Senators call for increasing truck size and weight

A piece of bipartisan legislation introduced this week pledges to increase truck weighs on the United States Interstate Highway Systems from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds and allow states to authorize the operation of heavier trucks

By ·

A piece of bipartisan legislation introduced this week pledges to increase truck weighs on the United States Interstate Highway Systems from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds and allow states to authorize the operation of heavier trucks

This bill, entitled the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA) of 2010, vows to bring more efficiency to the trucking industry and help transport goods to consumers more safely and effectively, according to its authors, Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Herb Kohl (D-WI). Similar legislation introduced by Reps. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) and Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), entitled the “Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2009” (H.R. 1799), was introduced last year and had 54 co-sponsors.

SETA sets various stipulations for increasing truck size and weight, including equipping vehicles with at least six axles which would result in reduced emissions, according to a statement issued by Crapo, Collins, and Kohl. Doing this, they said, would result in reduced emissions, fewer trucks on the road, and a decrease in fuel usage, as well as leaving the decision to determine truck size and weight increases up to individual states.

“Our legislation would allow all states to have the option of increasing truck weight limits on the Interstate System,” said Senator Collins. “Keeping heavy trucks on the interstate highways where they belong, and off smaller streets, would improve safety for motorists and pedestrians, and reduce congestion, fuel use, emissions, and road damage.”

This bill received the full support of the American Trucking Associations (ATA). ATA officials said that adding a sixth axle adds additional braking capacity, preventing an increase in stopping distances, and prevents payments from sustaining more damage.

Senator Crapo noted that adding a sixth axle to trucks could save up to $14.5 billion annually in shipping costs and make U.S. goods more competitive in a global marketplace, with Canada and the Unite Kingdom, among other nations, already with higher weight limits.

The Senators also said that based on ATA estimates the trucking industry will haul about 30 percent more tonnage in 2021 than it does today. And without a weight increase, the economy will require 18 percent more trucks on the road by that time. If this bill were to become law, they maintain that the weight limit adjustment would safely reduce the number of trucks required to ship a given amount of goods.


About the Author

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. Contact Jeff Berman

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!

Article Topics

Truck · Truck size and weight · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
The View from the New “Single Window”
The single window, officially known as the "International Trade Data System," operates via the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform, and serves as a single point of contact for all trade filings.
Download Today!
From the March 2017 Issue
WMS vendors are stepping up to the plate and developing functionalities and solutions that meet the complex needs of today’s companies. Our top analysts take a peek into these developments and discuss the DC of the future and the software that will support it.
5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Trucking Regulations & Infrastructure Update
In this session our panel brings shippers up to date on the state of transportation regulations. Discussion will revolve around regulatory reform, aspects of the federal highway bill and what the transportation landscape looks like in the early days of the Trump administration.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...

2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...