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Truck Safety Expert:
New Bill Would Allow 91,000 Pound Trucks on Highways!

Truck Telematics Expert Witness / Truck Data Expert Witness Articles

By Scott Greene

Congressman Reid Ribble of Wisconsin has introduced a bill that would allow 91,000 pound trucks on highways. The new bill would allow individual states to increase the federal vehicle weight limit for tractor-trailers.

 

congressional seal - Trucking Regulations ExpertWill a Bill Pass Allowing 91,000 Pound Trucks?

Congressman Reid Ribble of Wisconsin has introduced a bill that would allow 91,000 pound trucks on highways. The new bill would allow individual states to increase the federal vehicle weight limit for tractor-trailers.

The congressman emphasized adding up to 11,000 pounds to its Gross Combination Weight (GCW) limit would cause those trucks to operate more safely. According to Ribble, this is due to the bill’s language which requires these higher weight trucks would have a mandated sixth axle which would provide it with “stopping power equal to or better than that of a five-axle truck.” Language in the bill also enables the Department of Transportation to require additional safety equipment on these heavier trucks.

The bill was discussed by Ribble during a September 10, 2015 press briefing. He calls the bill the “The Safe, Flexible, and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act”. He believes the bill would allow fewer trucks to move more cargo in a safer manner.

The bill is supported by several major shipping associations as well as companies that ship products by truck. The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), based in Washington, DC, represents nearly 200 manufacturers, shippers, carriers and allied associations. The CTP website says: “The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP) is a coalition of shippers and allied associations dedicated to giving states the flexibility to safely confront highway capacity crisis issues by utilizing more productive, six-axle trucks on Interstate highways within their borders.”

The CTP executive director, John Runyan, said: “Truck travel has grown 22 times faster than road capacity since the federal weight limit was last changed in 1982,” he went on to say “The Safe Trucking Act safely improves the productivity of truck shipments so we can decrease the truckloads necessary to meet demand and make our entire transportation network more efficient.”

 Trucking lobbies, associations and coalitions are not nearly has hot on the idea of heavier trucks. Lane Kidd, Managing Director of The Trucking Alliance, which is also based in Washington DC, is quoted as saying: “This legislation wasn't written to benefit trucking companies, because it would drive up operating costs, drive down truck driver wages and curtail investments in safety technologies.”

Ribble said that he plans to introduce the SAFE Act as an amendment to the long-term highway bill. He says that the language only affects single trailer trucks.

The rule would take effect two years after the final version is published.

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