Q&A - Loading Only the Rear Trailer on a B Train

Q&A Image A new commercial vehicle driver is pulling a B-train with the rear trailer loaded and the first trailer empty ... at least that's the way I understand it.

He is driving from Alberta to BC and claims to be getting stuck in the winter conditions. I believe this load should be illegal but can't find any regs covering it.



This can be dangerous and depending on how the weight is distributed along the entire vehicle could be illegal as well here in BC. Our Commercial Transport Act Regulations say:

Drive axle

7.20 A person must not, without an overload permit, drive or operate on a highway

(a) a vehicle or combination of vehicles having a gross weight on the drive axle that is less than 20% of the gross vehicle weight,

I doubt very much that such a permit would be granted when traction is poor.

B Trains

Well there is a problem loading the Lead Trailer and Leaving the Pup Empty with the way the breaks are set up.The Pup brakes come on first,so if it is empty,you stand a good chance of Flat spotting your tires on that Pup,they will lock up quick with no weight on them,then your looking at a $2400-3000 bill for those 8 tires.

I personally had no problem unloading my lead trailer first,then continuing to the next stop to have my Pup unloaded,,,,Espessially in the Winter! If you unload the Pup first and now have no weight on it,that Pup is goiing to slide sideways in slippery conditions,and be Far More Dangerous to Control.

The best would be split the load evenly on both trailers,But the Reality of getting that done are slim,and for the trucker,would cost alought more time and money in the long run,and for the company that has to supply the forklift driver to take extra time helping you out to move part of that load to the lead trailer.Just can,t see that happening unless the truck driver gets paid for all this time.

B Trains

Yes, B Trains can be a problem in winter weather. Newer B Trains will have ABS braking systems which will help to keep both trailers going in the intended direction. However, splitting the load between the two trailers does make sense. Put the first delivery on the top and the second or subsequent deliveries on the bottom using both trailers. With the new regulations on tie downs it shouldn't be that much of an inconvenience to unwrap the top part of the load. Even if it were to take a few extra minutes, the time might be worthwhile if it prevents a collision, especially a serious one where someone is injured or even killed.

It,s been a few years

I never knew they went to ABS on B Trains. Nice

Well if I had had 100,s of km,s to drive with my lead empty,ofcourse it would have actually saved me time so I could just drive normal,but if I only had 10-50 kms,,It was quicker for me to Ajust my driving,like doubleing the following distance and driving slower as to make even more sure nothing happened on the way,and if there were no other way there than to hop on a Hwy,,,well that load would have been moved as well.

It,s not that I dissagree It is more dangerous,and would be outragous at higher speeds,,I just found it,s not a perfect world,and trying to squeeze a few more minutes out of the forklift drivers of some of these busy companys,,with 10 trucks in line behind you waiting,and they start arguing with you because it,s not thier load and not thier responsability and they are,nt allowed to,you get it I,m sure.

If the pup has a laod,as long as it does,nt exceed max axle weight,Is it Illeagle Now to Drive like that with a B Train?

ABS or not, loading a rear

ABS or not, loading a rear trailer and leaving the lead empty would be dangerous on warm, flat ground. Doing so in winter on the Trans-Canada - or anywhere else - would be unthinkable. So say my two million kilometres of train experience. A safe, experienced driver knows he may be called upon to bring his vehicle(s) to a very short stop in an emergency, and would in no way allow a load distribution like the one mentioned, at any speed above dead slow - and certainly not on a public road.

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