Truckers poised to deliver on topic of truck size and weight

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trucking professionals are poised to get in on the ground floor of a comprehensive federal study of truck size and weight. The Federal Highway Administration is conducting a public listening session on the topic Wednesday, May 29, in Washington, DC.

OOIDA will have feet on the ground at the session, which happens from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. The session is being webcast to participants who signed up in time get in.

The FHWA, under the U.S. Department of Transportation, is conducting the Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study, the first study of its kind since 2000. Congress mandated the study in the current highway law MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.

According to the FHWA, the study will “evaluate and compare the differences between trucks loaded at or below current federal truck size and weight limits to those operating in excess of those limits.”

Input from the small-business trucking community will prove to be valuable as large shippers, receivers and mega carriers make a push to increase truck size and weight limits on America’s Interstate Highway System.

OOIDA is encouraging truckers to raise talking points that are important to them concerning truck size and weight. While a number of trucking professionals and carriers specialize in heavy-haul operations, OOIDA is opposed to opening up the nation’s vital infrastructure to larger and heavier trucks.

The Association has raised issues about infrastructure, vehicle maneuvering, highway safety, driver experience, cargo securement in long-combination vehicles, the lack of safe truck parking, and the cost of new equipment. In additon, driver pay won’t automatically increase just because a truck would be hauling more freight.

OOIDA Director of Legislative Affairs Ryan Bowley says he will be tweeting live from the session. Follow him on Twitter at @ryan_bowley.

Participants of the listening session are being asked for input about 97,000-pound trucks on six axles, and are being asked to fill out a worksheet about longer-combination vehicles, or LCVs, such as Rocky Mountain doubles, double 53-foot trailers and triple trailers. Click here to view a pdf of the worksheet. Participants can fill it out and email it to CTSWStudy@dot.gov.

As of press time, the FHWA had a full house for its online webcast and was not accepting any new sign-ups to view or participate in the live listening session. Don’t be discouraged. You can still submit comments and questions about the truck size and weight by email to CTSWStudy@dot.gov by June 5.

The agency is also providing a “listen-only” audio feed from the session. Listeners can tune in via computer at http://fhwa.acrobat.com/freight and sign in as a “guest.”

Listeners can also tune in by phone by calling 866-863-9293 and entering the passcode 71537926.

The agency hopes to complete its study and present results to Congress by fall 2014. The process includes public outreach at various points during the process. View the agency’s projected timeline here.

Copyright © OOIDA

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