The Michigan House of
Representatives is considering a bill that would allow the operation of three-axle
53-foot trailers on state highways. HB5205, sponsored by Rep. Judson Gilbert
II (R-Lansing), was introduced on Oct. 16 and referred to the House Committee
on Transportation. OOIDA officer and board member Bob Esler, Taylor, MI, says
this move is a good one for owner-operators in Michigan.
"I've been trying
to get that kind of legislation introduced for years," said Esler, a
long time owner-operator. "It will help out a lot of owner-operators
because it accommodates equipment that's already standard in the industry."
Michigan is the only
state not allowing this configuration on its highways. Current law limits
53-foot semis to two axles, a regulatory standard adopted in 1986 when the
standard trailer length was 48 feet. However, the House analysis points out
since then the three-axle 53-foot trailer has become the standard size in
the North American trucking industry.
According to committee
testimony, 92 percent of trade across the Ontario-Michigan border is done
by trucks and bringing Michigan's axle standard into line with other states
and Canada would reduce the industry's costs.
For legislative status
information, call (517) 373-1070. Michigan's legislative session ends Dec.
-- Rene Tankersley