Caledon Enterprise 07 August 2014 – Shocking weight of aggregate truck numbers exposed in MTO study

By Matthew Strader

The MTO surveyed 434 aggregate vehicles between August and October 2012. According to the survey, 44.3 to 53.7 per cent of the vehicles were loaded within the interim aggregate weight enforcement tolerance, 24.3 to 33.7 per cent exceeded the interim aggregate weight tolerance and 38.3 to 47.7 per cent exceeded their allowable gross weight.

The aggregate industry is creating“concern” for Caledon’s roads, and the Ministry of Transportation says they are working on it. But nobody else is saying much at all.

The Enterprise has obtained a power point presentation the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) put on for the Top Aggregate Producing Municipalities of Ontario (TAPMO), an organization that Caledon Mayor Marolyn Morrison chaired at the time of the presentation.

According to the slides, the MTO did a survey of aggregate trucks in a number of Ontario municipalities, including Bowmanville, Whitby, King, Vineland, and Caledon.

The objectives of the survey was to collect data to help the ministry gain a better understanding of weight compliance issues within the aggregate industry, to assess the level of axle and gross weight compliance and identify patterns or other issues that may exist, and to identify possible load equalization issue with Safe Productive and Infrastructure Friendly (SPIF) vehicles, according to the presentation.

In total, 434 aggregate vehicles were surveyed between August and October 2012. According to the survey, 44.3 to 53.7 per cent of the vehicles were loaded within the interim aggregate weight enforcement tolerance, 24.3 to 33.7 per cent exceeded the interim aggregate weight tolerance and 38.3 to 47.7 per cent exceeded their allowable gross weight.

The presentation noted it expects a 95 per cent accuracy rate and “overloading is a systemic problem which involves shippers, carrier, drivers and MTO.”

Morrison was asked for comment, and if she had thought about making the conclusions public, or heard of any actions taken after these statistics were presented, but declined to answer.

According to her staff she was “not available to address your email.”

The Mayor’s staff instead supplied contact information for the new chair of TAPMO and its administrator.

Ajay Woozageer, a spokesperson for the MTO, advised that the MTO is not aware of an accompanying report, and that the survey, and analysis are part of an ongoing internal ministry review.

Asked about actions being taken, he wrote, “The ministry continues to work with the Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (OSSGA) toward the development and implementation of long term solutions to weight issues.”

He advised that the results were not released in 2012 because it is part of an internal review and that there are no proposals for new legislation and the MTO is not working with the OPP to increase enforcement.

Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones was also approached for comment, but her staff advised The Enterprise that she is “out of the office this week” and will be “unavailable for comment.”

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