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ONTARIO LIBERAL LEADER STEVEN DEL DUCA SPEAKS OUT IN SUPPORT OF DUMP TRUCK INDUSTRY


TORONTO – Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca, who was the longest serving Transportation Minister in a quarter century, has spoken out in support of the Ontario dump truck industry coalition and its dontdumponus.ca campaign. 


“During my time as Transportation Minister I became well acquainted with the hard working members of the dump truck industry and while we didn’t always agree, we worked together.” says Del Duca. “In fact in 2016 our government signed an agreement calling for joint resolutions on matters related to SPIF and the industry. It’s disappointing to see that agreement has not been honoured by Doug Ford and these job killing requirements have been imposed, in the middle of a pandemic, without collaboration, communication or consultation.”


The agreement was signed with the involvement of ministry officials, lawyers, the minister’s office and industry stakeholders. The SPIF program was put under review. 


The SPIF rules in dispute took effect in January 2021 and require dump trucks more than 15 years old to undergo expensive axle retrofits ($20,000 – $40,000), operate at significantly reduced loads, or get off the road.  The measures (SPIF – Safe Productive Infrastructure Friendly) are designed to reduce road wear and the trucks are regularly inspected for safety. 


The SPIF compliant axles are mandatory in trucks manufactured from 2011 on. More than 1000 dump trucks manufactured prior are now deemed non-compliant. The measures apply only to four categories of trucks used mainly in the construction industry. The coalition is asking for the older trucks to be grandfathered for their full life span as other impacted trucks such as cement trucks and fuel trailers have been (20-25 years). Only the dump trucks have not been accommodated.


“I’ve heard from many individual drivers, trucking companies, and some of the largest construction companies, that these measures are impacting their livelihoods and will wreak havoc on the entire construction industry,” says Orléans MPP and Ontario Liberal Transportation Critic, Stephen Blais. “Doug Ford claims to be “for the people” and against red tape, but he is burying these workers in unnecessary regulations. The trucks pose a low safety risk, it’s time to let these essential workers get back to work.” 


The dump truck industry coalition is calling on supporters to contact their local MPP, sign their petition and ask Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and Premier Doug Ford to work with the industry to address its concerns. For more information: www.dontdumponus.ca 


Media Contact: Sarbjit Kaur sarbjit@kpwcomms.com 416-274-5324, Ivy Mak ivy@kpwcomms.com 

PDF Version

DUMP TRUCK INDUSTRY COALITION LAUNCHES DONTDUMPONUS.CA CAMPAIGN

 

TORONTO – Monday March 8– A coalition of more than 100 diverse stakeholders including trucking companies, independent dump truck drivers and members of the construction industry, has come together to launch a new campaign: Dontdumponus.ca.The coalition is protesting Ontario Ministry of Transportation rules that are putting dump truck owners and operators out of business – in the middle of a pandemic.

 

“After months of protest and outreach, the Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney has still not met with us to address our concerns,”  says Sarbjit Kaur, campaign spokesperson. “The ministry says there’s no viable reason to review the rules, but what viable reason is there to put hard working people out of business — especially during a pandemic?”

 

The rules in dispute took effect Jan, 2021 and require dump trucks older than 15 years to undergo expensive axle retrofits ($20,000 – $40,000), operate at significantly reduced loads or get off the road. The trucks pose NO safety risk as the measures (SPIF – Safe Productive Infrastructure Friendly) are designed to reduce road wear.

 

The SPIF compliant axles became mandatory in trucks manufactured from 2011 on. At least 1000 dump trucks manufactured prior (that were working until Jan 2021) are now deemed non-compliant. The measures apply only to four categories of trucks used mainly in the construction industry. The coalition is asking for the older trucks to be grandfathered for their full life span as other impacted trucks such as cement trucks and fuel trailers have been (20-25 years). Only the dump trucks have not been accommodated.

