Heavy Trucking Incidents – Are they Federally or Provincially Mandated?

The Magical

Heavy trucking is highly regulated. Whether a truck is under federal or provincial jurisdiction can have a great deal of impact upon the regulations which it is required to follow. In the case of an incident, which jurisdiction the company is under can have significant ramifications for the trucking company or for the insurance company covering the accident.

So is a truck federally or provincially mandated?

All trucks fall under both federal and provincial guidelines to some degree.

Transportation jurisdiction that applies to all trucks:

  • Federal – Transport Canada: Vehicle design parameters (engineering design of vehicles, transportation of dangerous goods, National Safety Mark, standards and regulations)
  • Provincial – Alberta Transportation (Alberta): Transport criteria (seasonal axle weight limit, pilot car requirements)

Beyond the design and transport criteria, the laws governing vehicles are determined by their weight or the number of passengers, and by the area within which they function. If any one truck in the fleet falls into any one of these categories, all the trucks in the fleet are bound by the National Safety Code:

  • Weight of 4,500 kg or more if they travel interprovincially
  • Weight of 11,794 kg or more if they only operate within Alberta, or
  • Commercial vehicles with the capacity for 11 or more people including driver.

The answer to this question is not always clear cut, and can have significant ramifications on the results of an investigation.

For an example of how this has real world effects on you as a business owner or adjuster, check out this news story where the entire case came down to a disagreement on jurisdiction


Insurance Professionals of Calgary Golf Tournament 2017

We were pleased to send our own Anthea Sargeaunt to the Insurance Professionals of Calgary Golf tournament at Glen Eagles Golf Course in Cochrane yesterday, an event to raise funds for the Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade! It was a resounding success, with high attendance and great results. Her team scored three under par, a score they thought was pretty good until they saw the leader board. A big thanks to the Insurance Professionals of Calgary for putting on this great even and supporting such a good cause! We’ll post some of the great photos the Institute took once they have them up.

Fiberglass Pipeline Failure

We were approached by one of our insurance clients to investigate the failure of a fiberglass pipeline. We initially suggested they contact someone else, as we did not have the expertise in the material, and someone who did would cost our client less. However, they contacted us again. No one they could find had the expertise. So we agreed to do the work to answer their questions. We had to research the fiberglass pipeline, operation, maintenance and expectation prior to making a final determination on the failure.

PipelineOur client had purchased the pipe already installed, and so did not pick the material. If they had been able to pick, this would not have been the material they would have used! The pipe was too flexible, and lacked the proper layering. Moreover, the external liner was insufficient for the rocky ground into which the pipe was placed.

With our help, the company was able to understand what had gone wrong and anticipate future failures on the same line. The insurance company was able to correctly ascertain the cause of failure, and through that, the responsible parties.

Finite Element Analysis

visitFinite Element Analysis (FEA) is a method of predicting reactions to forces. It is a way of nondestructive testing or forensic testing, depending on the circumstances.

FEA works by breaking down the object into smaller elements, thousands, or hundreds of thousands for larger sized objects. Then it applies a huge amount of processing power to run that model through all sorts of stress scenarios, identifying areas of weakness or potential failure.

This is useful both before and after production. Before an object goes into production, FEA can find the potential areas of failure and the design can be optimized before it goes into the field. After production, FEA can be used as a part of preventative maintenance to verify component life span when additional loading is introduced to the system.

FEA is a money saving technology that allows the simulation of real world forces without their recreation.  It can identify problems before thousands of dollars have been committed to production. Or it can predict a failure without having to run other pieces through punishing forces to recreate the circumstances that caused the initial failure.

FEA can quickly resolve a failure case by identifying exactly what piece failed in what way, taking insurance or legal cases to quick resolution with relatively low costs. For example, Allan R. Nelson Engineering was asked to review a design after it had failed in the field. Based on the design alone, we were able to identify the failure that had occurred in the field and recommend a resolution for our client.

