Truckers Oppose Longer and Heavier Trucks Provision in Highway Bill

Feb 01, 2012, 11:54 ET from Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo., Feb. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Small-business truckers across the United States are speaking out against a provision in the proposed highway bill that would increase truck size and weight limits.  Those increases, included in a draft legislation released by the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, would not only compromise highway safety and infrastructure, but also lead to significant new cost increases for 90 percent of the trucking industry which is made up of small-business truckers.

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Members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, OOIDA, the largest trade organization that represents the rights of professional truck drivers, are reaching out to lawmakers asking them to be wary of big business interests who propose raising truck weight limits from 80,000 lbs to at least 97,000 lbs and increasing the use of longer-combination vehicles (LCVs).

"Truck drivers know firsthand that heavier and longer trucks are much harder to maneuver and put additional stress on our already deteriorating highways and bridges," said Todd Spencer, OOIDA Executive Vice President.

Some of the points made by truckers:

  • Congestion will get worse, not better. Historically, no decrease in truck traffic has ever occurred as a result of increased weight/size limits. Heavier trucks will require more length and time to merge on to highways than current infrastructure designs provide. Traffic flow will be interrupted and the resulting speed differentials could increase the chances for collisions.   
  • Higher taxes & tolls for all motorists. The amount of road and bridge damage from heavier trucks will exceed any "user fee" paid by companies benefiting from the weight increase.  Governments will need to increase fuel taxes and add new tolls just to keep pace with the damage.
  • Increased burdens for state & local governments. Many local roads and neighborhood streets are not built to withstand the damage from trucks heavier than today's standard, yet these streets will be used by heavier trucks as they make deliveries or rest stops.  Local intersections will need to be reconstructed to handle the increased turning radius from LCVs. 

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business truckers and professional truck drivers with more than 150,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo., area.

SOURCE Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association