Long Combination Vehicle (LCV) Program

Questions and Answers

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)?

The Ontario Long Combination Vehicle (LCV) Program allows 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 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. They do less damage to infrastructure than transporting the same goods by two single tractor semitrailers.

In a typical year, participating carriers complete over 45,000 one-way LCV trips, totalling almost 12 million kilometres of travel. When comparing an LCV to the two tractor semitrailers they replace, LCVs eliminated over 9 Million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our environment.


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

All carriers within the Program are eligible for 2 permits each for their first year of operations. After one year of successful operations, a carrier may obtain additional permits.

LCVs are restricted to predetermined highways and approved access points close to highway ramps. They are restricted from operating in or through the Ottawa area during rush hours, and across the province at the start and end of long weekends.

Drivers must have extensive experience driving tractor-trailers, a proven safety record, and require special training and certification, including classroom and on-road instruction, to ensure the safe operation of LCVs in Ontario.


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 of operating with excellent safety records. The Ontario government is not considering allowing unrestricted LCV operations.

Ministry of Transportation officials closely monitor the operation of LCVs and address any issues as they arise. LCVs operate under strict monitoring and enforcement practices in Ontario – carriers who fail to operate safely under LCV Program Conditions can have their operating permits suspended or revoked.


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

No. The majority of tractor-trailer trips will remain as they are. LCVs are allowed no more weight than regulated truck-trailer, tractor semitrailer, or tractor double-trailer configurations. LCVs are suited for longer trips along major corridors involving light, bulky freight. Most LCV trips occur at night, between major trucking or distribution terminals.


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

No. Carrier participants must have significant trucking experience and a safe operating history as demonstrated by their Carrier Safety Rating. All carriers within the Program are eligible for 2 permits each during their first year of safe and successful operations. Current Program participants that have successfully completed at least one year of LCV operations may obtain as many permits as required. Carriers that have not performed 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, controlled access, divided highway routes and to and from terminals close to highway ramps that have been approved by Ministry of Transportation officials. All off-highway routes require an engineering and traffic safety assessment and route plan as well as consent to operate LCVs by the local road authority.


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. The document outlines the program principles, driver and carrier qualifications, route criteria, special equipment and operating restrictions.

This document along with other information on the LCV Program can be found on the Ministry of Transportation website: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/trucks/long-combination-vehicles.shtml

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 regulated multi-axle tractor-trailers, truck-trailers, and tractor double-trailers so LCVs will be no heavier than truck configurations 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 whereby Program Conditions include special braking system enhancements.

Q10 : Do LCVs require any special equipment?

Yes, LCVs require a set of equipment upgrades to make them among the safest tractor double-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 and operate with a Special Vehicle Configuration permit regime. 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 Ottawa area during morning and afternoon rush hours;
  • 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.

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, they 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. Equipment requirements like ABS and ESC further increase the safety of LCVs in Ontario.

Environmental benefits

Q14 : Are there environmental benefits to LCVs?

Yes. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) 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. Recently completed analysis of LCV operations revealed that the reduction in GHG emissions by operating LCVs instead of five-axle tractor semitrailers for the same freight transport task was between 9 and 14 million kg (a reduction of 30 to 37 percent).

When comparing an LCV to the two tractor trailers they replace, in a typical year LCVs eliminated 9 Million tonnes of GHGs 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 legislated 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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