Category Archives: 3PL

Long Combination Vehicles – A Tale of Two Trailers – Part 3

Long Combination Vehicles
A Tale of Two Trailers

Part 3:
Unsure About LCVs?

Other than hazardous waste/tanker trucks, Long Combination Vehicles (LCV’s) are the most highly scrutinized vehicles on our highways. The drivers are held to the highest standards in the trucking industry. The trucking companies that run LCVs are held to higher standards. They must be vigilant to adhere to those standards lest they lose their special licensing. While the industry has done its best to mitigate the potential disadvantages of LCVs, it is naïve to think that all negative possibilities can be eliminated.

Do the pros of LCVs outweigh the cons?

The Cons of LCVs

It doesn’t require an engineering degree to realize that the larger and heavier a vehicle is the longer the time required to bring such a vehicle to a complete stop when it is operating at highway speed. LCVs require more time to get up to speed and more time to slow down and come to a stop.

The extra connections on LCVs allow greater potential for lack of control in the rear trailer. Owing to the greater length and weight, the more subject LCVs are to instability on the road. Logically these disadvantages are amplified in slippery weather conditions.

There are difficulties associated with maneuverability. LCVs are more difficult to park, turn, and back up.

Wear and tear to roads and loading docks is more pronounced with LCVs due to their extra weight.

The Pros of LCVs

Without a doubt one of the greatest advantages of LCVs is the fact that they help reduce the number of trucks on the road. This is good news for trucking companies and the general public. A reduction in traffic density is advantageous for everyone on the road. And for trucking companies the associated reduction in costs for maintenance and wages is great for the bottom line. Transportation companies can only pass extra savings onto their customers when they are being profitable themselves.

There is an element of safety-consciousness with regard to LCVs that doesn’t exist withLong Combination Vehicles other motor vehicles. The routes LCVs have available to them are restricted, and the units themselves are subject to special licensing. Furthermore, only highly experienced drivers can operate LCVs.

LCVs can do more with less. They haul a greater amount of cargo with greater fuel efficiency than a single trailer. While LCVs might not be the best option for heavier loads, they are an excellent choice for light truck loads. Instead of using two trucks and trailers for two loads, one LCV can deliver those same two loads with less fuel.

The Green Factor

Because the environment is such a huge topic, and one of the greatest advantages of LCVs, “the green factor” warrants further discussion. Check out Part 4 of “ Long Combination Vehicles – A Tale of Two Trailers”, where we will tackle the subject of LCVs and environmental impact.

Rig Logistics is an asset-based private carrier based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Please contact us if you are interested in driving for a carrier who is in it for the long haul, or if you are in need of reliable supply-chain solutions.

LCVs – Long Combination Vehicles – A Tale of Two Trailers


Long Combination Vehicles – A Tale of Two Trailers

Part 1:
LCVs, Safety, & Opinions

LCVsAsk anyone who drives North America’s highways and they will likely have an opinion, often a strong one, about Long Combination Vehicles (LCVs). The general public, Transport Canada, truck drivers, trucking companies; everyone has an opinion – informed or otherwise.
At the end of the day, those of us who live, work and drive in this big, beautiful nation of Canada entrust ourselves to the laws of the land. These laws are here to protect us and help maintain law and order. Not everyone agrees with said laws regarding Long Combination Vehicles. Some people think LCVs are downright dangerous.

What constitutes “dangerous”?

Is this opinion subjective or empirical?

How safe are Long Combination Vehicles – really?

Public Perception of LCVs

Long Combination Vehicles have been the subject of much study. There is more statistical analysis available online than the average person could hope to wade through. One such technical report was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and authored by the National Center for Freight & Infrastructure Research & Education, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison (principal investigator: Teresa Adams, PhD). This 2012 report, entitled “Longer Combination Vehicles: An Estimation of their Benefits and Public Perception of their Use”, examines such issues as safety, cost and benefits, public perception, as well as environmental matters.

A detailed questionnaire was sent to various groups, organizations and individuals. Using the results of the survey, the research team was able to compile statistically relevant data upon which to base their report. While the study was conducted in the U.S., there are enough similarities in the geography, culture and highway systems that the content of the report is both relevant and informative for Canadian drivers of passenger vehicles, truck drivers and supply-chain management companies. One outstanding component of this particular report, which many other reports don’t seem to address, surrounds the issue of negative psychology.

