What we came to wonder is, could you actually refuse an MTO spot check? I mean there would be nothing you could do for an outside visual inspection but as far as popping the hood or letting them plug into your OBD plug inside the cab, could you legal refuse it, if the truck isn't registered as a commercial vehicle?
As far as we can understand really it would be an illegal search as there would be nothing to warrant then entering the truck. Just really curious what legally you could do, if anything at all.
I've searched and can't find any info so thought maybe someone here might know a thing or two.
The fine for not assisting is a total of $390
Although you say your truck is not registered as commercial, ALL pickup trucks are commercial (go to definition section of HTA). It does not matter if the vehicles are diesel or gas. They only plug into truck to see if their speed limiting systems are working, pickup trucks are usually under the required weight rating.
Normally once the inspectors determine you are just some guy who owns a pickup truck where the registered gross weight is not over 4,500kg, they send you on your way. Having said that, if you are towing a trailer, they will be checking your weight ratings on the truck and trailer to determine if you need annual inspections or not under section 85 of the HTA.
I was looking at it from more of an emissions stand point that's why I mentioned diesel pick ups, with all the new filters, etc. lots of guys remove them, and we speculated that you really wouldn't have to let them in the cab to check if all emissions systems were ready through the OBD port.
But you are right all trucks are considered commercial it's just the personal plate sticker you get, that never really crossed my mind, I guess you would technically have to co-operate?
Generally, MTO inspectors won't do the emissions inspections, that is more in the world of the Ministry of the Environment inspectors. MOE checks for exhaust out puts as well as modifications. Many pick up trucks have modified exhausts, the most obvious being the large stacks running up behind the cab.
MTO inspectors tend only to look for exhaust leaks and such, not the actual exhaust out puts.
As for random emissions checks, you can thank all of the idiot diesel pickup owners who think "rolling coal is cool!" for those. They were all but unheard-of up until about 10 years ago.
Emission wise the new trucks have not nearly the potential life span of an old diesel with the new emissions plugging them up. I know exactly why all the emissions started, no doubt there.
Anybody who's spent any time in the industry can attest to the mysteriously (or not so, actually) high incidence rate of cancer amongst commercial drivers.
Today's trucks run so absolutely exponentially cleaner than the ones of 20 years ago (when I got in the industry) that it's nothing short of amazing. I drive a 2 year old Volvo and I can run my finger inside the stack and it comes out clean - couldn't say that 8+ years ago.
I'm perfectly good with that - I don't need it in my lungs, thanks.