A Congressional move to allow 91,000-pound trucks on U.S. highways wouldn’t necessarily be a boon for the trucking industry.
In fact, according to one national association, it would do more to hurt the trucking industry’s productivity than help it. Writing to Rep. Reid Ribble regarding his recently proposed legislation to give states the option to allow heavier trucks within their borders, the Truckload Carriers Association recently expressed its disapproval of the proposed legislation.
The SAFE Trucking Act, as Ribble named his bill, would carry with it expensive trailer retrofitting costs, more expensive tractors and trailers, lower fuel economy and higher maintenance spending, the letter states. “While this provision attempts to improve trucking productivity on our highways, it clearly would only benefit a minority of the industry,” TCA writes in its letter, which is signed by the Chairman Keith Tuttle and policy committee chair Jim Towery.
The Truckload Carriers Association indicated that equipment upgrades could cost up to $25,000 per tractor-trailer, cited CCJ in its news article.
Such a cost would “yield little to no return” for a large majority of U.S. carriers. Carriers likely wouldn’t see rate increases with 91,000-pound loads, TCA says in its letter, but all carriers would face “market pressure” to equip their entire fleets with the necessary upgrades to haul heavier loads.
At least one trucking industry executive–Werner COO Derek Leathers–echoed TCA’s concerns earlier this month.
Image from ccjdigital.com; featured image from pixabay.com/skeeze