State Watch
List grows: More states adopt APU weight exemption

By Keith Goble
state legislative editor


The list of states to provide an incentive to reduce truck idling continues to grow. This spring, Indiana and West Virginia have authorized trucks that are equipped with auxiliary power units to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.

In Indiana, the weight exemption applies to diesel-powered, heavy-duty vehicles topping 8,500 pounds. Effective July 1, the new law also addresses federal certification for hauling metal coils that originate or terminate in the state. Truck drivers are prohibited from hauling one or more metal coils individually, or grouped together, weighing at least 5,000 pounds unless the operator is certified in proper load securement.

A new law in West Virginia limits idling times for diesel-powered vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Starting June 11, affected vehicles will be limited to idling for no more than 15 minutes per hour. Included in the new law is the 400-pound APU provision increasing the maximum gross vehicle, axle, tandem or bridge formula weight limits for trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology.

Supporters said the weight exception removes the disincentive that would keep truckers from using APUs. They say a reduction of  400 pounds in cargo is a major loss in hauling potential and represents an economic disincentive for using these units.

States were granted federal authority in 2005 to allow heavy-duty trucks to exceed the 80,000-pound maximum weight limit to encourage the use of idling-reduction equipment.

OOIDA has long advocated adoption of the 400-pound exemption, even before the federal authority was granted. The Association supports the exemption as reasonable because it’s another inducement to install APUs on trucks.

More states continue to pursue the weight exemption already permitted in 40 states. Lawmakers in Alabama, Florida and Massachusetts are considering adoption of their own rules.     

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, other states yet to authorize the 400-pound exemption are California, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Tennessee.

To see a complete rundown on the status of 400-pound weight exemptions around the country, visit LL