Public comments due Oct. 13 on truck size and weight study

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | 9/11/2015

The deadline is approaching for the public to comment on the effects of truck size and weight on highway safety, infrastructure and the economy. The Federal Highway Administration has announced that comments must be received by Oct. 13 to be considered in the official report to Congress on the Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limit Study.

Congress mandated the study in the 2012 transportation bill MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century. The vote to take a step back and study the issue came as large shippers, manufacturers and mega carriers were pushing to increase sizes and weights on federal highways. OOIDA members pushed back in great numbers, flooding the Capitol switchboard and telling lawmakers that increasing truck weights would be a bad idea.

The administration was supposed to deliver its final report to Congress in November 2014, but the process has taken longer than initially projected.

The comment deadline is now in sight, and the timing is critical once again because of a renewed push and a congressional bill in the works to increase truck weights.

OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Scott Grenerth says it’s important for small-business truckers and truck drives to counteract the latest push by shippers, manufacturers and carriers.

“There’s people trying to squeeze every cent out of the supply chain that they can, but those savings or economic benefits are not going to trickle down to our members – not company drivers, not owner-operators,” Grenerth told Land Line.

“It’s clear who is pushing for the increase,” he said. “It’s also clear that large carriers can put in a big order for hundreds of new trailers to be spec’d out for them. Our members, on the other hand, don’t have the same advantage, and it would cost more for them to modify or purchase a new trailer to have another axle put on it. That’s not chump change.”

Grenerth says an effective public comment is one that includes something constructive and personal about how a truck size and weight increase would affect a business, the infrastructure or a trucker’s bottom line.

Online comments may be filed here:

The Federal Highway Administration announced that comments received after Oct. 13 will not be considered in the final report to Congress.

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