November 9, 2017

Beginning in July 2017, Alberta Transportation has allowed the use of new generation wide-base single tires (NGWBST) on provincial highways at loads equivalent to dual tire configurations (9100kg for single axle, 17,000kg for tandem axle) through the issuance of annual fleet permits to companies interested in using these tires. NGWBST have been approved for use at slightly lighter loads (7700kg for single axle, 15,400kg for tandem axle) in Alberta for several years.

The use of NGWBST have been proven to result in significant fuel savings (approximately 10% in a 2016 pilot conducted by Alberta Transportation and several municipalities and transport companies). However, NGWBST have also been shown to cause increased strain on road infrastructure. Based on the 2016 pilot and other research, Alberta Transportation has estimated that the use of the tires carries a two cents/km/truck cost to roads when compared to the use of dual tire configurations, while fuel saving benefits are estimated at four cents/km/truck. It is important to consider that while the fuel saving benefits outweigh the infrastructure impacts, road users will see the majority of the benefits while road managers will incur the majority of the costs.

It should be noted that uptake of the NGWBST is currently limited. Approximately 260 Alberta-registered vehicles are equipped with the tires, and based on a projection by the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA), in 10 years, approximately 1736 vehicles will be equipped with NGWBST.

Although Alberta Transportation has approved the use of NGWBST on provincial highways at loads equivalent to dual tires through fleet permitting, municipalities can address the use of these configurations on the roadways they manage as they see fit. The AAMDC has been approached by Alberta Transportation and the AMTA to forward information to members on this topic, and encourage council and administration to discuss the issue with municipal staff responsible for road infrastructure and permitting to discuss options to address the use of NGWBST on municipal roads.

The AAMDC would encourage municipalities interested in learning more about the issue to contact one or all of the following:

Alberta Transportation
Kim Durdle
Director, Transport Engineering
Phone: 403-340-5189

Alberta Municipal Supervisors Association
Bill Cade
Phone: 403.782.8963

Alberta Motor Transport Association
Andrew Barnes
Director, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs
Phone: 780.395.6145

Enquiries may be directed to:

Wyatt Skovron
Policy Analyst

Kim Heyman
Director, Advocacy & Communications

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