The breakout session on telematics filled the meeting room.

CTEA annual manufacturers’ conference highlights how association serves its members

Feb. 5, 2016
CTEA Manufacturers Conference coverage

BY all accounts, 2015 was a busy one for the members and staff of the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association.

The association’s annual Manufacturers Conference provided a venue to recap what CTEA accomplished during the year as well as providing attendees with three days of technical sessions and networking. The event was held October 26-28 at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie, Quebec.

Much of the opening session was devoted to an update of the association-sponsored programs designed to enable small manufacturers comply with regulations that otherwise would require testing beyond their financial reach. Among the programs discussed:

• The Generic Trailer Park Brake (GAB) Program is designed for manufacturers of air-braked trailer manufacturers who either build in or exporting into Canada. The program is recognized by Transport Canada for all those companies applying for the National Safety Mark, applying to Appendix “G” for foreign manufacturers or submitting importation packages.

Don Moore, CTEA

​CTEA has an extensive library of test reports for all the major trailer axle manufacturers including Hendrickson, IMT, SAF-Holland, Eveley, Arvin Meritor, Ridewell, Watson & Chalin, AXN, KGI, FUWA, Dexter and Eaton. The association provides a format to interpret the reports and make submissions to Transport Canada as well as maintain record keeping to meet all compliance requirements. CTEA also maintains an extensive library of cross references for components used in air-braked systems for all the major equipment manufacturers.

The generic parking brake program for air-braked trailers has been in operation since 1993. It contains about 200 tests in the library that manufacturers can use to verify their parking brakes meet Transport Canada standards. Transport Canada has approved the testing results, but the library requires periodic updates to make sure that they remain valid.

To participate in the program, the trailer OEM pays once for access to the library. Using the data contained in the library, the manufacturer can certify a trailer’s compliance with Transport Canada’s standards without the expense of further testing.

“This gives the small trailer manufacturer a chance to comply,” CTEA’s Eddy Tschirhart explains.

• The association’s rear underride guard program is a similar concept. Developed for CTEA by the National Research Council, the guard essentially is pre-engineered and is certified to comply with Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 223 when installed according to instructions.

 “It is the same idea as the brake program,” Tschirhart says. “We are aggregating the work in a way that makes it possible for small manufacturers to comply with these regulations.”

CTEA announced several changes during the conference. Although the underride guard program has been in operation since 2007, CTEA continues to expand it. The association announced at the conference that it now has drawing packages and installation drawings for a wide range of applications.

Working with Canada’s National Research Council, CTEA now has 117 packages for steel underride guards, 13 packages for aluminum guards, and 12 for guards made from stainless steel.

The generic rear underride guard has undergone several recent changes. For example:

• Originally, steel guards were required to be made of ASTM A500. However, many mills do not offer this grade. The National Research Council will now allow CSA G40.21 50W, a grade that meets or exceeds all pertinent standards.

• CMVSS 223 has been modified to accommodate boat tails at the rear of trailers. This entails changes in length, height from the ground, and allowable setback.

• New CTEA generic underride guards now contain wording that reflects the changes. However, the revisions to the standard should not affect installation.

• CTEA continues to offer JOB-FILE LoadXpert III, a software tool designed to perform common calculations for vehicle certification—particularly weight distribution. The associated reported selling 12 additional copies and three upgrades during 2015.

The main screen of Load Xpert shows weight distribution calculations for a tank truck.

The package contains the essentials for recordkeeping for final-, intermediate-, and alterer-stage manufacturers. Load Xpert software package calculates vertical center of gravity, load distribution, and maximum payload. The software allows the user to create a database of chassis, equipment and bodies as well as truck trailer and tractor trailer combinations. Included with

This package, along with the software, puts upfitters on the path to compliance with the requirements of Transport Canada, the chassis manufacturers and ultimately your customers. Packaged with the software are forms to help companies maintain records for audit purposes.

• Dynamic Truck Test Program. The Dynamic Truck Program was designed for manufacturers who hold the National Safety Mark designation for increasing gross axle and gross vehicle weight ratings. The heart of the program is its library of test reports which serve as important tools for companies that perform twin steer conversions and add liftable axles to trucks for the Canadian vocational market. The reports cover the requirements laid out in CMVSS 121. They provide a format and recommended practice for manufacturers to use in conjunction with the chassis manufacturer’s authorization. Results are readily recognized by Transport Canada.

Luc Stang, CTEA president, said that the association can assist all Canadian members with two methods for National Safety Mark (NSM) application processing with Transport Canada.

Onsite assistance is available for all Canadian members for all the types of NSM applications. Contact Jeremy Harrower, technical programs manager, for details and pricing.

The NSM review service is also available to all Canadian members for all the types of NSM applications. The CTEA can provide templates and a format to submit to Transport Canada as well as unlimited reviews of all the required documents to insure that the application is correct and will be processed without any issues.

The CTEA also can assist foreign members with the Pre-Clearance Review Service to apply to Transport Canada’s Appendix “G” for foreign manufacturers or with Pre-Clearance Importation Packages.

Staff activities

Those attending the conference heard updates on what CTEA staff accomplished during 2014-15. Among the activities were:

National Safety Mark and preclearance applications. Jeremy Harrower, CTEA’s technical programs manager, provides assistance to members seeking to achieve this mark, required by the Canadian government for upfitters to perform certain work on truck chassis. “Enforcement activity and specifically a large number of paper audits have significantly added to his workload in recent months,” says Luc Stang, CTEA president. “We are aware of well over 100 requests for compliance documentation being sent out to NSM holders.”

• Harrower conducted three risk management workshops across the country.

• Eddy Tschirhart has continued to provide his expertise on a part time basis and is currently assisting Harrower in introducing a series of webinars related to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations, Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the National Safety Mark. They have done one so far.

• Don Moore, executive director for CTEA, spent a large amount of time working with provincial and federal governments—including serving on Environment Canada’s Heavy Duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Working Group. The group will be starting activity on the second phase of the Heavy Duty GHG regulations, which is expected to include trailers.

• Moore also recently was asked to sit on the Vehicle Sector Working Group—another Environment Canada stakeholder committee. It will be considering the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) of Environment Canada. This plan covers a broad range of chemicals used for manufacturing and maintenance of vehicles.

Other key issues:

In addition to environmental issues, CTEA staff has been tracking other issues that could affect the commercial truck and trailer industry in Canada and the US. They include:

• The recent Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) issue by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding rear impact guards and retro-reflective material for straight trucks. Even with the US expected to adopt Canadian rear impact guard standards, CTEA believes other “asks” included in the original petition that the NHTSA received from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety could be implemented, including recommendations to relocate the vertical supports of the trailer rear underride guard and the possibility of including side impact guards on both trailer and trucks. U S and Canadian safety historically have been similar to one another. CTEA believes Transport Canada will likely implement similar changes.

On the international trade front, CTEA continues to monitor the ongoing negotiations relating to the Canada/US border security and the free flow of goods and services between the two countries. “This issue affects all Canadians, and particularly those of us who depend on the prompt shipment of components used in manufacturing to our facilities and the shipment of our finished products throughout the Canadian/US market,” Stang said. “As an active member of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee, Don, ensures that the CTEA voice is heard.”

Plans are already underway for the CTEA’s 53rd Manufacturers Conference that will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia later this year. ♦

About the Author

Bruce Sauer | Editor

Bruce Sauer has been writing about the truck trailer, truck body and truck equipment industries since joining Trailer/Body Builders as an associate editor in 1974. During his career at Trailer/Body Builders, he has served as the magazine's managing editor and executive editor before being named editor of the magazine in 1999. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.