|Since the Semi trucks servicing the container port at Roberts Bank are the center of much of the conversation here, they deserve some further explanation.
A/ The reader must understand that The Port has no connection to these trucks except that they hire them to move containers.
B/ Most of the trucks are owned by private haulers or small companies.
C/ The vast majority of the trucks are not based in Delta, they come from other municipalities all over the lower mainland.
D/ These trucks do very little business in Delta, truck repairs, gasoline etc. are mostly purchased somewhere elseÖ..they donít even stop here for coffee.
E/ Most of the trucks are second hand high mileage rigs, that have seen millions of miles before this job of hauling containers, and the trailers are rented.
F/ Many of the drivers are new at the trade, and lack trucking experience.
G/ The drivers are paid by the load, the more containers they move, the more money they make.
H/ The vast majority of trucked containers are not bound for destinations in Delta.
I/ Most of the containers going into Tilbury Business Park are empty, destined for lots where they are stored till needed
J/ Although the container port operates around the clock, the trucks only work from 7AM till 6PM. There is only one reason the trucks donít operate longer hours, and thatís because the customers that receive the containers stop work.
If the receiving customers decided to receive 24 hours a day, there is no reason why the trucks wouldnít run the same hours to deliver.
K/ If you read the accident report statistics involving cars and trucks it is very obvious that the occupants of the cars are usually the losers in an accident with a semi-truck. The expansion of the container port will put one of the highest concentrations of semi-trucks anywhere in Canada on the roads of Delta every working day of the week.
L/ The trucking industry will tell you that tough new restrictions on vehicle emissions is being instituted shortly for all manufacturers. What the reader should remember is that it will take decades for all of the existing, non complying rigs to be replaced by the rigs with higher emission standards.
In summary of the above points, you have hundreds of independent truckers from other municipalities, who set their own safety and maintenance requirements, driving older trucks on public roads in Delta, all attempting to make the most deliveries per day, in the shortest time. Quite the scenario!
The other factor to this is that container shipping is growing at such a phenomenal rate, whatever the current projected future number of these trucks on the road currently is, it will probably be many more than anticipated.
In the spring of 2006 the commercial vehicle safety and enforcement unit of the Ministry of Highways concucted a 3 day inspection blitz at 6 locations in Delta, with the following results.
544 trucks stopped
154 - 28% taken off the road
471 - 86% had some kind of problem
Only 73 - 13 % passed the inspection
(Click here to read the Delta Optimist)
The people of Delta should not have to share the road with over 5000 semi-trucks per day when this kind of pathetic maintenence is prevalent in the industry.