A coalition of trade groups, which includes the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, wants lawmakers to oppose measures that would increase maximum truck weight or length limits.
The Coalition Against Bigger Trucks wrote to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., and Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., on Wednesday, May 17.
The groups oppose such efforts as a provision in the SHIP IT Act, which would create a 91,000-pound pilot program.
According to a 2021 report from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the United States has a backlog of $125 billion worth of bridge repairs. The coalition says increasing the allowable weight of trucks beyond 80,000 would add to the problem.
“As we look to rebuild our roads and bridges, allowing heavier and longer trucks would only make matters worse,” the coalition wrote. “The U.S. Department of Transportation studies the impact of various longer and heavier truck configurations on interstate and U.S. highways and found that the additional cost of damage to both roads and bridges would require billions of dollars in new federal spending, adding to our budget deficit.”
Last year, the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks released results of a survey that said 68% of professional truck drivers believed that heavier or longer trucks would make it more difficult to recruit or retain drivers.
About 85% of truckers in the survey said they believed heavier and longer trucks would negatively affect safety. A majority of truck drivers said that bigger trucks are more difficult to stop, more likely to roll over and lead to more wear and tear on key truck components.
- American Public Works Association
- National Association of Counties
- National Association of County Engineers
- National Association of Towns and Townships
- National League of Cities
- The United States Conference of Mayors
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
- Towing and Recovery Association of America Inc.
- Institute for Safer Trucking
- Association of American Railroads
- American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
- National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association
- Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association
- Railway Supply Institute
- SMART-TD LL