POP: Use of Lift Axles

POP: Yes
Res #: POP 3-07A
Number: 3
Year: 2007
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Highways & Transportation

POP No. 3-07
Use of Lift Axles

WHEREAS, the Saskatchewan Department of Highways will not allow B-trains and tridem operators to use lift axles on their units while running empty on highways and rural roads; and

WHEREAS, running fewer axles such as four from six on tridems and five from eight on B-trains will mean less gravel loss on roads, less ground surface disturbance when turning,

less fuel consumed and tire wear for the operator which will result in lower freight rates for the farmer;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the provincial department of Highways to allow the use of lift axles on tridem and B-train trailers.

Response from Honourable Eldon Lautermilch, Minister of Highways and Transportation:

As indicated in your resolution, there are many potential benefits associated with lift axles in commercial vehicles.  Used properly, they save fuel, improve vehicle handling, extend suspension life and cause less damage to the road.  There are also potential drawbacks with lift axles.  Used improperly, they increase the damage to the vehicle and suspension components and cause significantly more road damage.

Department staff has been working with industry and equipment manufacturers to review options for lift axles that benefit both the vehicle operator and the infrastructure provider.  They have met with lift axle system manufacturers to assess the available technology which satisfies both requirements.

I understand that my staff has recently completed a policy that addresses the use of lift axles by permit.  Approved lift axle systems would allow axles to be lifted when the vehicle is empty, but automatically deploy the lifted axles when the vehicle is carrying a load.  My staff will provide SARM a copy of the policy once it is fully operational.