Flagship Initiatives

Transportation Initiative

Truck transportation is a cornerstone of provincial economies, and improving transportation productivity enhances the competitiveness of Canadian industry. It is well understood that maximizing a truck’s payload is the key to improving transportation efficiency.

Transportation ministries across Canada have adopted stringent performance criteria to determine the safety and impact of new vehicle configurations. To enable implementation of the new configurations, FPInnovations must analyze a vehicle’s dynamic performance, its road space requirements, and the impact that the new vehicle would have on existing roads and bridges. There are other factors that also influence the overall evaluation of costs and benefits, including:

  • Safety – Larger trucks mean fewer trucks on the road, reducing interactions with other vehicles and improving overall public safety.
  • Energy intensity – Larger trucks may use more fuel per trip, but they also carry a much larger payload, reducing the amount of fuel consumed per unit of payload associated with truck transportation.
  • GHG & emissions – Greenhouse gases and emissions: Levels of greenhouse gases and other emissions correspond with the volume of fuel used, so if less fuel is used, overall emissions are reduced.

FPInnovations is engaged in a number of initiatives across Canada to develop and promote the adoption of safe, more efficient heavy vehicles for the forest sector. Examples include:

  • 9-axle B-train logging configurations in B.C. and Manitoba.
  • 10-axle chip B-train configurations in B.C. and Alberta.
  • Heavy-haul corridors in Que. and Nova Scotia.
  • Increased capacity for designated routes in Saskatchewan.

With many of these initiatives, there are opportunities to significantly improve the competitiveness of Canadian forest companies and to decrease fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Work to capture these benefits will continue to be the foundation of FPInnovations’ Transportation and Infrastructure program. A cooperative effort between industry, government, and FPInnovations is required to achieve new gains in transportation efficiency for the Canadian forest sector.

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Jan Michaelsen