British Columbia log hauling regulations take effect

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New regulations to reduce the number of hours log haulers can drive in British Columbia — an effort to reduce fatigue and improve safety — have been implemented, the Prince George Citizen Staff reported Saturday, March 3. The changes went into effect Thursday, March 1.

More than a year in the making, the changes limit log truckers to 65 hours of driving and 80 hours of on-duty time a week. That 80-hour-a-week work window is reduced from the current 105-hour work week allowed for log truckers.

The changes had been expected to be implemented on Jan. 1, the same time as changes to federal trucking regulations, but were delayed while the provincial government clarified some legal technicalities. While the province had indicated it expected the changes to come into effect in early March, some industry players are unhappy with the way the changes have been implemented and communicated.

Council of Forest Industries official Steve Kozuki told the Citizen Staff he didn’t know for certain that changes had been implemented because he had not been able to obtain a copy of the new regulations. “It’s very unfortunate,” said Kozuki, who was involved in industry consultations last year to draft the changes.

Prince George Trucking Association president Stan Wheeldon described the situation as chaos. He told the Citizen Staff he’d been receiving phone calls from disgruntled truckers since early Friday morning, and that he’d been told that truckers already were being ticketed for noncompliance.

While the association was aware the changes were coming, the communication and timing of the implementation left something to be desired, Wheeldon told the Citizen Staff. “The biggest thing is misinterpretation and the lack of effective communication, and big institutions, and the biggest one of all being the government, has the problem with that,” he said.