Not all FEA models are created equal. The experience and education of the operator is a key detail in creating the right model. It is important to find a certified engineer with years of experience in FEA for your analysis. So when you need FEA work, call Allan R. Nelson Engineering and we can assist you with the skill you need.

Craneless Rig

with love& gratitude

We designed a 650,000 lbs craneless rig for our client. This rig is capable of rigging up
entirely unassisted by cranes, reducing cost and time, and increasing efficiency. It raises with the use of multistage hydraulic cylinders.

The entire rig up is performed with gin pole trucks, bed trucks and forklifts, making this a versatile and agile model that can be used in areas where crane access is costly or difficult.
This is the kind of creative design that Allan R. Nelson Engineering excels at.

Investigation of a Restaurant Fire


Allan R. Nelson Engineering investigated a fire that took place in a restaurant, leading to extensive smoke damage to the structure. We were asked determine the reason for the significant spread of smoke damage.

Our investigation determined that a cover had been left off the vent system. Extensive forensic examination was required to determine that the cover had not been properly reinstalled after vent cleaning. A flare-up on the grill ignited residual grease within the system, causing the fire, which then spread in the vent system, allowing the smoke to escape through the missing vent cover into the overall building structure.

Residential Carbon Monoxide Fatality

The Magical

We were asked to investigate a residential carbon monoxide fatality. The home owner had recently had a boiler installed in his acreage home, and the insurance company believed that the boiler was the source of the problem.

We were able to review the installation of the boiler and compare it to CSA code  CAN/CSA–B149.1-05. We found that the boiler was a natural gas unit and had been connected to a propane line without the proper conversion kit. This allowed fatal levels of CO to escape the system, and resulted in the death of the home owner.

The Physics of Transport Vehicle Accidents

c u r r E n t l y

The physics of a vehicular accident vary greatly based upon the vehicles involved. When two normal passenger vehicles are involved, the physics, while not simple, are well understood, and there is specific software used to run analysis. However, once the vehicles exceed those parameters, with size, load, and design requirements, the physics can become much more complicated. Heavy truck and heavy machinery vehicles are a specialization all their own.

The first question is of load. Not only does the load, in its weight, placement, and mobility, have a great effect on the outcome of an accident, what the transport is carrying can be vitally important as well. Certain types of loads bear more risk, such as sour crude, which can release deadly gas on an accident scene. This is one of the reasons that having Transport Canada certified engineers investigating the incident is of utmost importance; violations of the code can have far reaching consequences once an incident occurs.

There is also the value of the load to consider. A truck transporting a crane might roll or hit an overpass with little consequence to the truck, but may result in a complete write off of the crane and infrastructure damage to the roadway or overpass. This is another reason why a qualified mechanical engineer specializing in insurance and legal investigations is a primary concern when investigating such a case.

The regulatory landscape of transport vehicles is a specialization all its own. There are many considerations beyond the certification of the vehicle involved in code. For example, was it licensed at that time in that location? Regulations for highway transport are differ greatly from the rules for passenger vehicles.

And of course, as with any incident at speed, there is the question of forces at work. With the complicated linkages between trailers, the physics of a highway vehicle accident can become significantly more complicated than one involving regular passenger vehicles.

These are only some of the reasons that a specialized engineer is best when it comes to an incident involving heavy machinery, trucks, or other highway transport vehicles.

Calgary Meet and Greet

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who came out and made our Meet and Greet in Calgary last week such a success! We had good food and great conversation, and we thrilled to meet our customers and clients and share some conversation.

If you didn’t manage to make it, we’ll be having another in Edmonton in not all too long! Click here to get on the mailing list for an invite to our Edmonton event in September.

ROPS saves a life

We recently completed an analysis and design review of a specialised
Rollover Protection (ROP) System for one of our clients, much like the one
pictured here. It was installed on a man carrier.
Sure enough, there was a roll over incident. Due to the ROPs, no one was
hurt. The ROPs was so well constructed that there was no damage to it at all.
What could have ended in a death turned out to be a minor incident, due to a
properly engineered ROPS.ROPS