The U.S. Congress is ready to start discussions relating to the maximum weight and length of semi-trucks. As proposed, The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2011would allow states to increase the maximum allowed weight of trucks to 97 tons and trailer lengths to nearly 84 feet. The American Trucking Association claims such changes are necessary for American companies to remain competitive citing weight limits in both Canada and Mexico that favor heavier trucks. Estimates by the ATA see U.S. trucks hauling 30 percent more tonnage in 2021 than today, requiring an 18% increase in trucks and a 27% increase in miles travelled. Notable opponents of SETA 2011 include the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and AAA. Both foresee increased dangers of larger trucks relating to increased weight and mechanical failures. The Collation against Bigger Trucks sites a year 2000 DOT safety study that found larger trucks to be a danger to the driving public. It should be noted that CABT is funded by the railroad industry. Heavier trucks also call into question the sad state of our national infastructure. Can our bridges and roads support the increased weight of larger trucks? The video below captures the different view points very well. Some truckers like it, some don’t, and the public is mostly scared.
Sources: Commerical Carrier Journal; Philly.com