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Congress Considering A Bill That Would Allow Increased Weight Limits

Increased Weight Limits on the Horizon

Increased Weight Limits on the HorizonFor the fifth year in a row, Congress is considering a bill sponsored by Rep. Michael Michaud that would allow states to increase truck weight limits to 97,000 pounds.

The bill, H.R. 612, was introduced then referred to a committee on February 12, 2013.

The bill, also called the ‘Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2013,’ would allow weight limits to increase to 97,000 pounds if:

(A) the vehicle is equipped with at least 6 axles;

‘(B) the weight of any single axle on the vehicle does not exceed 20,000 pounds, including enforcement tolerances;

‘(C) the weight of any tandem axle on the vehicle does not exceed 34,000 pounds, including enforcement tolerances;

‘(D) the weight of any group of 3 or more axles on the vehicle does not exceed 51,000 pounds, including enforcement tolerances; and

‘(E) the gross weight of the vehicle does not exceed 97,000 pounds, including enforcement tolerances.

OOIDA is urging legislators to reject the bill, while the American Trucking Association is voicing its support.

“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,” Todd Spencer, OOIDA Executive Vice President said in a press release.

“OOIDA contends that in many situations the proposed change in law – which is designed solely to profit big business at the expense of highway safety and small businesses – will require a small-business trucker to spend up to $100,000 on new equipment,” the press release states.

The American Trucking Association has spoken out in favor of the bill.

“ATA supports a number of reforms to federal truck size and weight regulations as part of our Sustainability Initiative,” said ATA President Bill Graves. “More efficient trucks, like those allowed under this legislation, will significantly reduce the trucking industry’s carbon output.”

According to Government Track, the bill only has a 3% chance of passing.