In 2016, the United States government passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. The Act amended aspects of US Interstate regulations pertaining to the Ontario-Extended Stinger-Steer Auto Carrier, including regulating overall length, front load, and rear load overhang limits.
In response, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation began a Special Vehicle Configuration Permit Program. This would harmonize with the American changes and allow auto configurations to operate beyond dimensions currently permitted in Ontario and Canada. The Ministry saw an opportunity to help auto carriers save both time and money by allowing them to carry additional vehicles per trip.
Operators can now haul more vehicles with fewer trips
The Virginia Transportation Corporation retained Associated Engineering to pursue the first Special Vehicle Configuration Permit issued in Ontario to enable hauling more vehicles with fewer trips between the Oakville-based Ford plant, the Honda plant in Alliston, Ontario, and the US border.
Manager of the Transportation Planning Group, Jeff Suggett, says, “We’ve done truck route assessments for other types of vehicles in the past, however, this one is a different vehicle configuration.”
To complete the analysis, the project team employed the AutoCAD Vehicle Tracking software (an AutoDesk-produced extension). The team also prepared a unique vehicle template as the configuration is new, and there was no stock template available in the AutoCAD Vehicle Tracking software package.
Transportation Technician, Christine Kinahan, conducted the route and vehicle swept path analysis. She tells us, “Historically, we used AutoTURN for such an analysis. However, we had recently transitioned to the AutoCAD Vehicle Tracking software, so we decided to use the new software, which proved to be more cost-effective.”
With the resulting analysis, Associated Engineering delivered the first submissions and received the first approvals for Ontario-Extended Stinger-Steer Auto Carrier Special Vehicle Configuration permits.
Jeff advises, “We can now efficiently complete similar analysis for other clients/operators who wish to obtain similar permits.”
Key personnel from our Niagara-on-the-Lake, Saskatoon, and Lethbridge offices contributed to this project, including Jeff Suggett, Christine Kinahan, Brady Marshall, Brennan Krowchenko, and Breanna Jackson.