Feelings, Fear & LCVs

Chapter 5, “Public Opinion on the Benefits and Impacts of LCVs”, discusses several issues, but the feedback regarding “level of safety” and “chance of auto & LCV crash compared to auto & semi truck crash” was interesting because it strikes at the very heart of the issue with regard to public perception. These categories deal, in part, with the emotion of fear. It is human nature for people to be afraid of that which they don’t understand or have experience with. People in the study were more biased against the LCVs if they lived/drove in an area where LCVs were not allowed (or if drivers surveyed didn’t have experience driving in an area where LCVs were used).

Fear is a very powerful emotion. Marketing firms use fear regularly in their campaigns because it is so effective. And it is important to bear in mind that, one can be afraid of something that isn’t true or real, yet the fear itself is true and real. Negative psychology is highly impactful and can be problematic for “Joe and Jane Commuter” just as much as it can affect transportation companies utilizing LCVs – albeit in a different way. If LCVs are negatively perceived in the eyes of citizens, trucking companies that make use of LCVs have a strike against them based solely on appearances. Neither the actual safety of LCVs, nor the company’s safe driving record has any bearing on the matter. The company must fight negative stigma brought on by negative emotions. And “Joe or Jane’s” driving behaviour may be impaired due to anxiety. Life-controlling phobias aside, we are all capable of overcoming preconceived notions through education and information. In Part 2 of “Long Combination Vehicles – A Tale of Two Trailers”, we will look at how education can create a more informed public and address the “fear factor” sometimes associated with LCVs.

RIG-Logistics-LogoRig Logistics is an asset-based private carrier based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Please contact us if you are interested in driving for a carrier who is in it for the long haul, or if you are in need of reliable supply-chain solutions.


[1] Longer Combination Vehicles: An Estimation of their Benefits and Public Perception of their Use
(National Center for Freight & Infrastructure Research & Education, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison. March 2012. Principal investigator: Teresa Adams, PhD)

Supply Chain Management & 3PL

Who’s Really Driving Our Trucks?

Consumers & the Supply-Chain Industry

While we have a pool of experienced professionals behind the wheels of our trucks, in reality it is the consumer, who more than ever, drives our trucks and our business. Our lives as citizens of North America have been dramatically altered in a way that has not been seen since the industrial revolution.   While it is true that technology has greatly altered the tools of the supply-chain industry, technology has also changed how the consumer relates to said supply-chain industry.

Technology, Trucking & Customer Service

supply chain managementThe changes that new technology has wrought in the consciousness of consumers has pushed the transportation industry to grow, evolve and up its game.  It is challenging to keep pace with the escalating demands, but technology has cultivated for us an even greater awareness of the importance of customer service.

Technology & Consumer Consciousness

It used to be that a trucking company was something that operated behind the scenes and largely off of the public’s radar; apart from those rare occasions when a civilian might become irritated by a trucker’s “thoughtlessness” or otherwise perceived carelessness on the highway.  Such incidents were often resolved by the offended party displaying a single digit raised in salute at the trucker.  The truly committed might have gone so far as to follow up with the head office by calling to complain or write a letter.

Trucking & Public Perception

Social media has changed the landscape.  It can shape a company’s image and ultimately affect its bottom line.  We are all familiar with the “United Breaks Guitars” phenomenon of 2009.  To date the YouTube video has received more that 15 million views and was a public relations nightmare for United Airlines.  Since that time, technology has progressed to the point that handheld devices can lodge complaints or invective in seconds.  Trucking companies that haven’t been used to being on the front lines of the public eye must be ever vigilant to guard our images and render the highest level of customer service.  Technology has created an added incentive to do so.  And this is not a bad thing.  It pushes us to be better at what we do.

Supply Chain Management & Technology

Instant communication has also meant that the volume and flow of transportation and logistics has greatly increased.  More and more people are shopping online at home and anywhere from their handheld devices.  It falls to us in the transportation business to see that those goods get where they need to go.  Emerging technologies mean our lives are more “instant” than ever and people expect instant results.  As a consequence, an already fast-paced industry has had to find ways to become more adept at keeping pace and doing so with a high degree of accuracy.  Fortunately for us it is a two-way street.  Technology has come to our aid and given us the ability in the supply-chain industry to anticipate and keep pace with these increasing demands.  Nonetheless, it is the consumer who is the real driver.  While technology is a significant player, it is still the consumer who drives our industry.  And they continue to drive us to be better logistics professionals – on and off the road.

RIG-Logistics-LogoRig Logistics is an asset-based trucking company based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  If you have questions or are in need of supply-chain solutions, please contact us a Rig Logistics today.