The Michigan Senate passed HB5205 to amend the state's vehicle code to allow 53-foot tandem trailers starting April 2003.
The Senate voted 36-0 to pass its amended version of the bill March 5. The House passed a similar bill Jan. 29, but now must approve the Senate's amendment to delay implementation of the changes until April 2003.
Although the bill could allow an additional axle, it does not affect current vehicle weight limits. The bill also would require all semi trailers longer than 50 feet to have a 37.5- to 40.5-foot wheelbase, plus or minus a half foot, measured from the kingpin to the center of the rear axle assembly. This amendment, which would take effect immediately, was designed to address a problem for truckers hauling loads between Ontario and California and crossing Michigan with fixed wheelbase equipment.