 

“Our industry has already been hit hard by the pandemic with lost work and income. Asking drivers to invest tens of thousands of dollars in perfectly good 15-year-old trucks is outrageous,” says Jagroop Singh president of the Ontario Aggregate Truckers Association (OATA). “This program was designed decades ago without any collaboration or consultation with our industry and the measures came into effect with no announcement or notice.” The cost to purchase new trucks ranges from $220,000 – $320,000.

 

In a letterto Minister Mulroney, George Allen Tucker, the former head of the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association (CTEA)  who was intimately involved in the program’s design says:

 

“I spent over fifty (50) years serving the Canadian Commercial Transportation Sector and as the former Executive Director of the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association (CTEA) I feel obligated to speak out.I am familiar with the process that took place beginning in 2000 …. and the development of SPIF…..in retrospect, to have decided to grandfather these vehicles used in this vital construction sector by calculating their ‘best before date’, we now realize that the regulation falls short of the realities then and today….no operator today could consider an expensive retrofit to meet SPIF and in fact, the truth is, he could never have considered such an option. This is not the time to let the words printed on a page of legislation trump our common sense when it comes to the welfare of these hard-working citizens and their families….The amount of infrastructure wear and tear attributed to this particular sector still pales in comparison to the overall impact of the Provincial trucking industry and its many faces.”     

 

As we approach a busy spring construction period industry stakeholders are warning of labour shortages, delays and increased costs. The City of Brampton,a major GTA transportation hub, has also called  on the government to meet with the industry to work toward viable solutions.

 

“The dump truck industry is the backbone of the construction industry,” says Alec Cloke, Industry expert and president of United Soils. “Without this small but mighty group of hard workers, materials can’t get transported to job sites and the entire supply chain is interrupted. Higher costs to build roads, bridges, hospitals and homes will ultimately get passed onto taxpayers and consumers. Minister Mulroney and Premier Ford need to step in and solve this problem once and for all.”

 

The campaigners are calling on supporters to contact their local MPP, sign their petition and ask Minister Mulroney and Premier Ford to cut the red tape and let workers get back to work. For more information: www.dontdumponus.ca

 

Media Contact:

 

Sarbjit Kaur

sarbjit@kpwcomms.com

416-274-5324

Downloadable Version

BRAMPTON CITY COUNCIL CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO HELP DUMP TRUCK DRIVERS

Tuesday, Feb 2  2021 — Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has sent a letter to Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney on behalf of the entire Brampton City Council asking the  government to work with the dump truck industry in regards to the ongoing dispute over SPIF regulations. 

“Dump truck drivers are among the essential workers who help build our roads, hospitals, critical infrastructure and housing, keeping our economy moving. The announcement of the effective date for these measures was made a little over a year ago during the COVID-19 pandemic, and notifications to operators were only sent by the Ministry of Transportation very recently. The industry’s dedicated professionals are impacted by the global pandemic, experiencing a reduction in work and income of approximately 25%. I do not believe the regulatory amendment’s objective was to further impact the industry’s financial well-being,” wrote Brown.
The Ministry of Transportation regulations (SPIF – Safe Productive Infrastructure Friendly)  which took effect Jan 1, 2021 require dump trucks older than 15 years to operate at reduced capacity, undergo expensive retrofits costing up to $40,000 or get off the road. The existing trucks pose no public safety risk as the measures are designed mainly to reduce wear and tear on roads and save costs. Other categories of impacted trucks (cement trucks, fuel trailers) have been accommodated to allow them to operate for 20-25 years, closer to their full life span. Only the dump trucks have not been accommodated. 

The motion to have council write the letter was put forward by Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon at a committee of council where it received support from all members including Mayor Brown. 

“We thank Mayor Brown, Councillor Dhillon and their colleagues for intervening to alert Minister Mulroney of the need to help working people who have been hit by this unnecessary red tape in the middle of a pandemic,” says the Ontario Dump Truck Association (ODTA). “The vast majority of our members are independent owner operators. Without their trucks they can’t work and feed their families.” 

