Numerous organizations recently voiced their opposition to the prospect of larger trucks being allowed on the nation's highways.
The Coalition Against Bigger Trucks sent a letter to Rep. Sam Graves and Rep. Rick Larsen, leaders of the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure asking them to "oppose any legislation that would increase maximum truck weight or length limits on federal highways."
The coalition, which includes the Teamsters, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Institute for Safer Trucking, said it is opposed "to any legislation that would raise truck weight limits as part of a 'pilot program,' including the 91,000-pound pilot program originally found in H.R. 471, the SHIP IT Act, and any state or commodity exemptions or waivers of current federal limits that may be offered as a stand-alone provision."
Key to the group's opposition to larger trucks is their detrimental effect on the nation's infrastructure, especially its bridges.
"A recent analysis of over 470,000 local bridges (The Impact of Heavier Trucks on Local Bridges, March 2023) found over 72,000 could not safely accommodate 91,000-pound trucks," the coalition's letter said. "These local bridges would need to be posted and eventually replaced, costing over $60.8 billion."
The letter also cited the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, which gave the nation’s roads a grade of “D" and its bridges a “C.". The group also said the ASCE report said 42 percent of the bridges in this country are at least 50 years old and 7.5 percent are structurally deficient. According to ASCE, the estimate for the nation’s backlog of bridge repair needs is $125 billion.
Organizations signing the letter included:
- 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
- Coalition Against Bigger Trucks