Under SETA, each state would have the option to set interstate weight limits of up to 97,000 pounds for trucks equipped with six axles instead of the typical five. (Photo by Jim Park)
At the urging of The Coalition for Transportation Productivity, the Safe Efficient Transportation Act has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) and Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio)as H.R. 763.
SETA would, if passed, increase the federal weight limits on Interstate Highways. The bill’s reintroduction comes as Congress considers the first Highway Reauthorization package in more than six years.
The U.S. federal weight limit has been set at 80,000 pounds since 1982 – forcing shippers that meet this limit with space left in their trailers to use more trucks and fuel than necessary. The goal of SETA is to make truck transportation safer and more sustainable by giving states the ability to adjust federal weight limits on interstates within their borders.
Under SETA, each state would have the option to set interstate weight limits of up to 97,000 pounds — giving shippers the ability to utilize more truck space. The higher weight limit would only apply to trucks equipped with six axles instead of the typical five. Without making the truck any larger, the additional axle maintains safety specifications, including stopping capability and current weight per tire.
“SETA provides a critical opportunity for Congress to enact a Highway Reauthorization proposal that modernizes American truck shipping standards in order to protect motorists and the environment, and give U.S. manufacturers and producers a competitive edge,” said CTP Executive Director John Runyan. “Many shippers hit the 30-year-old federal weight limit with significant space left in their rigs and must use more truckloads, fuel and vehicle miles than necessary to get products to market. â€¦ Six-axle trucks can safely handle more weight, so American companies can utilize more rig space, minimize the trucks they need to meet demand and reduce their dependency on foreign oil.”
According to CTP, the current 80,000-lb weight limit places U.S. industry at a competitive disadvantage when compared to producers in Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
“Without SETA, the inefficiency we are experiencing will only worsen,” notes Runyan. “The American Trucking Associations estimates that the trucking industry will haul 30 percent more tonnage in 2021 than it does today. If current weight restrictions remain the same, that means our economy will require 18 percent more trucks on the road driving 27 percent more miles than they do now. If lawmakers look at the facts, we are confident that SETA will be included in the long-awaited Highway Reauthorization package.”
The Coalition for Transportation Productivity is a coalition of more than 180 shippers and allied associations dedicated to addressing the safety, economic and environmental challenges facing our nation’s freight transportation network through carefully crafted truck weight reform.
More info: www.transportationproductivity.org.
Government/Regulations: Related News
2/21/2011 – House Reintroduces Safe Efficient Transportation Act
At the urging of The Coalition for Transportation Productivity, the Safe Efficient Transportation Act has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) and Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio)as H.R. 763….
2/18/2011 – Safety Groups May Accept Hours of Service Proposal
A spokesman for the organizations that sued the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration over hours of service rules said the agency’s proposed changes might be enough to get them to drop their suit. Henry Jasney, general counsel of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, would not say the groups won’t retutn to court, but said the changes in the proposed rule do correct some of the problems the court found in previous rulings against FMCSA….
2/18/2011 – Right to Repair Act Reintroduced in Massachusetts
The Right to Repair Act has been introduced in Massachusetts for the 2011-12 legislative session. The 2011 legislation is sponsored by Rep. Garrett Bradley (D-Hingham) and Sen. John Hart (D-South Boston) and has over 60 co-sponsors….
2/18/2011 – DeFazio Bill Would Mandate Pay for Excessive Detention Time
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., introduced a bill that would require the Department of Transportation to study industry detention practices and establish a maximum number of hours that drivers may be detained without being paid….
2/17/2011 – TIMTC, U.S. DOT to Sponsor Policy Issues Webinar Focusing On Truck Wireless Communication Technologies
Trucking industry stakeholders are invited to participate in a free webinar to discuss key policy and institutional challenges that could impact fleet adoption of new wireless communication technologies….
2/17/2011 – California Dump Truckers Sue CARB to Overturn Emission Rule
Calling the regulation “overreaching,” the California Dump Truck Owners Association has filed suit against the California Air Resources Board challenging the legality of board’s Truck and Bus Regulation….
2/17/2011 – ATA: Independent Review Casts Serious Doubt on HOS Proposal
An independent review of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service “Regulatory Impact Analysis” has found the Agency wildly overstated the proposal’s benefits….
2/16/2011 – FMCSA Extends HOS Comment Period to Cover Additional Documentation and Clerical Amendments
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published a notice advising it will extend the HOS comment period to March 4 from February 28. The additional time is to allow for review of addition documentation recently submitted to the public document by the Agency. …
2/15/2011 – Obama Administration Proposed Budget Aims to Streamline Transportation Spending
President Barack Obama’s proposed budget calls for a $556 billion, six-year transportation funding plan that would lump the Highway Trust Fund in with other funds into a single Transportation Trust Fund and streamline the number of transportation-related programs — but it’s not clear where the funding will come from….
