traffic.

    “Commercial trucks need to travel in the right lane on city boulevards and highways.”

    That is your opinion, not one that I agree with, but your opinion. I will make you a deal. If you can guarantee that every other vehicle on the roads travels at the posted speed limit and respects commercial vehicle stopping zones, then I will guarantee you that every commercial vehicle will stay in the right lane.

      Not only is that an opinion, but very common regulation on highways in Canada and the US.

      The most common vehicle which trucks overtake are other trucks.

      gopg, how about some proof?

There are a couple of log haulers that driver south on highway 97 every morning on my way to work that run the entire trip from bridge to bridge in the left lane.

    ht tp://i.imgur.com/gz5F7L4.jpg

      nice picture, but please inform me of anything either truck has done which is illegal?

      “Keep Right Except to Pass” and “Slower Traffic Keep Right” are not just suggestions. Do you know what black lettering on a white background means in BC? It denotes a regulation and or a law. Look it up.

      Not only that, the driver on the left is just plain rude.

      “Keep Right Except to Pass” and “Slower Traffic Keep Right”

      IS the truck on the right not attempting a pass? Is it not possible that the vehicle on the left is the slower vehicle?

      In both cases that makes the vehicle on the right perfectly legal.

      opps, got that wrong, is the truck on the LEFT attempting a pass? Is the vehicle on the right the slower vehicle?

    While I am not in favor of that practice I do understand why some do it. When you travel in the right lane you constantly have private vehicles cutting in front of you so they can turn off the road. Small vehicles dont seem to grasp the idea of a stopping zone for a commercial vehicle and it is rare that you can travel down the bypass without somebody cutting in front of you taking away your stopping zone.

    If you travel in the left or middle lane as some call it, you seldom have a vehicle cut in front of you and slow down which makes a much smother and more efficient trip through town. Much easier to judge lights and run at your pace.

    That’s because when they travel in the right lane they keep getting stopped by other traffic. They can maintain their travel speed in the left lane. IE; southbound at 22nd. 40 cars backed up in the right lane while the rest cruise on by in the left lane. Two loaded trucks side by side down the bypass is a problem.

If the presentation to council is any indication then 9 axle logging trucks are just the beginning. One part of the presentation talks about 10 axle chip trucks and truck capable of hauling 2-40 foot ocean containers.

The damage to the road surface is the least of my concerns given that some truck drivers posting on this site have tried to justify having to run red lights when driving through town because they cannot stop in time. Imagine how much worse it will be with longer and heavier loads!

Any truck that is driving through town at the speed limit and cannot stop in time for a red light should have their truck taken off the road until it is fully inspected and deemed to be road worthy. I suspect the real problem is more than a few of them do not know what the middle pedal is for. No further proof required than to watch the light at Domano where in addition to the traffic light there is also a flashing warning light if the light is about to turn. Most of the chip and logging trucks that I have seem think the flashing orange light is a signal to put their foot into it.

    One of the problems is from about 6pm to 7am the lights through town are not synched and are set off from vehicle coming from the side roads. They lights are green for a long time then suddenly they go yellow with no warning. You watch close the vehicle coming from the side road, 10th avenue for an example have not even come to a stop and the lights have changed to a yellow then red. If your traveling loaded at the posted speed limit it is virtually impossible to come to a complete stop in the time of a yellow light. When loaded you have to come to highway speed then slow down for the green light till your past your stop zone, then speed up. You can try this at 3am with no traffic on the road, come up to 10th ave and a taxi will fly up and key the light and there is no way to stop in time if your at posted speed.

      If a loaded truck travelling at posted limit runs a red light then it is in the wrong–end of story. A vehicle on cross street triggering weight sensor is immaterial as the amber light on the bypass is the same length of time 24/7.

      The amount of time a light is amber should be ample time for all vehicles including loaded trucks to stop. If a truck cannot stop then it is either going too fast or has mechanical defects such as poorly adjusted brakes, worn brakes shoes or drums, low air pressure or leaky air hoses or is overweight,has improperly placed loads, etc,etc.

      The number of trucks that end up on the hook when CVSE does a big check stop shows how many trucks on the road are lacking even basic maintenance.Daily inspections that drivers are supposed to do before setting off are more often than not just a quick walk around.

      “The amount of time a light is amber should be ample time for all vehicles including loaded trucks to stop. If a truck cannot stop then it is either going too fast or has mechanical defects such as poorly adjusted brakes, worn brakes shoes or drums, low air pressure or leaky air hoses or is overweight,has improperly placed loads, etc,etc.”

