9-Axle Log Haul Vehicle

9-Axle Log Haul in Winter

This web site provides information on 9-axle log haul vehicles and the authorization process for use on Forest Service Roads. These more efficient 9-axle B-trains for log haul have been accepted for implementation in B.C.

The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and the Ministry of Forests (FOR) has worked with the BC Forest Industry, FPInnovations and BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) to evaluate the safe use of 9-axle B-Train log-haul vehicle configurations on provincial highways and Forest Service Roads (FSRs).

Two specific 9-axle log haul configurations have undergone rigorous evaluation for safe use on provincial highways and Forest Service Roads.  Evaluation was required as the 9-axle log haul vehicles exceed maximum allowable legal highway loads.  The specific 9-axle configurations reviewed were a tridem and tandem drive axle B-trains, each with a specified range of axle spacings, and maximum specified axle loads.  The vehicles underwent theoretical evaluation of their stability and performance characteristics, as well as field trials.

After the 9-axle vehicle stability and performance evaluation, MOTI developed a process which authorizes the use of two specific 9-axle haul configurations for use on specified public highways. The authorization process includes specific evaluation of highway corridors for adequate infrastructure capacity to support the higher loads and resulting force effects, as well as the roadway geometry for safe passage of the 9-axle vehicles.  Not all highway infrastructure in BC can support the 9-axle vehicles.  The MOTI authorization process provides for a Letter of Authorization (LOA) which is issued to the carried for specific trucks and trailers.

FOR's authorization process also requires evaluation of FSR infrastructure and geometry for safe passage of the 9-axle vehicles.  Authorizations are through the Road Use Permit (RUP) process and issued to industrial users with the right to harvest timber.  The evaluation process is completed primarily by the proponent and requires a Qualified Professional to take responsibility for the review of the FSR for safe use of the 9-axle vehicle.

MOTI and FOR have worked with the BC Forest Industry to provide a means for specific authorizations for 9-axle B-train log-haul vehicle configuration use on provincial highways and Forest Service Roads.

Details of the authorization process's for MOTI and FOR can be found below in the: Guide for Implementing 9-Axle B-Trains for Log Hauling in BC.

Configurations: Tridem and Tandem Drive 9-Axle Log Haul Vehicles – Weights and Dimensions (PDF, 118 KB)


Truck transportation in British Columbia is a critical aspect of the economy. It is a vital phase in many sectors including retail, manufacturing and resource industries. Improving transportation efficiency improves the competitiveness of BC's industries. Opportunities to improve upon safety are coupled with improving transportation efficiency.

Maximizing truck payload is key to improving transportation efficiency; however, potential benefits of larger truck configurations must be carefully weighed against any potential impacts and costs. Most importantly, vehicles must operate safely on provincial highways and resource roads.

Goal: Implement more productive, safer log trucks (9-axle configurations)

Overriding principles underpinning the initiative:

  1. Maintain or enhance safety for the travelling public and resource workers
  2. Maintain or reduce impact levels on infrastructure for highway and resource road networks
  3. Contribute to the sustainability of northern communities
  4. Improve the competitiveness of the forest sector.

Benefits of 9-axle log trucks

  • Reduce transportation costs by 8%; estimated >$34M savings per year for the BC forest sector
  • Alleviates driver shortage
  • Fewer trucks = improved road safety
  • Less fuel per unit of payload = reduced GHG emissions
  • Potential win-win-win for the BC Government, the public (road safety, sustainable resource based communities) and the forest industry.

9-Axle Log Haul Vehicle Implementation Documentation: