Long Combination Vehicle (LCV) Program

Frequently Asked Questions

The LCV program allows a limited number of commercial drivers to pull two full-sized semi-trailers on designated Ontario highways. Learn more about Ontario's Long Combination Vehicle Program and the rules that carriers and drivers must follow to operate LCVs in Ontario.

General

Q1 : What is a long combination vehicle (LCV)?
Q2 : Why is Ontario allowing LCVs on our highways?
Q3 : How many long combination vehicles will be allowed on Ontario's roads?
Q4 : Would Ontario simply allow unrestricted operations of LCVs?
Q5 : Will LCVs replace all the regular trucks in Ontario?
Q6 : Will any carrier be eligible to operate LCVs in Ontario?

LCV Routes

Q7 : Where will LCVs be allowed to operate?
Q8 : Where can I find the operating rules and program details for LCVs in Ontario?

LCV Equipment

Q9 : What is the maximum allowable weight for an LCV?
Q10 : Do LCVs require any special equipment?
Q11 : Are LCVs allowed to operate like other tractor trailers?

Safety

Q12 : Aren't LCVs more dangerous than regular single-trailer trucks?
Q13 : If LCVs are carrying twice as much cargo, won't they be slower to stop, and therefore more dangerous?

Environmental benefits

Q14 : Are there environmental benefits to LCVs?

Infrastructure impacts

Q15 : If LCVs are carrying twice as much freight, won't they do more damage to roads and bridges?
Q16 : How can I obtain further information about the LCV Program?


General

Q1 : What is a long combination vehicle (LCV)?

In Canada, any combination of vehicles over 25 metres overall length is considered to be an LCV. Ontario LCVs are made up of a tractor pulling two full-length semi-trailers up to 40 metres overall length.


Q2 : Why is Ontario allowing LCVs on our highways?

LCVs are a win-win-win. They are good for the economy, good for the environment and improve highway safety. They can move goods at a lower cost and with fewer greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) than single-trailer trucks and, under carefully controlled conditions, more safely.

In 2011, participating carriers completed over 21,000 one-way LCV trips, totalling over 7 million kilometres of travel. When comparing an LCV to the two tractor trailers they replace, LCVs eliminated 3.9 Million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our environment.

In addition, allowing LCVs will enable shippers to move goods more efficiently between Ontario and Quebec, since Quebec has allowed these trucks on their roads for more than 20 years.


Q3 : How many long combination vehicles will be allowed on Ontario's roads?

Ontario is now allowing up to 400 LCVs on designated highways.

All carriers within the program will be eligible for 2 permits each for their first year of operations. On the one year anniversary of receiving LCV permits, a carrier will be eligible for up to 4 permits.

LCVs are restricted to predetermined highways and approved access points close to highway ramps. They are restricted from operating in or through the GTA during rush hours, and across the province at the start and end of long weekends. As well, LCVs may not operate during the winter months of December, January and February.

Drivers must have extensive experience driving tractor-trailers, a proven safety record, and require a special certificate based on classroom and on-road training and testing to ensure safe operations.


Q4 : Would Ontario simply allow unrestricted operations of LCVs?

No. LCVs operate under carefully controlled conditions in every province that allows them, even after decades with excellent safety records. The Ontario government is not considering allowing unrestricted LCV operations.

The program is introducing LCVs very gradually to Ontario highways. Ministry of Transportation officials are closely monitoring the operation of the vehicles and addressing any issues that arise.


Q5 : Will LCVs replace all the regular trucks in Ontario?

No. The majority of tractor-trailer trips will remain as they are. LCVs are only suited for longer trips along major corridors involving light, bulky freight. Most LCV trips are night-time moves between major trucking or distribution terminals.


Q6 : Will any carrier be eligible to operate LCVs in Ontario?

No. Participants in the LCV program are restricted to members of the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) or Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC). They must have significant trucking experience and a safe operating history as demonstrated by their Carrier Safety Rating. At this point, a maximum of 100 carriers will be allowed in the program. All carriers within the program are eligible for 2 permits each during 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.



