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FHWA sets deadline for size and weight comments

You must comment on the Federal Highway Safety Administration's study regarding truck size and weights by Oct. 13 if you want those comments considered as part of the agency's report to Congress. So said the agency in a Sept. 10 notice in the Federal Register.

On June 5, FHWA released the technical results of its study of certain safety, infrastructure and efficiency issues surrounding federal truck size and weight limits and the potential consequences of changing those limits. At that time, Congress was - and still is - considering a proposal to allow 33-foot twin trailers, and the American Trucking Associations slammed the Department of Transportation for the timing of what DOT itself acknowledged as an incomplete report.

“Given the timing of the release of this study, it is an obvious attempt to promote administration policy, rather than give Congress the unbiased information it requested," said ATA President Bill Graves. "It is appalling that after years of saying the study would not make recommendations, DOT officials would release this report – and recommend no change in current law – just days after the White House came out opposing truck productivity increases."

Graves went on to say that use of the 33-foot twins in Florida and North Dakota show the benefits of the configuration.

However, less than two weeks later 15 truckload carriers - some of them among the nation's largest - asked the Senate Appropriations Committee to reject a provision allowing widespread use of 33-foot twin trailers.

“This measure would have a negative impact on highway safety, accelerate wear and tear on the nation’s highway system, and make it very difficult for small trucking companies, which are the heart of our industry, to compete,” executives of the truckload carriers said in the letter.

Comments on the FHWA study may be submitted and viewed here.

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