FPInnovations, in cooperation with Alberta Transportation and the Laval University i3C Chair, undertook a review of the starting threshold for initiating winter weight hauling in Alberta. The objective of this project was to conduct an engineering analysis of freezing pavements to determine the minimum frost depth at which log hauling at winter weight premiums (WWP) in Alberta could start without compromising pavement service life. The report describes literature on freezing pavement engineering, Canadian winter weight policies, a controlled trafficking simulation of an instrumented pavement as it was frozen, and subsequent modeling to valiidate results and extrapolate results ot a wider range of pavement structures. It was recommended that the current 1.0 m starting frost depth threshold be reduced to a depth of 700 mm.
In early 1997, FERIC performed an operational evaluation of five onboard weigh scales for semi-trailers. The purpose of the study was to assess the scales in the field under normal operating conditions and as used by the drivers. The scales were based on load cells, pneumatic devices, or combinations thereof, and were intended for uses with either leaf-spring or air suspensions. Data were collected on the ease of use of the scales, their accuracies, and their short-term reliability, and were used to assess the suitability of the scales for in-woods use. The study found that four of the scales were consistently with the tolerance (1500 kg) accepted by the Ministère des Transports du Québec, which served as a reference.
When hauling wood chips in winter, frozen loads can create costs that are rarely included in the haul rates; these include downtime, lost payload capacity, and hours of manual labor to remove the chips. Contractors have tried many methods to solve the problem, and most have arrived at acceptable solutions. FERIC has spent the past two winters working with contractors in northwestern Ontario to identify their "best practices" and test additional solutions. This report summarizes these best practices and new preventative practices identified during FERIC's study.
Log haul costs are determined, in large part, by the amount of payload that can be carried. In many cases, significant increasees in payload may be realized by making modifications to existing vehicles.
Over a four-year period FERIC tested the precision and reliability of various on-board truck and loader weigh scales operating under typical B.C. Interior log-hauling conditions. Twenty test trucks, four test front-end loader, and 5000 highway loads of logs were involved in the study.