Missouri bill would boost anti-idling incentive

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 12/5/2012

A Missouri bill would make the state the first in the nation to adopt an enhanced incentive to reduce truck idling.

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.

In recent years many states have adopted rules at their statehouses to increase the weight limits for trucks equipped with auxiliary power units up to an additional 400 pounds.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 29 states have laws that authorize the weight allowance for commercial vehicles. There are 15 states where the weight allowance is granted by enforcement policy rather than by state law.

States yet to permit the 400-pound exemption are California, Hawaii, Kentucky, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Tennessee. The weight allowance doesn’t affect state highway funding eligibility.

On Oct. 1, the law known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) took effect. The new transportation law includes a provision to allow states to increase their APU weight exemption another 150 pounds to 550 pounds.

In Missouri, Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, filed a bill for consideration early next year to adopt the new 550-pound rule. According to the Energy Department, Munzlinger’s bill is the first of its kind in the nation.

Supporters say the allowance rewards independent truck drivers and large trucking firms for using technology to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions.

OOIDA has long advocated adoption of the idling-reduction incentive, even before the federal authority was granted. Association leadership supports the weight exemption as reasonable because it’s another inducement to install APUs on trucks.

Munzlinger’s bill – SB43 – can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 9.

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

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