The Ministry of Transportation is expanding the LCV program with a controlled increase in the number of permits for a limited number of commercial operators to pull two full-sized trailers - referred to as long combination vehicles (LCVs) - on designated Ontario highways.
Ontario is carefully controlling LCV operations. The Ministry of Transportation will gradually issue permits for up to a maximum of 100 carriers and 400 permits.
All carriers within the program will be eligible for 2 permits each for their first year of operations. Current program participants that have successfully completed at least a year of LCV operations are eligible for up to 4 permits. Carriers that have not preformed well during their first year of LCV operations will not be eligible for additional permits until their performance improves.
- LCVs are good for manufacturers and consumers. They allow Ontario retailers and manufacturers to bring light-weight, bulky goods to market at a lower cost.
- By using less fuel to carry goods, LCVs reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with shipping goods by approximately one-third.
- LCVs have been on the road in Western Canada, Quebec, and numerous American states for decades. They have an excellent safety record, with fewer collisions reported than single-trailer trucks.
- A major study of LCV operations in Alberta showed that LCVs of the type allowed in Ontario had 60 per cent fewer collisions than the conventional tractor-trailers they replace.
- As each LCV replaces two conventional tractor-trailers, the number of collisions is expected to be reduced by 80 per cent as compared to moving the freight by conventional tractor-trailer.
Requirements and Restrictions
Rules for LCVs include that they:
- Can only operate on designated divided highways (primarily 400-series highways).
- Can only access destination terminals within two kilometres of highway interchanges, and only if routes have been carefully assessed and approved.
- Must have special safety equipment, including enhanced braking requirements and an electronic stability control system.
- May not drive in or through the Greater Toronto Area during rush hours.
- May not carry more weight than existing multi-axle tractor-trailers.
- May not operate at the start and end of long weekends.
- May not carry dangerous goods that would require a warning on the vehicle's exterior.
- May not carry livestock.
- May not operate during winter months (December, January, and February).
- Must avoid driving in bad weather or slippery conditions.
- May not exceed 90km/hr.
Special requirements for LCV drivers include that they:
- Must be experienced tractor-trailer operators with a good safety record.
- Must obtain and carry an LCV Driver’s Certificate based on specialized and comprehensive training and road testing.