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
SaaS Supply Chain Management Systems
A guide to better understanding the market, the software and the benefits
Download Today!
From the November 2016 Issue
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that could successfully combine transportation services and technology capabilities under one roof.
Warehouse & DC Operations Survey: Ready to confront complexity
2016 Quest for Quality Awards Dinner
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Digital Evolution: Streamlining Logistics and Supply Chain Operations
In this FREE virtual conference we'll define the challenges facing operations and offer solutions designed to create dynamic, automated networks that offer seamless communication, improved collaborative third-party relationships, and the ability to respond to changes at a moment's notice.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...

Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...