      Sorry but you are wrong. The time a light is amber is not calibrated to stopping distance of a commercial vehicle. It is the responsabilty of a commercial driver to be able to stop his rig for a red light, but that involves timing and awareness of traffic around him. If you only rely on the amber you WILL be in a bad collision at some point.

      There has been constant complaining about the setting of lights in off traffic periods for the past few years but the dummies from Westcan have closed minds and closed ears.

The log haulers need to stick together on this one and tell them to go get stuffed. How many configurations do they expect log haulers to make to their equipment and at whos expense?

The trucks will not be longer than they are now. The weight per tire will be the same as well, as will the braking distance. The time needed to accelerate to speed or to climb hills will be a little slower.

Its that slow rolling over the pavement that causes ruts to form, especially on hot days. Its like having the packers, which pack new pavement, having all their wheels and weight on four tire tracks, instead of spread out over eight feet or so.
Also, trucks don’t stagger their tire tracks, the drivers all stay centred in the lane, for the most part, causing all the tires to roll over the same four little strips of pavement.

    Increasing the weight of any vehicle increases the stopping distance and it’s the weight that causes the ruts in the blacktop not the speed at which it travels.

As for 9 axle logging trucks I am not in favor of it for a few reasons. Some have already been touched on.

First is the extra horsepower required to move the loads, there are currently no legal motors available with the extra horsepower to compensate. This will mean slower trucks on hills, more spin outs and more impatient passenger vehicle drivers taking more risks to pass resulting in more deaths on the highway.

The second reason is stopping power. On dry pavement with the extra axle the theory is your stopping power is the same. How often do we have dry pavement? Most serious accidents happen in poor weather. When you are in rain, show or ice conditions that extra axle will not make up for the extra weight. It is simple physics. If your traveling at 100 kmh with the extra weight in poor weather your stopping distance will be dramatically longer resulting in more accidents.

We dont need more accidents.

They mention a possible decrease in fuel consumption, unproven but a theory. What about Tires, brakes, other wear parts? Cracking of steel, steering force, the list goes on and on.

Good for the mills, BAD for everyone else.

There are a few more reasons but most of them are economic reasons and it would bore most on here to discuss them.

Alot of good comments from actual drivers that know what they are talking about. But part of the discussion needs to focus on why the mills are asking for this? Anyone working in the forest industry knows that the PG region is quickly running out of harvestable timber due to the beetles. In order to keep the mills supplied you have to haul from further out, the further out you go, the more expensive the wood. Going to larger payloads helps reduce the hauling costs and helps keep the mills in PG, Vanderhoof, Quesnel, Fraser Lake, viable. If you can’t deliver the wood to mills cheap enough then you have to move the mills closer to the wood.

Depends on the configuration and where they drive. If we count the steer axle then most chip trucks are eight axles already with a tandem for drive axles. A tandem can be easily overloaded for weight on the drives at only 17,000kg.

If the idea is a five axle trailer hauled by a tri-drive, then I don’t think it’s a huge issue… it will just make off road loads legal on the highway. I would restrict them though on the big hills like 97 south and west of PG.

If the idea is to allow a six axle trailer then I think that’s a bridge to far for our northern roads during the winter months. It makes all the difference in the world if one is carrying he weight or pulling the weight. A truck can carry a lot of weight with control, but if all the weight is behind the unit then all bets are off especially even just catching a bad shoulder.

ht tp://tranbc.ca/2015/06/15/keep-right-let-others-pass-law-is-now-official-on-bc-highways/

the official keep right rules for BC.


overtaking and passing another vehicle

moving left to allow traffic to merge

preparing for a left hand turn

passing a stopped official vehicle displaying red, blue or yellow flashing lights, such as: police cars, ambulances, tow trucks, maintenance or construction vehicles.

Who does it affect? The law applies to all motorists travelling on BC highways with two or more lanes of traffic travelling in the same direction and a posted speed limit of 80 km/h or greater.”

So, how many divided highways do we have in Prince George that have a speed limit at or greater than 80 km/h?

Bitch and moan all you want, but it is legal for a commercial truck to travel from Walmart all the way to the end of the 4 lanes on the Hart in the left lane.

I wonder,,there is a logging company at the north end of PG with about thirty plus tandem drive eight axle log trucks,,perhaps he would prefer tri drives for the extra traction on the hills,no extra expence for log rigging,he would then have nine axles?

    Those trailers will not work with a tridrive, the neck on the lead trailer is too short. They are working towards a tandem drive, tridem lead, tridem pup configuration. To me this is a suicide combination. A horrible, horrible idea.

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