CANADIAN intermediate- and final-stage manufacturers that modify GVW ratings should be prepared to explain why.
Walinga Inc of Guelph, Ontario, is the first company to be recognized by Transport Canada for its expertise in modifying gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) and gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR), according to Transport Canada's Peter Zongora.
Under legislation that became effective in February 2003, Transport Canada has required manufacturers to file evidence of their ability to meet compliance requirements. Those that do so satisfactorily — by presenting documents such as test reports and engineering analysis — ultimately will be issued a National Safety Mark (NSM). The NSM is specific for vehicle type. The national safety mark (NSM) is the property of the Government of Canada, and its use is authorized by the Minister of Transport to manufacturers of new vehicles offered for sale in Canada.
Transport Canada requires manufacturers authorized to affix the mark, to have the capability to certify their vehicle production to comply with the regulations under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Companies that ship certain vehicles or equipment from one province to another must apply their NSM number to the vehicle. Also, most provincial Highway Traffic Acts require that a company affix an NSM to all vehicles that they manufacture.
“Congratulations are in order for Walinga, the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association, and the entire industry for their persistence and determination,” Zongora said in an August 9 announcement.
“The CTEA wishes to add its congratulations to the Walinga team for its leadership and due diligence,” says Al Tucker, executive director of the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association. “In so doing, they have set a new standard for excellence in our industry.”
Alterations to vehicles by dealers and upfitters to accommodate vocational requirements and to utilize stock chassis often leads to changes in GAWR and GVWR in the field. Walinga is the first company to achieve what Zongora calls “intermediate GAWR and GVWR increase status.”
“The chassis OEs have made it very clear that they will not accept any responsibility to certify or recertify a vehicle altered by another company — which includes franchised dealers,” Tucker says. “Transport Canada has been pressuring the chassis OEs since 2003 to be forthcoming with additional technical support and guidelines that will enable a dealer or upfitter to make the right choices.”
The Canadian government expects intermediate- and final-stage manufacturers to test when necessary (such as air brake timing for air-brake systems) and analyze (such as weight distribution and center of gravity calculations) and to keep documents in order to support compliance.
“Much progress has been made, but there is much more to do,” Tucker says. “The fact that after 2Ω years only one company has managed to achieve their NSM related to these specific alterations is an indication of where we stand.”