The letter calls on Minister Mulroney and the Ministry of Transportation to “…engage with ODTA to address issues associated with the SPIF-complaint axel legislation and work toward viable solutions.”

Read full letter attached.

Media Contact: Sarbjit Kaur, sarbjit@kpwcomms.com, 416-274-5324

Downloadable Version

 

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 30, 2020***

 

On Wednesday December 30th, truck drivers from across the province are participating in a day of action to appeal to MPPs and the Ontario government to support the livelihood of independent dump truck operators, who are a critical part of keeping the economy moving.

Starting at 9am, truckers will begin by delivering letters to a number of MPP constituency offices, before gathering at Queen’s Park at 11am. Together from Queen’s Park, a convoy will drive to the Minister of Transportation – Hon. Caroline Mulroney’s constituency office.

Truck drivers will be available to speak about the fear mongering by the Government to justify poor policy. They will be asking the Government to treat dump truck drivers fairly and make the same accommodations for them as they have for other categories of trucks. And finally, they’ll speak about the impact these Government changes have to their ability to earn a living, in addition to the consequences these changes have with respect to construction delays, shortages, and increased building costs.

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Downloadable Version

Dump Truck Drivers Buried by Regulations

Regulations Taking Effect Jan 1 Threaten the Livelihood of More Than 1000 Truckers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec 29, 2020 – While politicians are enjoying the holidays and getting ready for New Year’s Eve, independent dump truck drivers are worried about their livelihoods and putting food on the table for their families.
Regulations taking effect Jan 1, require dump trucks manufactured prior to 2011 to undergo expensive retrofits (costing up to $40,000), operate at significantly reduced capacity, or be taken off the road after 15 years of operation.
“This makes no sense since the average lifespan of a dump truck is 20 – 25 years,” says the Ontario Dump Truck Association (ODTA). “Manufacturers began to use the new truck components starting in 2011. All trucks manufactured previously should have been grandfathered by the government for the full life span of the truck. It would’ve been like asking older car owners to install air bags – at a huge personal cost – after they were introduced.”The regulation only applies to four specific categories of trucks, used mainly in the construction industry: concrete trucks, water trucks, fuels trailers and dump trucks. Concrete trucks and fuel trailers have been given an exemption and allowed to operate for 20-25 years, while no load limits have been imposed on water trucks. Only dump trucks have not been accommodated. “The Ministry claims this is a safety issue, but that’s complete nonsense,” says the ODTA. “Older trucks have been safely operating and will continue to be on the road for at least another decade given the special permits/exemptions granted by the government to other categories of trucks. There’s simply no safety threat posed by dump trucks that operate at well supervised construction sites, for only about 6-8 months a year, and at very low speeds. New technology should always be looked at and used, but it shouldn’t render existing trucks obsolete. These are safe trucks that drivers have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in, with the expectation that they will be able to use them for their entire life span, and earn a living.” The vast majority of the truck owners/operators are independent. They work hard every day to build roads, bridges, hospitals, homes and other essential infrastructure. The industry has been hit hard by COVID, but truckers have continued to work through the pandemic with about a 25% reduction in work and income. The new regulations will mean shortages, delays, longer build times and higher construction costs that will ultimately be passed down to taxpayers and consumers.

The government continues to show their lack of knowledge of the industry by suggesting older trucks can operate at reduced capacity. “The reduced load they are permitting, amounts to about a one-third decrease in what our trucks can carry. Nobody will hire or use that truck. We’ll be out of business,” says Jaskarun Singh, an independent trucker.
A $40,000 retrofit is simply beyond the reach of most independent truckers. “The government says we’ve had years to prepare – but we work to put food on the table. We don’t have those kinds of funds to spend on something that should not have been required in the first place,” says Craig Green, an independent trucker.
Finally, the government has not provided any support to the industry for retrofits and has only recently started informing operators of the enforcement measures starting Jan 1. There has been no meaningful consultation with groups that represent dump truck owners and numerous meeting requests by the ODTA were delayed or cancelled until the industry started protest actions. The industry has been caught off guard due to poor communication and lack of consultation.
The Ford government says they are pro small business and dedicated to keeping our economy moving. The ODTA is calling on them to come to the table and work toward practical solutions that make sense for a vital industry and the families that rely on it.

