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Trucking groups back higher weight

Posted on : 08-06-2009 | By : Truckdriversnews | In : Political News, Thoughts from a trucker, truck driver Industry


More than 100 associations and companies — including Kraft Foods, MillerCoors and International Paper â€� today, June 8, officially launched the Coalition for Transportation Productivity (www.transportationproductivity.org), urging Congress to responsibly raise the federal vehicle weight limit on U.S. interstates.

CTP supports the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2009 (H.R. 1799), which would increase the interstate weight limit, which it says would improve trucking productivity and allow for safer highways, a cleaner environment and a stronger economy.

“America’s freight transportation infrastructure is on the verge of becoming overwhelmed over the next decade,� says CTP Co-Chair John Runyan. “Freight hauled by trucks in the U.S. is expected to double by 2025, and truck traffic is growing 11 times faster than road capacity. The Coalition for Transportation Productivity is asking Congress to responsibly reform truck weight limits with proper safeguards to allow the same amount of freight to be carried on fewer trucks, which will improve the efficiency of our interstates, reduce fuel use, and curb emissions.”

Legislators in Congress are lining up on one side of the truck size and weight issue or the other. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.) introduced legislation (S. 779, H.R. 1618) that would extend the current limit of 80,000 pounds and maximum length of 53 feet for tractor-trailer trucks on interstate highways to the National Highway System. The NHS covers some 160,000 miles of highway, while interstates represent 44,000 miles. Within the trucking community, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are backing the Lautenberg-McGovern bill, citing safety and infrastructure concerns.

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