The Motor Vehicle Transport Act: What You Need To Know
At J&R Hall, we try to be transparent about how we operate our business. In accordance with Canadian law, we adhere to the rules and regulations set by the Motor Vehicle Transport Act (MVTA), which regulates the trucking industry across Canada.
Here’s what you need to know about the MVTA and how it affects the way we run our business:
Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Certificate
In order to operate a truck across provincial borders, all commercial truck drivers are required to carry a motor carrier safety fitness certificate. The vehicle itself must also be certified if it operates for commercial purposes, or if the gross weight exceeds 4,500 kilograms.
All commercial truck drivers must adhere to the Hours-Of-Service Regulations set by the MVTA. These regulations outline how long a driver can operate a vehicle before they must take a break. The use of Electronic Log Devices (ELDs) makes it easier for truck drivers to keep a log of their on-duty hours.
The Hours-Of-Service Regulations are as follows:
- 13-hour rule: After 13 hours of driving, drivers can’t operate a vehicle again until they have had eight consecutive hours of off-duty time.
- 14-hour rule: After 14 hours on duty, drivers can’t operate a vehicle again until they have had eight consecutive hours of off-duty time.
- 70/120 rule: After 70 hours of on-duty driving time over seven consecutive days, or 120 hours of on-duty driving time over 14 consecutive days, drivers must stop operating a commercial motor vehicle.
Daily Log Requirements
In addition to tracking the on-duty hours, drivers must also report the following log requirements on a daily basis:
- Driver’s name
- Names of co-workers (if driving as a team)
- Start time
- Odometer reading
- Unit number/license plate number
- Home terminal address
- Total distance driven
Each log that is completed on a daily basis must have this information or the driver may face steep penalties.
Roadside Stops Enforcing The MVTA
Across Canada and on tens of thousands of kilometres of highways, the Ministry of Transportation enforces the MVTA with the help of roadside stops. If a driver is requested to pull over into these roadside stops, they may have their truck’s mechanical fitness evaluated, as well as any truck inspection records, log entries and load securement.
What Happens If You Break A Regulation?
Drivers and carriers can both be subject to steep fines and other penalties if they break any of the MTVA regulations. Breaking these regulations can cost up to $5,000 in fees for the driver and up to $25,000 for the carrier.
Depending on the severity of the regulation breach, as well as any past transgressions on the part of the carrier or the driver, they may also be subject to an out-of-service order, a driver and carrier audit by the Ministry of Transportation or even a revoked license.
At J&R Hall, we work to maximize drivers’ home time and minimize resetting hours on road. This is achieved by our network of terminals across western Canada. These terminals allow us to customize dedicated runs for drivers based out of each jurisdiction, so they can have weekly scheduled home time. We could then itemize many of those dedicated runs and make miles per week achievable.