Title: Utilisation of five- and six-axle tractor semitrailers in western Canada

Authors: Edward S.K. Fekpe

Addresses: Currently, Transportation Division, Battelle Memorial Institute, 505 King Avenue, Columbus OH 43201-2693, USA

Abstract: Analysis of trends in truck fleet mix and the relative productivity and operational characteristics of the five- and six-axle tractor-semi-trailers (342 and 3-S3) are presented. Marked increases in the use of 3-S3 at the expense of the 3-S2 are observed. The percentage of 342 in the heavy truck fleet dropped from about 70% in 1991 to about 50% in 1994, while the percentage of 343 increased from 9% and 20% over the same period. These changes could be explained by: better operating efficiency measured by the potential pavement damage per unit payload; flexible payload handling capability; and higher productivity indicated by the potential payload capacity actually utilised. Current trends in fleet mix changes suggest that the rate of increase in the percentage of 343 in the truck fleet is likely to be maintained in the next few years. Possible implications for trucks operations under North American Free Trade Agreement is that the 3-S3 offers a clear productivity advantage over the 3-52 and therefore suitable for long haul operations.

Keywords: heavy vehicles; multi-axle tractor semi-trailers; vehicle productivity; vehicle utilisation; Canada; truck fleet mix; operational characteristics; heavy trucks; flexible payload handling; pavement damage; road damage; payload capacity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHVS.1997.054576

International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems, 1997 Vol.4 No.1, pp.1 - 9

Published online: 18 Jun 2013 *

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