Florida Senate panel OKs bill to make weight exception for APUs

| 2/24/2009

An incentive to reduce truck idling in Florida recently cleared its first legislative hurdle in the state.

The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill that would increase the maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology. Sponsored by Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, the proposal would authorize trucks equipped with auxiliary power units to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.

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.

Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have long advocated adoption of the 400-pound exemption.

“It was the intent of Congress that all states adopt the 400-pound exemption into law,” Joe Rajkovacz, OOIDA’s regulatory affairs specialist told Land Line. “The Association supports the exemption as reasonable because it’s another inducement to install an APU onto your truck.”

Florida is one of about 20 states that do not allow 400-pound exceptions for APUs. Other states looking to add the provision this year include Indiana, Maine and Virginia.

Baker’s bill – S210 – now moves to the Senate Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Florida in 2009, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor

Editor’s Note: Please share your thoughts with us about the legislation included in this story. Comments may be sent to statelegislativedesk@ooida.com.