New Hampshire panel advances idling incentive

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 1/31/2011

The House Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill that would increase the maximum weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology. Its next stop is the House floor.

The bill ? HB117 ? would authorize commercial vehicles equipped with auxiliary power units to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.

Rep. Robert Williams, D-Concord, noted that the change would allow ?cost conscious, environmentally friendly truckers to regain the 400 pounds of gross weight they lose when they utilize this technology.?

Williams said the result would be as a win-win for the trucking industry.

?This bill will reward the independent trucker as well as the largest trucking firms for utilizing technology that they voluntarily purchased and installed on their vehicles to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions,? Williams noted for discussion on the bill.

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.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has long advocated adoption of the 400-pound exemption, even before the federal authority was granted. Association leadership supports the exemption as reasonable because it?s another inducement to install APUs on trucks.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 states have laws that allow the weight exemption. New Hampshire is one of 18 states where the weight allowance is granted by enforcement policy rather than by state law.

Other states yet to permit the 400-pound exemption are California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Tennessee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Hampshire, click here.

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