Florida bill would make weight exception for APUs

| 8/24/2009

An incentive to reduce truck idling in Florida will be renewed once lawmakers return to the state Capitol next year.

Rep. Greg Evers, R-Baker, has prefiled a bill for consideration during the regular session that convenes in March 2010. The bill would increase the maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology. The bill is HB51.

A similar effort failed to gain passage in the Legislature during the 2009 regular session. The Senate unanimously approved a bill in the waning days of the session to authorize trucks equipped with auxiliary power units to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds. However, it didn’t get consideration in the House before adjournment.

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 the 400-pound exemption become law in all states,” 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 15 states that do not allow 400-pound exceptions for APUs. States to add the provision this year include Arizona, Maine and Virginia.

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.