DOT Regulations in Canada

By Lee Nichols
Each province of Canada has its own regulations.

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The various provinces of Canada write their own Department of Transportation regulations. The laws in each province are largely similar, and reciprocity between the provinces allows commercial vehicles from one province to remain legal when traveling in a different province. Canada and the United States share similar reciprocity on DOT requirements so trucks with proper operating authority from one country are legal in the other.

Vehicle Size and Weight

Saskatchewan's requirements state that commercial trucks cannot be longer than 12.5 meters, wider than 2.6 meters or taller than 4.15 meters without an oversize permit. House trailers are an exception to this regulation and can be 3.05 meters wide but can only travel during daylight hours. The maximum weight on primary highways is 42,450 kilograms for five-axle truck/trailer combination unless you purchase an overweight permit.

Vehicle Inspections

Nova Scotia requires drivers to complete vehicle inspections daily and report any defects on an inspection report along with the make and unit number. Repairs must be made before using the vehicle if the defect affects safe operation. Carriers must keep the reports on file for three months after the inspection. Every carrier is to have a process in place for maintaining due dates of yearly inspections. Carriers must keep yearly inspection reports for two years or for six months if the vehicle is no longer in the carrier's control.

Hours of Service

Saskatchewan does not permit drivers to drive for more than 13 hours without an eight-hour break. Drivers cannot drive after being on-duty for 15 hours. A driver must keep a daily log of his hours specifying the time he spends daily off-duty, in the sleeper, driving and on-duty. The log must contain his company name, his vehicle number, the license plate number and the total miles driven that day. Saskatchewan does allow the use of recording devices to track duty time as long as the driver can use information from the device to make a manual log and the device automatically records all information.

Motor Vehicle Transport Act

Transport Canada requires all motor carriers that carry goods in more than one province obtain a safety fitness certificate. The safety certificate certifies that "extra-provincial motor carriers" have no safety violations that prevent the carriers from operating safely within Canada. All motor carriers including carriers from other countries are required to receive a certificate prior to operating in Canada. A certificate is valid throughout Canada although they are issued from the individual provinces.

About the Author

Specializing in business and finance, Lee Nichols began writing in 2002. Nichols holds a Bachelor of Arts in Web and Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi.

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