Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


ATA and AAR put up united front for passage of House transportation bill

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
February 13, 2012

In an effort to move along a new surface transportation reauthorization, two of the largest and most influential freight transportation industry associations—the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Association of American Railroads (AAR) issued a joint statement calling for the passing of H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, with an emphasis on truck productivity, a five-year, $260 billion bill.

While the ATA and AAR have been at odds over the years for issues relating to truck size and weight, which was initially part of H.R. 7, the bill initially called for a measure to increase truck weights from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds on interstate highways at the discretion of states that want to have them. This provision was focused on raising the weight limit to 88,000 pounds for car carriers and 97,000 pounds for six-axle trucks.

But soon after the bill was introduced, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee voted against this provision by a 33-22 measure and drafted an amendment that requires the United States Department of Transportation to conduct a comprehensive three-year study of the safety and pavement performance of the widespread use of bigger trucks, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

“[A]s the U.S. House of Representatives prepares for floor consideration of H.R. 7…the Association of American Railroads and the American Trucking Associations join together to urge Members to oppose any floor amendments that would modify any of the truck size and weight provisions in the bill that was reported out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on February 3,” said Edward Hamberger, AAR president and CEO, and Bill Graves, AR President & CEO, in the joint statement.

They added that that the long-term reauthorization of the nation’s critical surface transportation programs is necessary and long overdue, explaining the passage of H.R. 7 by the House is an important step in the process of reaching an agreement of a long-term, fully funder surface transportation bill.

ATA Vice President of Communications and Press Secretary Sean McNally told LM that while the ATA and AAR had their difference over truck size and weight provisions while the bill was being marked up by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, both groups acknowledge there are a lot of good things regarding productivity in the bill.

“This is taking one potentially controversial item off the table as the House tries to pass the bill and move to the Senate, then move to conference and into a final piece of legislation that gets signed into law,” said McNally. “Outside of the truck productivity issue there is a lot we are happy to see in not just the House bill also the Senate bill [MAP-21]. With regard to the productivity issue in the House, we are disappointed that the vote went the way it did, but in the interest of getting a bill that is now 30 months past due, let’s all pull on the rope in the same direction.”

McNally said there are still differences that need to be worked out so the sooner they are addressed, will lead to benefits for all transportation users.

Backers of increased truck weights say it would result in fewer trucks on the highways, less pollution, reduced emissions, bolster productivity and perhaps save as much as 2 billion gallons in diesel annually. And those with an opposing view maintain that longer and heavier trucks are not the answer to operational improvements and congestion reduction.

 

 

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

When it comes to the chances of the December 31, 2015 Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline being extended, something which railroads say is badly needed, it appears they need to be prepared to be disappointed. That was the chief takeaway of a statement from Sarah Feinberg, acting administrator of the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

It’s said that innovation will lead the economy out of its current funk. But how does an organization become a perpetually innovative company? That’s one of the questions Kai Engel and his co-authors at A.T. Kearney set out to answer in their new book Masters Of Innovation.

At $2.843, the average price per gallon was down 1.6 cents, following last week’s 1.1 cent drop and a cumulative 7.1 cent cumulative drop over the last five weeks.

LM Group News Editor Jeff Berman caught up with UPS Freight President Jack Holmes at the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council’s (NASSTRAC) Annual Conference and Exhibition. Berman and Holmes spoke about various aspects of the less-than-truckload sector (LTL), as well as related freight transportation news and trends.

In the third-party logistics (3PL) sector, the ongoing trend of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity never seems to take a break. That is apparent in recent weeks alone, with XPO Logistics recent acquisition of Norbert Dentressangle for $3.53 billion, Echo Global Logistics scooping up Command Transportation for $420 million, and Kuehne+Nagel buying ReTrans for an undisclosed sum.

Article Topics

News · Trucking · Truck size and weight · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA