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Federal study recommends no changes to truck size and weight

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“The U.S. DOT’s Federal Highway Administration believes there’s no need to increase current truck size and weight limits on America’s highways. The administration, in technical reports issued Friday, June 5, says too many gaps exist in current data about safety and other factors to recommend any changes to current limits. OOIDA leadership is pleased with the results.

“Lawmakers periodically face lobbying efforts by large shippers and carriers to increase the size and weight of trucks on the nation’s highways. Those efforts face significant pushback from small-business truckers and various other groups including safety groups. 

“OOIDA’s position is that the current 80,000 pounds on five axles should continue to be frozen on interstates, taking into account that a number of states have allowed more weight on more axles since before the current freeze was implemented.

“OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer says that an increase in the current limits would pose safety risks on the highways. 

“Adequately preparing drivers for the challenges of the job has never been a priority for federal agencies,” he said. “The absence of any kind of meaningful training regulations – couple that with an infrastructure that is in bad need of upgrades. The bigger and heavier argument is generally made by those doing the bidding for competitive reasons. As we know, any benefits that accrue never go to drivers or truck operators, yet everybody ends up paying the price for the increased cost that this kind of trucking generates.”

“Before undertaking the current study, the last time the Federal Highway Administration studied comprehensive truck sizes and weights was in 2000.”

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