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 Downloadable Version

 

DUMP TRUCK INDUSTRY COALITION LAUNCHES DONTDUMPONUS.CA CAMPAIGN

 

BACKGROUND:

 

 

What is the Don’t Dump On Us Campaign?

 

A coalition of more than 100 diverse stakeholders including trucking companies, independent dump truck drivers and members of the construction industry, has come together to launch a new campaign: www.Dontdumponus.ca. The coalition is protesting Ontario Ministry of Transportation SPIF rules that are putting dump truck owners and operators out of business – in the middle of a pandemic.

 

After months of protest and outreach, the Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney has still not met with the industry to address their concerns. The ministry’s position is there is “no viable reason” to review the requirements. The coalition is calling on the Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and Premier Ford to address their concerns.

 

What are the requirements in dispute?

 

The rules in dispute took effect Jan, 2021 and require dump trucks older than 15 years to undergo expensive axle retrofits ($20,000 – $40,000), operate at significantly reduced loads or get off the road. The trucks pose NO safety risk as the measures (SPIF – Safe Productive and Infrastructure Friendly) are designed to reduce road wear.

 

What Is SPIF?

 

This SPIF (Safe, Productive and Infrastructure Friendly) program was designed decades ago (1990s) and rolled out in four phases from 2000-2011. It aims to introduce measures that reduce road wear, save costs and better protect infrastructure over the long term. SPIF applies to many kinds of trucks but the requirements under dispute are specific to four kinds of trucks used mainly in the construction industry: Cement trucks, dump trucks, fuel trailers and water trucks.

 

The measures aim to introduce a new type of axle that distributes weight more evenly. SPIF compliant axles (which automatically distribute load weights more evenly) are mandatory in trucks manufactured from 2011 on. At least 1000 dump trucks manufactured prior (that were working up until Jan 2021) are now deemed non-compliant.

 

Are the Trucks Unsafe?

 

The older trucks pose NO safety risk as the measures (SPIF – Safe Productive and Infrastructure Friendly) are designed to reduce road wear.  The new axles are automatic vs the older ones being manual. Trucks with the older axles have and will continue to be on the roads for at least a decade until they reach the end of their life span. The trucks undergo regular safety inspections and are also frequently checked at MTO scales.

 

The new system is also largely untested with many truckers noting that the automatic “switch” takes control away from the driver and is not suited for  Canada’s inclement weather conditions. The industry is currently collecting data about these safety concerns.

 

How much road wear do dump trucks cause?

 

Dump trucks account for less than 1% of all large trucks on the road. The older trucks with manual (non-SPIF) axles account for an even smaller percentage. The amount of road wear caused by the non SPIF dump trucks is minuscule as a proportion of overall truck and vehicle road traffic.

 

What happens to dump trucks older than 15 years?

 

These trucks can:

  1. Operate at significantly reduced capacity, about a 1/3 reduction on load which is completely non-viable from a business perspective.
  2. Undergo expensive retrofits costing $20,000 – $40,000 to get the new SPIF compliant axle installed. Not only is this option unaffordable, it’s not practical to invest that much money in a 15-year-old truck.
  3. Buy a new truck – A new truck costs $220,000 – $320,000.
  4. Get off the road. Many truckers who are unable to do the retrofit or buy a new truck are simply unable to work. They are out of business with a perfectly good truck that they cannot operate.

 

What is the coalitions asking for?

 

The coalition is asking for the older trucks to be grandfathered for their full life span as other impacted trucks such as cement trucks and fuel trailers have been (20-25 years). Only the dump trucks have not been accommodated.

