B.C. loggers are asking the provincial government to get rid of anti-locking brake requirements for their trucks, arguing that frequent malfunctions are expensive to repair and present a significant safety hazard to drivers.
Many of the problems seem to be caused by the fact that logging trucks spend much of their time on muddy forestry roads to get to where the logs are cut.
Interior Logging Association GM Wayne Lintott says as a result, the anti-lock braking systems often get clogged with mud, snow and dirt.
"What we’re experiencing is the wiring and the sensors and many pieces of discs — the workings of the ABS brakes — are being torn apart."
Lintott says that repairs can cost anywhere from $500 to $54,000, “depending on how bad it is,” and that the fix may only last overnight or until the trucker’s next trip to the bush.
"It is a safety factor to the logging truck drivers when they are in the bush if their ABS brakes are working one minute and the next minute they are not," adds Lintott.
Currently trucks that spend more than half their time in the bush are exempt from anti-locking brake requirements. Lintott wants the province to extend that exemption to all logging trucks.
Leaders from B.C.’s logging associations are meeting with the province’s transportation minister in December to discuss the issue.