Bill calls for heavier trucks

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 2/23/2011

Two U.S. representatives have introduced a bill in the House that calls for allowable weight limits on trucks to be increased. Historically, attempts to increase truck weight have been met with opposition.

U.S. Reps. Michael Michaud, D-ME, and Jean Schmidt, R-OH, filed HR763 on Thursday, Feb. 17, and it was referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Michaud and Schmidt are both members of the committee. They have dubbed the bill the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2011, and it contains similar language to previous attempts.

HR763 would allow for a sixth axle on trucks and allow the GVW to increase to 97,000 pounds on interstate highways. The current limit is 80,000 on five axles.

As a way to pay for increased wear and tear caused by heavier vehicles, the bill proposes to increase heavy use taxes for all trucks, even ones that will not be hauling more than 80,000 pounds.

According to bill language, heavy trucks would pay $100 per year as a base rate, plus $22 for each 1,000 pounds in excess of 55,000 pounds, with a cap of $800.

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