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In response to member concerns about worker safety that BCTA presented to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, BC allowed length exceptions for the use of “autotarp” systems for a one-year trial. That trial is now concluded with favorable results.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement branch released an amended Compliance Circular on January 29, 2021, to notify staff and industry that the length allowances for autotarp systems continue pending further notice.

For the purposes of the Circular, an automatic tarping (autotarp) system:

  • can be operated remotely from ground level;
  • may extend no more than 30.5 cm to the front or rear of any one vehicle;
  • must be attached at the very top of the vehicle in such a way that no part of the autotarp system descends to a point less than 1.9 m above the ground; and
  • must not be designed or used to carry cargo other than a tarp.

This allowance requires exceptions to the Commercial Transport Regulations and current permit policy, which are listed in detail in Compliance Circular No. 06-19.

BCTA gained this exception with the help of members with wood chip operations, who were concerned about the risk of falls for drivers who were manually tarping their loads. For background on the issue and our win, please see the following Bulletin articles:

Thanks again to the members who brought this issue to our attention. And a reminder to all members—please don’t hesitate to call us when red tape creates safety or other issues for your operation. We’re here to help find solutions.

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