The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) says a delay in restricting the use of manual transmissions for A/Z drivers who trained and tested on an automated is not an issue for most carriers, and that the Ministry of Transportation should focus on other more pertinent issues.
“The OTA has no objections to this extension,” the association said in a statement, noting the majority of the market is currently comprised of trucks with automatic transmissions.
“Based on feedback from fleets and truck manufacturers, over 90% of the sales in the tractor-trailer market are automatic transmissions and have been for some time. Based on these sales figures and the general movement of the industry towards automatic transmissions, newly minted A/Z drivers should not find it a challenge to their employment status to find a fleet with automatic transmissions. Based on this market based and operational reality, the impact of the MTO policy change, and its associated implementation date change, is expected to have an extremely limited to no impact on the OTA carrier membership.”
The OTA said it would prefer the MTO focus on: implementing an electronic logging device mandate (ELD) for provincial and federal carriers; enforcement on delete kits and emissions tampering; SPIF enforcement; heavy-towing utilization on major highways; truck and driver licence/permit renewals; heavy truck parking and restroom access and; WSIB/Driver Inc enforcement, among other issues.
“By focusing on these issue areas, OTA expects the government of Ontario will continue to make significant progress towards increasing road safety and supporting businesses in our sector that strive to run compliant, safe, and competitive businesses,” it concluded.