Acquiring and Preparing Your Research Vehicles

If you plan to rent vehicles, either from the University of Alberta Vehicle Pool or an outside rental company, visit UAlberta's Rental Policies and Driver Regulations  for important information about rental request, authorized drivers, insurance coverage issues, etc.

You can rent most types of vehicles from the UofA Vehicle Pool, including passenger vans, cargo vans, crew  cabs, cars, etc.   Please see the Facilities and Operations webpage for various forms and information.  The UofA will also coverage the insurance on vehicles rented elsewhere if you meet their requirements.

Where should you park your UAlberta research vehicle on Campus?

If you have a University of Alberta owned vehicle used for researchers, you will pay monies annually to Vehicle Pool, part of which covers the cost of on-campus parking.  The Field Research Office has had many discussions with Parking Services and there are guidelines around the parking that researchers should be aware of. 

Car Sharing Program on Campus

Car Sharing details on campus can be found on the Parking Initiatives website.  The University has an agreement with Pogo. 

Log Books are Required   

University decaled vehicles fall under federal regulations because the University operates outside of Alberta and is therefore considered a commercial carrier. See the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations, SOR/2005-313 under the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987, R.S., c. 29 (3rd Supp.).  These regulations require drivers of University-owned vehicles to complete log books daily.   Section 5.2 of the Vehicle Management Driver Safety Manual mentions the requirement of drivers' log books for drivers of University vehicles and combinations of University vehicles and trailers that exceed a "registered Gross Vehicle Weight of 4500 kg".  e.g. most 1 ton trucks are registered with a GVW over 4500 kg. 3/4 ton trucks may be registered with GVW between 3300 and 3800 kg. University utility trailer registered GVW start at 900 kg. 

For those of you who may be operating U of A decalled trucks with over 4500 kg GVW or 15 passenger vans or 24 passenger buses, please the information bulletin supplied by Alberta Transportation.

It states that all drivers must keep accurate records even while off duty. Page 24 indicates that one log page can be used to cover several consecutive days. This is particularly important to account for the 14 days prior to operating a vehicle over the weight threshold or larger passenger vans and buses.

Log books are available from the Field Research Office and the Fleet Safety Officer.  See Rental Policies and Driver Regulations information on log books. 

Standard Operating Procedures?

It is advisable to develop Standard Operating Procedures for vehicle use for your activity, project or group.  We provide an example, which you can customize to your particular situation.

Off-Roading with Rented Vehicles

New drivers to the University must complete a mandatory evaluation which includes an off-road component.  If you Please contact for more details.

When renting vehicles that are going to be used for off-road while out in the field, please be aware of the following three differences:

A user requests a vehicle from the Vehicle Pool:

  • Vehicle Pool asks if the vehicle is to be used off-road.
  • Renter indicates on the request form that the vehicle will be used off-road.
  • Vehicle Pool obtains a vehicle from Budget for off-road use.
  • Budget pink card covers Third Party Liability.
  • University insurance coverage applies to collision damage or other damage sustained from off-road use when the vehicle is operated by a University authorized driver.

If a user rents directly from a vehicle rental agent (other than the Vehicle Pool) in Canada or the United States:

  • Renter obtains a vehicle from rental agent.
  • Rented vehicle insurance DOES NOT cover off-road use (read fine print on the back of the agreement).
  • University Office of Insurance and Risk Assessment must be advised.
  • University Auto Insurance will respond to Third Party Liability and Collision Damage when the vehicle is operated by a University authorized driver.

If a user rents a vehicle outside of Canada or the United States:

  • University Auto Insurance policies DO NOT extend beyond Canada and the U.S.
  • User must determine extent of coverage provided by the rental agent.
  • User must purchase Third Party Liability and Collision Damage or Loss Damage insurance as required by local laws.
  • If the rented vehicle is to be used off-road, the user must purchase additional Third Party Liability and Collision Damage coverage specific to off-road use.

Preparing your Drivers

Please see University driver's requirements and plan in advance to provide Driver’s abstracts and for any training that may be needed, (e.g., defensive driving, tractor, ATV, etc.)

Have your drivers read over your Standard Operating Procedures before going out into the field? Here is an example of one but please modify it to reflect your own circumstances.

If you have people who are collaborating on your field research and that would be riding in University owned or rented vehicles, you need them to provide a Collaboration Letter that acknowledges that the collaborator’s employer has WCB coverage in place in the event that the collaborator is injured while travelling in a University vehicle. If you need to give a collaborator a ride on the spur of the moment the letter can be completed after the fact, so long as their employer has WCB coverage in place.

If your drivers are using logging roads or resource roads, these are privately owned roads and you will need to follow the companies’ own policies on their use. First check with the corporation who owns the road to see if they have their own specific safety guidelines. There are resources out there on the use of resource roads such as this BC Forest Safety Council's publication on Resource Road User Safety Guide. 

Arranging for Drivers or Driving Outside of Canada

University auto insurance does not extend beyond Canada and the U.S.!

The onus is on the researcher to determine insurance requirements in the country that they are renting the vehicle in and what may be included or excluded in the rental agreement. For instance, if a researcher goes to Africa and needs to hire a vehicle and driver to travel, the requirements in several zones may vary depending on who has jurisdiction (ie. National Parks or rebel controlled territory).

Third Party Liability insurance coverage of up to $2 million is recommended to be purchased along with any additional insurance covering damage to the vehicle.

A hired driver should be covered and paid by the person or business that is supplying the vehicle, however, in third world countries, this is not always the case.  It is up to the researcher to determine whether there is insurance in place. 

You need a Border Crossing Form if taking your U of A vehicle outside of Canada

If you are planning to take your UofA vehicle outside of Canada you need to complete an additional form, which covers additional insurance costs associated to travelling outside of Canada and serves as an advisory to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security that the University is aware of and condones and insures the use of the vehicle outside of Canada. If you are leasing a Vehicle Pool vehicle, they have these forms available. If you are taking your own University owned vehicle, please contact the Office of Insurance and Risk Assessment for the form.

For advice on all insurance matters you may contact the Office of Insurance and Risk Assessment.