WASHINGTON — The National Private Truck Council (NPTC), an association representing some 600 major American companies with private truck fleets, has sent a letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee asking the panel to include the Safe, Flexible and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act in the next surface transportation bill.
Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., introduced the SAFE act (HR3488) recently.
It would allow states opt to allow trucks weighing up to 91,000 pounds on their interstate highways but only with a sixth axle.
“HR 3488 would improve options for enhancing productivity,” wrote Gary Petty, president and CEO of NPTC, noting the safety and productivity improvements contained in the bill. “NPTC’s member companies are the vanguard of safe truck transportation in the United States — we are the earliest adopters of new safety technology, equipment and management practices. NPTC would not support this legislation if our members thought that it might diminish safety or harm highway or bridge infrastructure.
“We understand that the railroad industry and their surrogates are opposed to this bill. But railroad interests should not hold a veto over highway transportation policy. They should compete for freight in a free and fair marketplace that allows for productivity enhancements for all modes.”
NPTC members are shippers as well as truck operators, the letter said.
“Their parent companies want the most efficient and competitive option for transporting inbound and outbound freight, whether it is by private or for-hire motor carrier, rail, water or air,” Petty wrote. “HR 3488 would improve their options for enhancing productivity by allowing states to authorize safely putting additional weight (and an additional axle) on each truck for travel on the Interstate highways; this would reduce the number of truck shipments necessary to transport a given amount of freight. It would also reduce the number of trucks on the Interstates, improve traffic congestion, and reduce engine emissions.”
Among NPTC’s member companies are Frito-Lay, CVS, Nestlé, General Mills, Pepsico, Safeway, John Deere, Marathon Petroleum, Walmart, Walgreens, Chrysler, Kellogg’s and Boeing.
Both the Truckload Carriers Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association oppose the heavier trucks.
The American Trucking Associations is neutral on the issue.
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