 

There has been no collaboration, consultation or communications since at least 2011. The end of the grandfathering period and the enforcement measures came into effect with no announcement or notice.

 

Why is the grandfathering period shorter for dump trucks?

 

It was a mistake and oversight made when designing the program decades ago.

 

In a letter to Minister Mulroney, George Allen Tucker, the former head of the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association (CTEA)  who was intimately involved in the program’s design says:

 

“I spent over fifty (50) years serving the Canadian Commercial Transportation Sector and as the former Executive Director of the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association (CTEA) I feel obligated to speak out. I am familiar with the process that took place beginning in 2000 …. and the development of SPIF…..in retrospect, to have decided to grandfather these vehicles used in this vital construction sector by calculating their ‘best before date’, we now realize that the regulation falls short of the realities then and today….no operator today could consider an expensive retrofit to meet SPIF and in fact, the truth is, he could never have considered such an option. This is not the time to let the words printed on a page of legislation trump our common sense when it comes to the welfare of these hard-working citizens and their families….The amount of infrastructure wear and tear attributed to this particular sector still pales in comparison to the overall impact of the Provincial trucking industry and its many faces.”    Read the full letter here.

 

Impact

 

On truckers:

The vast majority of dump truck owner/operators are independent. They have one of the hardest jobs in construction and a limited work season for 6-8 months a year. The pandemic has hit the industry hard with a drop in work and income. The industry is made up of people from many backgrounds all across the province with clusters that serve development needs in different regions. The demographics are blue collar with many immigrants and newcomers also working in the sector.  They are also essential workers.

 

On the industry and Economy:

 

The dump truck industry is a vital part of the construction industry, helping to build roads, bridgers, hospitals, homes and other infrastructure.  As we approach a busy spring construction period (after a pandemic) the MTO requirements will result in serious supply chain disruption including: labour shortages, delays, increased costs and possible work actions. Industry stakeholders such as the largest names in construction and The City of Brampton (a major GTA transportation hub) have called  on the government to meet with the industry to work toward viable solutions.

 

Consultations

 

The program was designed in the 1990s with the final phase implemented in 2011. There has been no collaboration, consultation or dump truck industry engagement since at least 2011. The ministry has not engaged with organizations that represent the dump truck industry or drivers directly. Their position is that drivers are to do their own “due diligence” in tracking decades old complex regulations that they were never consulted on or supportive of. 

 

The coalition’s position is clear: The industry has not agreed to or supported these measures and will not accept them. Consultations or other stakeholders who made decisions on our behalf decades ago are not sufficient and do not justify measures that simply don’t make sense.  The industry’s leading associations (Ontario Dump Truck Organizations (ODTA)  and Ontario Aggregate Truckers Association) were not even in existence at the time this program was developed.

 

Further, in 2016 when SPIF related issues were raised, then Minister of Transportation Stephen Del Duca signed an agreement (on behalf of the Ministry) with the industry that called for ‘joint resolutions” and working together with “shared responsibility”.  The program was put into review. The current government has not honoured that agreement.

 

Communication

 

No announcement, communications rollout or direct notice to impacted truckers was undertaken by the MInistry of Transportation. Ministry officials have confirmed this. Two months before the effect date the ministry finally sent out “courtesy” letters in response to concerns. The letters reiterated the rules and encouraged those under financial stress to consider federal COVID support programs. 

 

Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney has refused to meet with the industry to discuss concerns and the ministry has only reiterated its position (that there is no viable reason to review the requirements)  in written and verbal correspondence and public statements. In response to the most recent protest the ministry set up a last minute open online technical briefing/information session rather than meet to discuss concerns and work toward a solution.

 

What can supporters do?

 

The campaigners are calling on supporters to contact their local MPP, sign their petition and ask Minister Mulroney and Premier Ford to cut the red tape and let workers get back to work.  Get involved.

 

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