Time to Explain the Myths about SETA – Heavier Weight for Tractor Trailers


This is beginning to really make me mad.

These fools that are pushing the government to allow states to “raise” the legal weight limits for tractor-trailers – actually believe it will be safer and more fuel efficient.

There is no-way to know if hauling a heavier load than what is legal now, can be safer or more fuel efficient. But these fools have all these “studies” that show “on paper” that this will work.

Here all of us advocates are working to try and better the trucking industry with common sense ideas. Then another ludicrous bill arrives that is so outrageous it is almost funny. But sure as the world that I would laugh at it, then they would implement it and someone gets killed because of the heavier weight – then its not so funny.

Safe & Efficient Transportation Act (SETA) is one such case. Under SETA, each state would have the option to set interstate weight limits from 80,000 pounds up to 97,000 pounds – giving shippers the ability to utilize more truck space.

“SETA provides a critical opportunity for Congress to enact a Highway Re-authorization proposal that modernizes American truck shipping standards in order to protect motorists and the environment, and give U.S. manufacturers and producers a competitive edge,” said CTP Executive Director John Runyan. Really? Putting 17,000 more pounds on an already heavy truck is protecting motorist? I would love to know how these idiots come to this conclusion.

“Many shippers hit the 30-year-old federal weight limit with significant space left in their rigs and must use more truckloads, fuel and vehicle miles than necessary to get products to market. SETA gives each state the option to correct this inefficiency by raising its interstate weight limit for trucks equipped with an additional axle. Six-axle trucks can safely handle more weight, so American companies can utilize more rig space, minimize the trucks they need to meet demand and reduce their dependency on foreign oil,” added Runyan.

Oh but they are going to add a sixth axle and this will make it able to be safer? I am going out on a limb and guessing whom ever wrote this bill or had a hand in writing this bill, has never been in a tractor-trailer hauling a load. I’m guessing they sit behind a mahogany desk in their big leather office chair, wearing a three piece suit and going after work to get a pedicure. But, it works on paper they say, well that makes it different then now doesn’t it.

What do you suppose caused the above trailer to “break” in the middle? Adding a sixth axle will do nothing but raise the maintenance cost for the company – or owner-operator. The pay difference will not be cost effective to do this.

You have to read through what these simpletons are saying with their big words and long explanations. “Six-axle trucks can safely handle more weight” see they don’t add how much extra weight it can handle? The trailer above broke into two pieces because it was made to haul loads not exceeding the recommendations by the builder. These trailers take a lot of abuse, such as the rough roads, twisting and turning through holes in most truck-stop parking lots, new drivers who don’t know how to drive with a load on, etc. Adding a sixth axle would not have prevented the above from happening.

The Anti Trucker Associations (ATA) “guesstimates” that the trucking industry will haul 30 percent more tonnage in 2021 than it does today. If current weight restrictions remain the same, that means our economy will require 18 percent more trucks on the road driving 27 percent more miles than they do now. I wonder how they can be driving 27% more miles, when the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration wants them driving less miles? How does that work?

I have studied and read and even been behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer a few times and I am still trying to figure out how hauling a heavier load (97,000 pounds) can be more fuel efficient than a truck hauling (80,000 pounds). When there is more mass to move the engine has to work harder – causing it to burn more fuel – it is simply a foolish statement to say that hauling a heavier load is more fuel efficient.

And lastly how can it be safer on the general motoring public to add 17,000 more pounds to a truck that takes – in perfect weather conditions – about 400 feet to safely stop at 55 mph? Rain or snow added in and you increase the stopping distance considerably. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that more weight takes more room to stop.

The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), a group of more than 180 shippers and associations dedicated to responsibly increasing federal weight limits on interstate highways

These are the people that want this bill to go through, because it makes the people that make up this coalition more money – the shippers and producers. The trucking company may make a little bit more money on the load – but will defiantly burn it back up in maintenance cost. The driver will NOT MAKE anymore money unless they work on percentage, and then it is a minute amount if any that the pay would increase.

Trucks now-a-days haul legally 80,000 pounds and still smoke the brakes going down hills which leads to no brakes:

Which leads to this: A tractor trailer lost its brakes Thursday, ran over a parked Ford Taurus, seen under the truck’s front wheel.

This kind of bill will should be “killed right now” or a lot of innocent people might be “killed later on” in preventable accidents. Call your senators and tell them NO to H.R.763 and tell them YES to H.R.1618 – Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act.

Safe & Efficient Transportation Act (SETA) Reintroduced to Let States Raise Interstate Weight Limits
Truck crash causes pileup, leaves 3 hurt
H.R.1618 — Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (Introduced in House – IH)

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I'm just a EX-truck driver, trying to pass along a little information. I been in the Trucking Industry as a driver for over 15 years. I have driven both as an owner operator and as a company driver. I have also been a driver instructor for an accredited truck driving school in KY. I am no longer a truck driver, but I consider myself to be a watchdog for the trucking industry. In fact this site is the #1 site for getting the real news about trucking. We don't hold back here, you will hear the full story. Twitter | |Truck Drivers News Facebook
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One Response to Time to Explain the Myths about SETA – Heavier Weight for Tractor Trailers

  1. hurtis geoghagan says:

    befor they can do this
    they will to built new trailers that can handle the weight
    the 53 ft trailers on the road today cant handle the weight
    they will just bend in the middle just like your pic
    the highways cant handle the weight or the bridges
    put it on rail where it belongs
    i want drive a truck with all that weight its out wright not safe

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