I interrupt this delightful Canadian travelogue to show you something disturbing. Traveling on Ontario’s highways yesterday we thought we saw a very long combination truck. But it was getting dark, and we were trying to find something and neither one of us was sure that we had actually seen what we thought we saw.
Today we confirmed that yes indeed we had seen a very long truck. We came upon another one, this time we were behind it. It had a big sign across the back saying “Long truck.” And it certainly is. Here’s a photo of a third one we saw, this time parked at a truck stop.
The trailers on single trucks in the United States are 53 feet long. The long trucks we saw here in Ontario have the 53 foot long trailer, and attached to the back is another trailer that is 41 feet long. It takes forever to pass it, and it’s inherently less stable, harder for the driver to control.
To give you an idea of the difference in size, here’s a photo of the same long truck, with a typical American sized truck parked in front of it:
The typical 53 foot trailer is attached to the red cab. Behind it is the long truck being pulled by the yellow cab. It sticks out in front of the red truck, and far, far out behind it.
In the US the American Trucking Association wants to get 33 foot long doubles approved. That’s up from 28 foot doubles allowed now, ten feet longer than what we have on the roads today. If Canada is allowing 53 feet + 41 feet (plus the space in between and the length of the cab towing the whole thing) I think it’s likely they’d like to be able to drive those right across the border and through our states as well. But the US laws are tougher than Canada’s laws, and we need to make sure they stay that way.
Twenty-eight foot doubles that we already have on our roads are scary enough. Thirty-three feet doubles are even worse, and might be the beginning of a push toward longer trucks. I didn’t know such long combinations existed, but I can tell you, having driven beside these things, that it’s scary to even think about them being on our roads.
And that’s why we have to keep fighting.