LCV Routes

Q7 : Where will LCVs be allowed to operate?

LCVs may only operate on predetermined multi-lane, divided highway routes and to and from terminals close to highway ramps that have been approved by MTO. All off-highway routes require an engineering and traffic safety assessment as well as municipal consent.


Q8 : Where can I find the operating rules and program details for LCVs in Ontario?

Operating rules and program details are contained in a document titled Ontario LCV Program Conditions. It outlines the program principles, the driver and carrier qualifications, route criteria, special equipment and operating restrictions.


LCV Equipment

Q9 : What is the maximum allowable weight for an LCV?

The allowable gross weight of any LCV combination must not exceed 63,500 kg. This is the same maximum weight as for other multi-axle tractor-trailers, so LCVs will be no heavier than tractor-trailers currently operating on our highways.

Maximum tire, axle and gross weights for the different types of trailer combinations are specified in the permit conditions. The braking ability of LCVs has been carefully reviewed to ensure optimal safety.


Q10 : Do LCVs require any special equipment?

Yes, LCVs require a set of equipment upgrades to make them among the safest tractor-trailers on Ontario highways.

Special equipment required for LCVs in Ontario includes :

  • Engine horsepower and steering radius minimums.
  • On-board speed recording devices.
  • Anti-sail mud flaps for splash/spray control.
  • Hitch requirement minimums.
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) requirements.
  • Additional Lighting requirements.
  • Rear signage.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) requirements.

Q11 : Are LCVs allowed to operate like other tractor trailers?

No. LCVs have specific and detailed operating restrictions that must be followed. The LCV permit outlines where and when participants may operate these vehicles.

LCVs :

  • may only operate on approved routes;
  • must not exceed 90 km/h;
  • must not detour off approved routes for any reason, including road closures;
  • must not travel in the GTA during morning and afternoon rush hours;
  • must not operate during the winter months of December, January and February;
  • must avoid operations during inclement weather, poor visibility or poor road conditions;
  • must not operate on any routes on the evening preceding and the last evening of the long weekend;
  • must not carry livestock or dangerous goods requiring a placard.

Safety

Q12 : Aren't LCVs more dangerous than regular single-trailer trucks?

No - in fact they are safer. LCV operations in Ontario to date support this. LCVs have been on the road in Western Canada, Quebec, and numerous American states for a number of decades. They have an excellent safety record, with fewer collisions reported than single-trailer trucks. LCVs also reduce the total number of trucks on the road, since each LCV has the cubic capacity to carry as much freight as two single-trailer trucks.


Q13 : If LCVs are carrying twice as much cargo, won't they be slower to stop, and therefore more dangerous?

No. LCVs are suited to light, bulky freight that generally fills the available cubic space on a tractor-trailer without coming close to the weight limits. As LCVs are no heavier than current multi-axle tractor-trailers, generally have more axles and tires to grip the road and are equipped with enhanced braking systems – their stopping ability is generally superior to other tractor-trailers.


Environmental benefits

Q14 : Are there environmental benefits to LCVs?

Yes. Greenhouse gas emissions are directly linked to the amount of fuel that is consumed. Each LCV uses about one-third less fuel than two tractor-trailers that would carry the same amount of freight. That means a third fewer greenhouse gas emissions for each LCV on the road.

When comparing an LCV to the two tractor trailers they replace, in 2011 LCVs eliminated 8,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our environment.


Infrastructure impacts

Q15 : If LCVs are carrying twice as much freight, won't they do more damage to roads and bridges?

No. The maximum weight for LCVs is the same as for other multi-axle tractor-trailers currently operating on our highways. LCVs actually have slightly less weight per axle and less impact on roads and bridges than the two single tractor-trailers they replace.


Q16 : How can I obtain further information about the LCV Program?

Any questions or comments about this program should be forwarded to: LCV.monitoring@ontario.ca.


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