Representatives of large trucking companies and small independent operators are shifting into high gear in the battle over truck size and weight limits on Capitol Hill.
The American Trucking Associations threw its support behind the “Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2009,” which increases the weight limits for trucks traveling the Interstate Highway system from 80,000 lbs. to 97,000 lbs. ATA claims heavier trucks, which would add a sixth axle to compensate for the added weight, are more efficient and would result in fewer trips and therefore reduce accidents, congestion, and fuel use.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents independent contractor drivers, claims bigger trucks would tear up roads and are not as safe.
“OOIDA members know from firsthand experience that further increases in size and weights of commercial motor vehicles can endanger highway users and hasten the deterioration of our nation’s roads and bridges,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.
Spencer encouraged support of “The Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act” introduced in mid-March by Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. The bill would freeze current size and weight limits of trucks and trailers.