Public webinar on truck size and weight study is May 6

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 4/15/2014

The Federal Highway Administration will host a public outreach session on May 6 to provide an update on the Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study. The session will be in the form of a webinar, and the administration will send out information about how to register closer to the event.

The FHWA recently made available the Transportation Research Board’s independent peer review of five previous studies on truck size and weight. The five previous studies are known as “desk scans” and they are available for review online. The administration is in the process of sorting out what to include in the final version of the study due later this year.

Congress mandated a federal study of truck size and weight in the 2012 highway bill MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.

Leading up to the passage of MAP-21, OOIDA helped squash a push by large shippers, manufacturers and carriers to increase truck size and weight limits on federal highways from the current 80,000 pounds on five axles to 97,000 pounds on six axles.

Congress mandated the comprehensive study instead as an alternative to actually increasing size and weight limits.

The study will use existing data from the previous studies as well as some newer data to compare safety risks, infrastructure impacts and economic effects among trucks operating within current legal federal weight limits and those allowed to operate in excess of federal limits due to state exceptions.

The study also addresses the effects of longer-combination vehicles on safety, infrastructure, freight patterns and the economy.

The FHWA hopes to complete its technical report this spring and offer it up for public comments sometime in late spring or early summer. The FHWA is due to present the study to Congress in November.