New Indiana law allows weight exception for APUs

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 3/31/2010

A new law in Indiana is intended to provide an incentive to reduce truck idling.

Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed a bill into law that increases the maximum weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology. As of July 1, trucks equipped with auxiliary power units will be authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.

Also included in the new law is a provision that addresses federal certification for hauling metal coils that originate or terminate in Indiana. Truck drivers are prohibited from hauling one or more metal coils individually, or grouped together, that weigh at least 5,000 pounds unless the operator is certified in proper load securement.

Supporters said the weight exception removes the disincentive that would keep truckers from using APUs. They said 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 a 400-pound leeway in order to encourage the use of idling-reduction equipment. Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s Executive Vice-President Todd Spencer points out it was the intent of Congress that the exemption be signed into law in every state, but adoption of the rule has been slow.

OOIDA has 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 onto trucks.

A dozen states do not allow 400-pound exceptions for APUs. States to add the provision in the past year include Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Maine and Virginia. Legislation is pending in Alabama, Florida, Massachusetts and West Virginia to adopt the provision to state law.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Indiana in 2010, click here.

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