Monday, April 28, 2008

Speed limiters put ‘cart before the pony’

I wish I could have attended Truck World 2008 during the festivities on April 19.

I would have enjoyed witnessing Ontario Transportation Minister Jim Bradley and Ontario Trucking Association President David Bradley posing for the cameras while “activating a speed limiter” on a Kenworth. We can guess it was a real dog and pony show.

Both Bradleys – one lobbying the other – continue to push for a mandated top speed of 105 km/h, or 65 mph, for all heavy trucks doing business in Ontario.

Although setting a road speed limit on the ECM isn’t difficult, it involves a cost to the trucker and most likely requires a visit to a qualified technician. Even the Bradleys had help from a Cummins engineer for the Truck World demonstration.

We’ve been told that runs you about $250 on a Cummins engine. What that doesn’t include are the other reconfigurations needed or the downtime.

The debate is not about how to turn it on and off; it’s bigger than that, and you’ve read those arguments in Land Line and heard them on “Land Line Now.”

Under such a mandate, truckers will be forced to make choices when entering a jurisdiction that requires speed limiters – activate the speed limiter on individual trips or parts of trips, leave the setting activated full time, or take a chance with enforcement. Remember that the proposed Ontario law includes fines for tampering.

Until a realistic and fair method of enforcement is sorted out – particularly in regard to the tampering provision – owner-operators will and should resist mandatory speed limiters.

Until then, the Bradley dog and pony show still has a cart before the pony.

What happened to good old enforcement of the posted speed limit?


  1. "What happened to good old enforcement," you ask?

    It went out when you outlaws installed your CBs.

    Here in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State/Sissy Police are butt-buddies with truckers, hardly ever citing them for the rampant speeding, tailgating, and highway bullying. Stay tuned!

  2. Comments based on the Australian experience. We've had limiters since 1988 set at the HGV speed limit of 100 km/h plus a 3 kmh tolerance.
    Most 100 km/h travel is on 2 lane 2 way highways where cars are also limited to 100 km/h. Heavy speed limit enforcement means many car drivers aim to travel at 100 km/h - but typical speedometer errors mean they are actually doing 95 97 km/h. In this situation truck needs up to 2.5 km to pass so can't pass safely. So truck drivers get frustrated and may tailgate car driver to try and get them to travel faster.
    Limiter should have been set at 105 kmh at least.
    Limiters have to be constatntly engaged otherwise HGV drivers will only have them on in presence of enforcement devices/ officers.
    Given USA HGV limits vary from 80 - 120 kmh (10 states) the only way they would work without affecting cross border travel would be to have them set at 125 kmh.

  3. Why would you want to travel faster than 65 mph? Do you know the effect this has on your fuel economy and profits? See this:

  4. If the OPP would do their job and enforce speed limits limiters wouldn't be necessary . Some Canadian drivers drive like maniacs in Ontario but not in OH or MI because those states had a crackdown on Canadians .
    Ontario officials claim a truck will save $10,000 a year on fuel if limited to 105 kmh . I'd like to see documentation of this . Drivers complying with the speed limit in Ontario , MI , and OH will see no savings at all .
    If Canadian officials would use the same methods FMCSA officials used to audit log books companies with speeding drivers would have the violations detected . You can't log
    1,000 km in 10 hours driving when the speed limit is 100 kmh . FMCSA officials consider averaging over 60 m.p.h. an 65 m.p.h. zones a violation .
    I can produce studies proving speed limiters increase the risk of accidents and hurt overall fuel economy . Example : .
    I challenge any supporter of speed limiters to counter these findings with documented studies .


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