2/15/2011 – Manitoba and Saskatchewan Sign Regulatory Memorandum of Understanding
The Provincial Governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Harmonization of Regulations and Cooperation on Transportation Issues. …
2/9/2011 – Pegasus TransTech Enables Drivers to Provide Instant HOS Feedback
In response to requests from a number of its fleet customers, Pegasus TransTech is providing drivers with a free and easy method to provide feedback to the Department of Transportation concerning the proposed hours of service (HOS) regulation changes….
2/8/2011 – Budget Debate Begins with Proposal to Cut Transport Programs
House Budget Committee Chairman Hal Rogers kicked off this year’s budget process with a plan that includes a 17 percent cut for highway and housing programs. The Kentucky Republican said that the $74 billion in overall cuts his committee envisions constitute a responsible and prudent level of funding for the rest of the fiscal year….
2/7/2011 – TransCore Analysis of CSA Numbers Shows More Carriers Have Alerts than under SafeStat
In its analysis of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new CSA program data, TransCore found that there are significant state and regional differences in particular BASIC scores and that more carriers have alerts under CSA than they did under the previous SafeStat figures….
2/4/2011 – Mica Announces Transportation Bill Field Hearings, Public Forums
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) announced the locations for a series of national field hearings and public forums on pending major surface transportation legislation….
2/2/2011 – Questions Arise About Study Used to Justify 34-Hour Restart Change
Some of the scientific evidence used to justify changes in the 34-hour restart provision is being questioned by the trucking industry.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is relying in part on a two-part study conducted at Washington State University to say that the 34-hour restart should include two nights of rest….
2/1/2011 – New Proposal Would Greatly Expand EOBR Use
The new proposal on electronic onboard reporters vastly expands the rule the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration put out less than a year ago….
1/31/2011 – FMCSA Proposes EOBR Mandate for All Interstate Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing that all interstate trucks and buses be equipped with electronic onboard recorders to track driver hours….
1/31/2011 – Judge Puts Minnesota Fatigue Program to Sleep
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the Minnesota State Patrol’s use of CVSA Level III inspections to determine fatigue violates truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights….
1/28/2011 – PHMSA Proposes Flammables Ban in Wetlines
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed a rule that would prohibit transport of flammable liquids in the pipes beneath cargo tanks….
1/28/2011 – Fatigue Study Provides Basis for 34-Hour Restart Proposal
The 34-hour restart gives daytime drivers a chance to catch up on their rest, but it does not work as well for night drivers. In fact, it may even be detrimental to driver performance.
That’s the conclusion of a study the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is using to justify its proposal that the restart include two periods of rest between midnight and 6 a.m….
1/28/2011 – Canada Rolls Out New Road Safety Strategy
Canada’s Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety have approved a new five-year Road Safety Strategy under which Canada will continue to strive to have the safest roads in the world….
1/28/2011 – FMCSA to Hold Public Listening Session on Hours-of-Service Proposed Rule
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced today that it will hold a public listening session on its hours-of-service proposal Feb. 17 in Arlington, Va….
1/25/2011 – ATRI Suggests Alternative Approach to Safety Compliance
A trucking industry research group has put together a concept for how carriers might improve their safety performance without following traditional compliance requirements….
1/24/2011 – ATA Mounts Assault on HOS Proposal
American Trucking Associations is gearing up a multi-front campaign to stop the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposal to change the hours of service rules….
1/24/2011 – New York DOT Official Charged with Accepting Bribes
A DOT official in New York State has been charged with taking bribes from the trucking companies he was supposed to be inspecting….
1/19/2011 – President Signs Executive Order Addressing Regulation Concerns
While speakers at a heavy-duty aftermarket event in Las Vegas were discussing how concern about government regulations has given business pause, President Obama yesterday signed an executive order aimed at tackling criticism that regulations are stifling business and the economy….
1/17/2011 – Legal Fight Against EOBRs Proceeds
With a proposal to expand the requirement for electronic onboard recorders pending in the regulatory pipeline, owner-operators are fighting a legal action against the limited recorder requirement that is scheduled to take effect next year….
1/13/2011 – Cell-phone and Texting Laws Compiled
The American Trucking Associations State Laws Newsletter is reporting that rhe Governors Highway Safety Association has issued a compilation of state laws that limit or prohibit drivers’ use of cell phones or texting….
1/11/2011 – NC/VA Reciprocity Agreement Cancelled
The American Trucking Associations State Laws Newsletter is reporting that effective January 21, 2011, a permitting reciprocity agreement between North Carolina and Virginia will be cancelled….
1/11/2011 – CSA Materials Available at Truckstops
Beginning January 12, brochures and pocket cards about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new CSA enforcement program will be available for commercial motor vehicle drivers at hundreds of travel centers across the country….
1/11/2011 – Florida Extends Ease on Trucking Regs Through Jan 14
To give growers more time to haul their crops to packing facilities, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is extending an executive order relaxing trucking restrictions through Jan. 14….
1/7/2011 – OOIDA Says Mexican Border Deal Cost American Jobs, Provides No Reciprocal Benefits
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association responded to the Obama Administration’s overture to the Mexican truckers saying if the proposed deal goes through, American drivers will lose work to Mexican carriers who do not bear similar compliance costs….