Action Needed to Win Passage of Federal Truck Weight Increase

first_imgNext week, the House will consider a full, six-year Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill.  While there are numerous positive aspects of the Committee passed bill, it does not address the ability for states to allow increased truck weights on federal interstates within their state for trucks with an additional sixth axle. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) has indicated his intent to offer an amendment when the bill reaches the House floor to include the increased truck weight provisions. The bill will be considered on the House floor Nov. 3-5.The American Soybean Association (ASA) asks all individuals and state soybean associations to contact your members of the U.S. House of Representatives and urge their support for the Ribble Amendment to improve trucking efficiency. The amendment will mirror H.R.3488, the Safe, Flexible, and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act of 2015, which Rep. Ribble has introduced as a stand-alone bill.Please use the Soy Action Center here. By entering your zip code, the Soy Action Center will connect you with your lawmaker.Following is a summary and talking points to use when emailing or calling congressional offices. All state soybean associations are also encouraged to submit a letter to your congressional delegations supporting the Ribble bill/amendment, if you have not already.Key Points- Allowing increased weights on six axle trucks would reduce the number of trucks on the road- Fewer trucks results in fewer truck related accidents- Studies demonstrate that braking distance and road impact are the same for 91,000 lb. trucks with a 6th axle- Many states currently allow heavier truck limits on state roads and other countries have increased truck weight limits and experienced a decline in truck related accidents- Significant cost savings and efficiencies are achieved for famers if weight limits are increasedBackgroundASA supports the provision to allow an increase in truck weight limits on federal interstates. The provisions would give states the option to selectively raise interstate weight limits for trucks equipped with six axles, instead of the typical five. The goal is to make U.S. truck transportation safer and more efficient.The U.S. federal weight limit has been set at 80,000 pounds since 1982. Many truck shipments meet this limit with significant space left in the trailer – forcing shippers to use more trucks and fuel.Studies by the U.S. DOT and Transportation Research Board have both determined that six-axle trucks with up to 97,000 pounds do not lose stopping or handling capability, nor do they adversely affect our nation’s roads. In fact, the higher weight limit would cut the number of trucks otherwise needed.According to a soybean farmer funded study, allowing six axle 97,000 lbs. semis would result in 1.2 million fewer truck trips, 5.5 million fewer gallons of fuel consumed, 56,000 fewer tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and $11-$28 million in reduced fuel costs – and that is just for soybean farmers.Since the United Kingdom raised its gross vehicle weight limit to 97,000 pounds for six-axle vehicles in 2001, fatal truck-related accident rates have declined by 35 percent.Again, we urge you to email your Representative and encourage his or her support for H.R. 3488, the Safe, Flexible, and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act of 2015 sponsored by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) and vote for the Ribble amendment to the Highway Bill to increase trucking efficiency.last_img read more