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Travels of a Trucker Canadian and American Differences

November 29, 2011

Perhaps my biggest readership comes from the U.S. and to be honest there is so many differences in our trucking regulations I cannot even list them all.  I will list a few and go over them in greater detail so that if you are trucking North of the 49 Parallel you will be prepared.

Metric System used in Canada

Canada is a place that uses the Metric System. We use Kilometers instead of Miles. We use Liters instead of Gallons. We use Centimeters instead of inches. We use Meters instead of yards. We use Kilograms instead of Pounds. Why are these important you ask? Well being a trucker these statistics are very important. For example when it comes to wide loads you need to know your correct width. When it comes to over height loads you need to know your correct height to pass under our bridge systems. For example our bridges would be listed as 4.62Meters on our signs before a bridge. If you were to incorrectly assume your height, you could easily hit that bridge or standing structure. Therefore it is very important that you know the Metric and the Imperial system. Another good reason to know these is for your weights. In Canada, we use Kilograms which is roughly 2.2 Pounds. Our weights are generally higher than those of our U.S. counterparts but it is essential for you to know what is your maximum weight in Kilograms when picking up loads from Canada bound for the U.S. For example, a B Train configuration in the U.S. can weight a maximum of 105,000Pounds or roughly 47,727Kg. In Canada, that same configuration can be a maximum of 132,000 Pounds. In Kilograms this is 63,500Kg. If you loaded 63,500 Kg in Canada and tried to bring that to the U.S. I am sure you would face a most hefty fine. So it is imperative you know your weights. Another good example. Wheel bases in Canada can be a maximum of 16 feet, 4.85 inches. Any more than this and it is considered an illegal tractor running on Canadian highways.

Hours of Service

Drivers who are based in Canada are typically allowed longer running days than those who run South of the 49th parallel. For example in the U.S. a standard day of driving consists of 10 hours on duty maximum driving time. In Canada they allow 13 hours of on duty driving and 16 hours of maximum on duty time with no driving after the 14th hour. After this you must take 10 consecutive hours off or if you have taken 2 hours off in the day you must take 8 consecutive hours off. This means that if you start your day at midnight for example and you drove 13 hours you would be off duty from driving at 1pm. You can still work until 4 pm as long as no driving is involved. and then you must take 10 hours off consecutive which means you cannot drive until 2am. If for example you start your day at 2am, you have had 2 hours off duty in the day already (since a day is calculated from 12am-11:59:59pm). This means you could drive 13 hours until 3pm and by 4 pm you would have to be off duty in order to get your 8 hours of consecutive rest time in that 24 hour period. If you work beyond 4pm you will have violated the law to take 10 hours off in any 24 hour period. There are many variations to this, but the requirement is all the same. In any 24 hour period, you must have 10 hours of off duty, 8 of them which must be consecutive unless your a team driver and run in split shifts.


The Transportation of Dangerous Goods is definitely a fine point to be covered in this Blog. In Canada it is called the TDG Regulations. In the U.S. it is covered by the Hazmat regulations. Transportation of Dangerous goods must be marked according to the country of importation. For example if a load is being transported to the US it must be labelled according to the section 49 of the U.S. regulations. If the load is coming into Canada it must be labelled according to TDG regulations. UN markings are the same throughout all UN nations Dangerous Goods loads.

You can find all this information at the CVSE website–%20C%20–/Commercial%20Transport%20Act%20RSBC%201996%20c.%2058/05_Regulations/11_30_78.xml

or at Transport Canada’s Website

Some Common Myths

We do not live in Igloos.

We have a Prime Minister not a President.

We call winter hats “Toques” (Toooks…long O sound).

We say eh! Like what’s up eh?

We have Summer and do not live in Snow year round.

We have running water and plumbing and heating. Not all our houses are heated with old log wood burning stoves and not all of us use a septic field for our sewage.

We are a Democracy and we are separate from the British through the British North American Act although technically we are still a part of the Monarchy.

We too have a Bill of Rights called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It has been said that some Americans though we as Canadians are neighbors, are really neglectful as to what Canada is. So here are some great Youtube video from one of Canada’s funniest comedians to amuse you. I hope you have a great laugh as much as I did.

Anyways, the point of my little Blog post today is to point out that as a driver you may have the privilege of coming to Canada and to point out that we as Canadians are really no different than our American counterparts. I hope you had a great laugh at watching those two little videos. My point here is Canada and the U.S. are no different as a people than anyone else in the world. Some of our laws are of course different but it is up to us as driver’s to know the rules and regulations before we enter another country.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoy my blogs please follow me through email or Google connect. If you are a sponsor looking for an endorsement of your product feel free to mail me a test or trial version and I will try it. I will inform you of my opinion before I publicly write about it so you have the decision whether you want me to promote your product.

Send to:

Roger Simmons

2130 8th ave

New Westminster, BC V3M2T8



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