Shippers, stakeholders, initiate digital video campaign for truck weight reform
H.O. Bouchard, a Maine-based trucking company that carries among other things heavy industry fuel oils and logs, can legally carry 100,000 pounds on state highways in Maine, but not on federal highways. (Courtesy: H.O. BOUCHARD)
The Trucker News Services
WASHINGTON — The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), a group of some 200 shippers and allied associations dedicated to increasing federal vehicle weight limits on interstate highways, has launched a digital video campaign to rally support for federal truck weight reform legislation known as the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA).
The act has been introduced in both houses of Congress as S747 in the Senate and HR 763 in the House.
CTP said it produced the video to educate the transportation community about SETA and the “proven benefits of giving states the option to grant interstate access for heavier, single trailer trucks equipped with safer six axles instead of the typical five.”
To view the CTP video, visit www.transportationproductivity.org.
Neither bill has made much progress.
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The Senate version was lasted acted upon when it was referred to the Committee on Finance in April.
The House version was sent to the Ways and Means Committee last February.
“The Coalition for Transportation Productivity is on a mission to mobilize the transportation industry around SETA,” CTP Executive Director John Runyan said. “Shipping costs are on the rise, and available truck capacity has dropped by 16 percent since 2008. If U.S. shippers expect to emerge from the economic downturn and be competitive in the global marketplace, the entire shipping industry needs to rally around the truck weight reform effort and urge Congress to pass SETA.”
Runyan said CTP produced the video to demonstrate that SETA is an innovative, effective way to make America’s transportation network more productive and efficient.
“SETA is a cautious bill giving each state the opportunity to selectively raise truck weight limits on interstate routes that make the most sense,” Runyan said. “Shippers need to band together and urge Congress to pass SETA so we can give states a chance to maximize the productivity of their interstate highways.”
Runyan said the CTP video builds the case for SETA by demonstrating the safety, economic and environmental benefits of giving states the opportunity to utilize more productive trucks on select interstate routes.
“To prove SETA’s effectiveness, the video highlights results of a recent pilot project in Maine, the experience of our major trading partners and the fact that most states already employ higher weight limits on secondary roads but are barred from utilizing more productive trucks on interstate highways—which are actually engineered for heavier traffic,” Runyan said.
The U.S. federal weight limit has been set at 80,000 pounds since 1982.
The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act gives each state the option to set interstate weight limits of up to 97,000 pounds, but this higher weight limit would only apply to trucks equipped with safer six axles instead of the typical five.
The American Trucking Associations supports allowing 97,000-pound trucks provided the truck has six axles, including a tridem axle on the rear.
The Truckload Carriers Association doesn’t support the 97,000-pound limit, but does support raising the limit on five-axle trucks to 88,000 pounds.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is opposed to raising any truck weight limit.
For more information, visit www.transportationprodutivity.org.
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