Brampton Springdale MPP Harinder Malhi introduced and passed a resolution in the Ontario Legislature last month supporting dump truck operators in Ontario.
The dump truck drivers – mostly owner/operators – work on sites across Ontario, hauling away aggregate materials. Weight compliance and safety issues are major concerns for the drivers as they are often leaving sites with heavier loads than they are authorized to carry. Many of the sites within the GTA operate without necessary scales which would allow the drivers/loaders to determine and accurately distribute the weight of the aggregate across the axles of the truck.
Currently it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure the vehicle meets all road safety standards which include the weight of their load. The drivers say, in practice, it is difficult to know exactly how much weight has been loaded for them to carry as they are restricted from interfering in the loading process. Loads may also shift to the front or rear of the truck while in transit which dramatically alters the distribution between axles. As a result, drivers can be issued tickets, fines and infractions on their driving abstract if stopped by police or the MTO.
This past May over 150 truck drivers went on strike due to their concerns that employers are illegally overloading their trucks, causing damage to vehicles, and threatening road safety. The drivers acknowledge that some companies reimburse the cost of any fines, however the demerit points for offences hurt drivers’ records. Demerit points can result in higher insurance fees, and lead to possible sanctions or suspensions from the Ministry of Transportation. The drivers also had concerns about their rate of pay, as they have not seen an increase in four years, despite increased fuel, licensing, insurance and maintenance costs.
MPP Malhi is working with the Minister of Transportation, the Minister of Labour and other stakeholders to review current regulations and to consider viable solutions to resolve some of the truck drivers’ concerns. It has been proposed that the sites hold shared responsibility in the weight of trucks they have loaded; and that the definitions of aggregate and excavation materials be updated.
“I’m pleased and encouraged that the House agrees with and has passed my Resolution to help dump truck operators in Brampton and across the province. I’m working with the Minister of Transportation and the Minister of Labour to make sure that both the trucking and aggregate industries remain safe, strong and prosperous. Together, we are working to improve long-term business practices and implement effective safety measures.” – MPP Malhi