A 13-axle tractor-trailer unit hauls a tank from B.C. port facilities. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation)

B.C. fast-tracks ‘superload’ trucks to ports, Alberta border

13-axle big rigs no longer need to wait for special permit

The B.C. government and Lower Mainland municipalities have completed a fast-track permit system to allow oversize loads and trucks with up to 13 axles to carry massive equipment components to the Alberta border via Highway 16.

The “superload” route connects with Alberta’s high load corridor, a network of designated routes built to haul drill rigs, tanks and other heavy industrial loads that can’t be broken down into smaller segments. On the B.C. side, the new “project cargo corridor” permit eliminates a wait of up to 12 days that was required to assess each oversize load and route to see if it can be allowed to hit the road without damage.

“This is expected to save the trucking industry time and increase confidence for carriers and shippers in order to attract more specialized products through B.C. ports,” the transportation ministry said in a statement Monday.

The new permit system allows trucks with between eight and 13 axles, gross vehicle weight up to 125,000 kg, width up to five metres and height up to 4.88 metres to make the trip.

The new permits allow travel by oversize loads between two ports, Fraser Surrey Docks and Lynnterm East Gate in North Vancouver, and the highway system through the Fraser Valley to Alberta.

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The ministry has signed information-sharing agreements with municipalities along the corridor, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford.

The change takes effect as work gets underway on the Trans Mountain pipeline twinning project that runs from Edmonton to Burnaby.

B.C. previously approved the use of 13-axle oversize trucks to haul logs on the Highway 16 corridor in northwestern B.C. Canfor began using the nine-axle trailers, built at Freflyt in Vanderhoof, to make transport of timber from remote locations more efficient.

The large loads also helped the industry deal with a shortage of truck drivers, as well as reducing fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The log trailer and a 10-axle trailer for hauling chips were developed with assistance from FPInnovations, a private not-for-profit research and development organization specializing in wood products.


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