Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Trucking news: AAR comes out against push for heavier trucks

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
September 24, 2010

On the heels of recent news that White House last week has agreed to a request from Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to permanently enact a pilot program allowing trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds to travel on federal interstate highways in Maine, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) has made it clear it does not support this push.

Prior to this development, a one-year pilot program that allowed trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds to travel on Main and Vermont’s federal interstates, which was part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, has been ongoing and set to expire on December 17. Once the program expired, heavy trucks would then have to be diverted back to secondary roads through downtown areas.

In a letter to Capitol Hill, AAR President and CEO Edward Hamberger said that permanently giving the OK for trucks weighing 100,000 pounds to travel on Maine and Vermont’s interstate highways could provide impetus to trucking interests in the Northeast and along the East Coast to lift the federal truck weight ban elsewhere.

“Not only do extremely heavy trucks today exact a serious wear and tear toll on America’s already overextended highways, but much of the costs to repair roads and bridges damaged by heavy-load trucks is paid by taxpayers and not the trucking companies responsible for the damage,” said Hamberger. “The U.S. Department of Transportation has determined that trucks weighing 80,000 to 100,000 pounds pay just half of the cost of the damage they do to the nation’s highways. This huge heavy truck underpayment means that the remainder of these costs is paid for by the general public.”

Hamberger also stated that along with serious infrastructure damage and truck underpayment concerns, 100,000 pound trucks will siphon a significant percentage of freight traffic from the country’s railroads.  “This will rob the railroad industry of revenue needed for reinvestment and add congestion to the nation’s highways.”

American Trucking Associations’ Director of Highway Operations Darrin Roth had a different take on the impact of increased truck weight.

“This is not a choice between a 100,000 pound truck and an 80,000 pound truck,” Roth told LM. “Maine and Vermont were already allowing heavier trucks on their secondary road system and will continue to do so regardless of what happens with federal law. The change in federal law with the pilot program and the potential permanent extension of the pilot program allow those states to move those states to the interstate system, which is much more safer and built stronger than secondary roads and does not have as much pavement or bridge damage.”

Roth said it is a positive step forward for Maine and Vermont and is also energy-efficient in that it reduces shipping costs over long distances.

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

Even as Congress was putting the finishing touches on a 10-month short-term funding extension to the federal aid highway bill that temporarily averts a funding crisis, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was ripping the measure as a short-term “gimmick” that once again fails to adequately fund U.S. infrastructure needs in the long run.

ISI is comprised of Integrated Services, ISI Logistics and ISI Logistics South and is focused on the warehousing and transportation needs of automotive shippers. RRTS said that in 2013, Integrated Services generated revenues of approximately $21 million adding that Integrated Services is expected to be accretive to Roadrunner’s earnings in 2014.

The market for supply chain management software continues to expand, highlighting the importance of software in today’s supply chains.

Over the past five years emerging markets have maintained their “growth dynamic,” observes John Manners-Bell, CEO, of the London-based think tank Transport Intelligence (Ti).

Amid the talk and coverage about things negatively impacting the trucking industry like increasing regulations, tight capacity, and equipment-related issues and challenges, there is one thing to always remember about the sector: it moves a lot of freight, make that more than a lot, actually.

Article Topics

News · All topics

Comments

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


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA