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Trucks Made for the City

Published on February 12, 2015 by in Blog, CATI

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A decade ago, people who got their dispatch training in Ontario almost had a headache of a problem on their hands. Long trucks, perfect for highway use, were being blamed for traffic jams inside the city and some city councilors had had enough. They were planning on restricting truck travel through the urban core.

Fortunately, Molson Coors came to the rescue. They hired designers to work on a truck better suited for an urban landscape with all of its city traffic, multiple tight corners and other obstacles not common on the open road. What they came up with was initially capable of delivering 60,000 lbs of cargo but small enough to navigate Toronto’s streets.

How Did They Do It?

The new fleet Molson Coors ordered back in 2005 is still being manufactured in Toronto. Other companies have been and are still developing similar solutions of their own. Here are some of the key elements that made the Molson Coors model (and other models) work and also made them compliant with Ontario’s Safe, Productive, Infrastructure Friendly (SPIF) regulations:

  • 43 ft. trailers instead of the usual 53 ft.
  • 3/8” thick coupler with a kingpin at 36 inches
  • 5th wheel slides ahead 24 inches
  • Elevated area behind the coupler for steep hills
  • Landing gear moved towards the rear
  • Roof a foot lower
  • Anti-nose dive safety leg
  • 14,000 lb. front axel
  • 60 inch spread on the day cab tractor

One thing Molson Coors discovered is that even with more city-friendly designs, city driving increases the wear and tear on their beverage delivery trucks. Constant upkeep is necessary, so graduates of automotive schools in Toronto are probably quite busy taking care of these vehicles. However these smaller vehicles are equipped to travel longer distances, so they are being used to service surrounding areas as well as the city.

New Advances in City Trucking

Companies are constantly coming up with better ways to transport goods through urban environments. Two trends to look out for are:

  • Varied Transport Options: When travelling through diverse environments, companies are using trucks of different shapes and sizes tailored to the terrain. With varied fleets, dispatcher training graduates need to pay particular attention to which driver has what type of truck and what type of truck is needed for where they have to send someone. Otherwise it could lead to huge problems for the driver and traffic jams.
  • Noise and Air Quality: Trucking companies are starting to take both the natural and auditory environment when sending their fleets into urban areas. Natural gas seems to be the solution to both reducing air and noise pollution for local residents and workers.

Do you think these advances in urban trucking make dispatching inside a city easier?

 
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