Indiana nears increase in size and weight of some freight

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Friday, April 19, 2013

Indiana lawmakers are working out their differences on a bill that could soon authorize heavier loads for certain commodities.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association opposes truck size and weight increases. The Association lobbied successfully to remove language to increase truck size and weight in the new federal transportation law.

The Indiana Senate voted unanimously to approve a bill that would allow the state Department of Transportation, or a local authority, to grant permits for transporting overweight divisible loads. Specifically, the rule change would cover metal commodities and agricultural hauls.

House lawmakers already approved a similar version of the bill – HB1481 – by unanimous consent.

Affected loads are those weighing more than 80,000 pounds that can be separated or reduced to meet specific regulatory weight limits, and other requirements.

Divisible loads of metal commodities, such as steel, would be authorized to weigh up to 120,000 pounds. Maximum weights for divisible loads of agricultural goods would be 97,000 pounds.

INDOT could charge 5 cents “per equivalent single axle load mile” for a permit for an overweight divisible load.

A Senate provision added to the bill would limit the annual fee for an overweight load permit at $470. House lawmakers opted not to agree to the change, which sent the bill to a conference committee made up of select lawmakers from each chamber to hash out their differences.

If lawmakers are able to work out their differences and reach agreement on the bill, it would move to Gov. Mike Pence’s desk.

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

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