Then i suggest you start by weighing the truck ready to work, but empty of cargo. This will get you a Tare weight. Next, read the Vehicle Identification Plate at the driver’s door or door post to acquire the axle ratings of the truck and add those together. You will need this number to register your vehicle. This will become your Gross Vehicle Weight.
Visit the insurance company to acquire Cargo Insurance and Public and Property Damage Liability, Accident Benefits, and Physical Damage on the truck and trailer, Loss of Use, Permission to pull non owned trailers insurance . (if you have a reefer, Reefer Break down insurance). The cargo insurance will be more extensive because you will be hauling Dangerous goods. You will also be purchasing Commercial General Liability because now you are “in Business!”
Just another side note, because you are now in Business, you will need to register with WCB to get a business number.
You will also need to register with Canada Revenue Agency to get a GST Business Number. You should probably start talking to a bookkeeper to arrange your financial files.
If the truck does not have a current Commercial Vehicle Inspection Certificate, CVIP (because it will be heavier than 11,794 kg registered weight) then you will need to complete that inspection. Usually with a used truck, there is already a current Inspection complete, you just need to get it from the previous owner. A New truck will usually come with one performed by the Truck Dealership.
Once you have auto insurance figured out with your agent (if you want we can suggest 2-5 agents that handle trucking) bring your Bill of Sale, your GVW, your Driver’s License, the insurance documents, (if it is a new truck, you will need the NVIS card from the dealership), your current CVIP, and ask the lady behind the counter at the registry for a commercial Plate for your truck. This will trigger a number of questions from her. This process could take up to an hour, but can commonly take less than twenty minutes.
Her first question will be “How big, or How heavy , or what GVW would you like to register?” Because the weight of your 5 ton (loaded) will be somewhere between 14,000- 24,000 KG, you will need to apply for a Safety Fitness certificate. Any vehicle in Alberta registered commercially for more than 11,794 kg requires Application for Safety Fitness. This will authorize you to operate a commercial vehicle for compensation on public roadways. However it comes with a load of responsibilities as well ,,,,, we will discuss that in a minute.
After you fill out the application for a 60 Day permit, The registry will likely issue you a temporary Safety Fitness Certificate for 60 days. The real one should come to you by mail within 60 days,,,,,as long as you don’t create too many violations between now and then. She will also hand you a license plate which will be mounted at the REAR of a truck (Front of a Tractor), and hand you back all your paperwork, except the fitness application and the NVIS card.
Now you need to make a binder to have in the truck at all times that includes insurance, registration, CVIP document, a copy of the safety fitness certificate (when you get it , the temporary will do for now) and a copy of NSC 13 Schedule 1.
Every day you will need to pre trip inspect your truck and fill a form for that, and you will have to comply with Hours of Service rules, usually by filling out a log page or time record every day. And don’t forget to bring your driver license to work every day.
And now you can buy a file cabinet because you will need , very soon to start filing all these documents and processes….and MORE.
You will have to create a driver file for yourself and retain your abstract and training records,,,,oh yeah you will need a TDG and WHMIS course for starters. You will have to carry around with you your TDG card in case you get challenged about that training.
And then you need a Written Safety Plan and A Written Maintenance Plan, because you promised Alberta you would have one when you filled out the Fitness Application. Your driver friends can help your with that; or another company owner, or you can get help from institutions like us, or the trucking association, or Transportation Safety consultants.
A word of warning, you want to color between the lines very carefully, because two “events” for a single truck operation will attract the Bureaucracy very quickly. IE A speeding ticket and a cargo securement ticket in a year are not a good thing. You might want to familiarize yourself with Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, County Peace officers, and Alberta Transportation Carrier Services. Carrier Services have made a very big effort to get information out to trucking companies by constructing a wonderful guide to Transport Compliance called the Educational Manual
Part of your education would be to take a course or two like log book training, cargo securement training, weights and dimensions, defensive driving, pre trip inspection.
More answers later