Author: Joe Puff
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With crumbling highways and a lack of funds, are heavier trucks really the way to go? Maybe, according to a Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT) article.
Earlier this month, Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis) introduced legislation that would allow states to choose to increase truck weight limits. The Congressman discussed this legislation, stating that increasing truck weight would probably also increase productivity and safety, and make companies more competitive.
Reading this made me recall an article on this topic, written this past summer for HDT by Editor in Chief, Deborah Lockridge. The article, “5 arguments for heavier trucks,” details how increasing truck weight can actually lead to the results Rep. Reid discussed. The article enumerates the benefits as:
- More axles, less road damage – By spreading the weight across multiple axles, there’s actually less weight per axle; thus less road damage.
- More axles, more brakes, greater safety – Not only do the additional brakes create a safer environment, but if heavier trucks carrier heavier loads, that results in less trucks on the road and that can mean less crashes.
- More cost-effective shipping – Transporting goods by putting more load on less trucks will ultimately benefit a shipper’s bottom line. Since transportation is a major cost to manufacturers, cutting that cost is essential to growth.
- More payload, less fuel consumption, less emission – Bigger trucks carry more goods (see #3 above) and that means less trucks necessary. That cuts emissions. Even if the mpg on a heavier truck is slightly higher, if you can ship double the goods on a single truck rather than on two trucks, you are, again, reducing the overall GHG emissions.
- More weight, less drivers needed – If one of the greatest industry concerns is the driver shortage, needing less drivers may mitigate that problem.
We’ll keep an eye on how Rep. Ribble’s proposed legislation fares in the Congress. Stay tuned.