DOT to give truck size and weight increase update on May 6

| April 15, 2014

oversized load flatbed


Size and weight increases: Groups fight legislation in Washington, report finds negative impacts

Several trucking groups took to Washington, D.C., this week to note their opposition to any increases to truck size and weight limits. A recent study, ...

The Federal Highway Administration will be holding an open-to-the-public webinar May 6 to provide an update on the MAP-21 required study on truck size and weight limits, the agency announced April 15 in the Federal Register.

FHWA says the update will “include an update on the technical analysis and project schedule” of the Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study. The study, required by Congress in MAP-21, seeks to find the impacts on safety, infrastructure and enforcement of increasing the size and weight limits of trucks, along with the effects on freight movement.

The webinar will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern May 6, and those interested in tuning in can register on FHWA’s site. Click here to register or see more details.

This is the third public session FHWA has held on the size and weight study.


Industry stakeholders tell Congress size and weight increase good for economy, efficiency

Upping the size and weight limits for trucks on U.S. roads would reduce traffic, help road conditions and help the trucking industry absorb growth in ...

There are currently two bills in Congress dealing with size and weight increases — one that would freeze current limits and one that would let states raise weight limits to 97,000 pounds.

And with work on the next highway bill heating up, a coalition of trucking, safety and enforcement groups took to Capitol Hill last week to voice their opposition to any size and weight limit increases. Click here to see Overdrive’s coverage of the event.

study released last week by Marshall University also added fuel to the opposition fire, pointing toward higher fatality rates for larger and heavier trucks when involved in crashes, along with strong opposition from drivers and enforcers. Click here for more on the study.

  • vrahnos

    97000 pounds would be a help as long there is axels added to the tractor/trailer to haul that much weight.The extra axels would also have to have foundation brakes on them like the rest of the rig as well.Otherwise it would be better to keep the weights at the currant level.

  • localnet

    More insanity, 97,000 pounds, and what, 62′ trailers? 53′ is bad enough, as anyone that has been in the industry knows… And that much weight is just unsafe in my book, along with the associated costs of hauling that much weight, ie., wear and tear on equipment and fuel costs immediately come to mind.

  • localnet

    They want to reduce traffic congestion? How about we get rid of these stupid new HOS regs, and let the driver decide when it is best to drive, or park the damn truck until after, or before “rush” hour, the way we used to do. Now we are at the mercy of Big Brothers 14 hour clock that never stops. The insanity of it all is mind numbing.

  • jim stewart

    It’s simply amazing for me to hear drivers today who still believe that increasing the weight limit will somehow help us all out.. I know there’s a few older drivers around including myself who remember those truckers out here who couldn’t wait to go from 73,280 to 80,000 back in the seventies thinking about all the extra money that would be made. Well while weights go up, rates don’t… WOW, is stupid going to repeat itself over again? Just ask most these container jockeys who haul under those special intermodal heavy weight permits how much extra they make on port runs with 100,000 plus pounds of frozen chickens or anything else the shipper can stuff in an overweight container. I just saw another help wanted ad this morning placed by a major intermodal port carrier who bragged about the $25.00 extra they paid their owner-op’s for overweight runs to Atlanta, GA.. Yes, $25 bucks extra for a 260 mile run! Now that’s smart business.. Those drivers who believe we should haul heavier should use all that extra overweight income to go see a head doctor!

  • localnet

    And that is the bottom line to, more money… Or, as you stated so eloquently, more freight moved for FREE! Because that is what will come of this, just like, as you stated, we went from more weight to longer trailers. I was around back then too, the rates never changed, hell, they went down and fuel shot up.

  • quentinjones

    I make great money when i haul 90000 plus. Because my loads are paid to me based on bushels i haul. The further i drive the more it is per bushel. But if i can haul 1500 bushel of corn opposed to 900 bushelthen i make more. So yes i want the legal weight to be changed. Because when im cruising at 97000 and get pulled over and ticketed for overweight or over axle, there goes what i make on that load straight to the dot. I dont want to hassle with limitations. I will buy a trailer with a third axle if thats what they want. So long as the weight is 100000 instead of 80000. I can move more per load and yes i make more per load.

  • USMC 69-75

    But yet you apparently have no concern about safety, and the bogus facts that we are tearing up the roads and bridges….. the average driver has a hard time maneuvering 80,000 lbs, pushing in cab cameras, e logs, lane restrictions etc.etc then they want to increase our weight, and reduce our braking power even more. If you can’t make a GOOD living at 80,000 you have a problem. If you want to place greed above safety, you have a problem. Not only is it unsafe, but a lot more wear and tear on my equipment, without the proper rate increase, that will eventually be cut by brokers and cut throat carries, that have even less concern about safety and more concern about the bottom line!

  • Ken Keith

    I pulled one of the first 53’s while all the parking lots were still marked for 48s. Talk about awkward. Got cussed a bunch and pulled into every coop. What I didn’t see was a rise in my check.

  • mel

    No you would make less dummy because they will just drop the rate per bushel or per hundred wt which ever you currently use now. SOME PEOPLE NEVER WILL LEARN

  • mel

    Now I just read on your previous discussions that you don’t drive anymore. I DOUTHAT you ever did. SO why would you even put your 2 cent in ? Stay out of it let us big boys figure it out. We are the ones going to deal with it Not you.

  • Spence

    You and Mel are both right on. Most trucks and trailers with tandem axles like I have aren’t built strong enough and don’t have heavy enough frames and suspension to handle the increased weights. In Colorado where I live they have a permit you can buy to gross 97,000, but you still can’t run on the interstate or certain state roads because of the bridge laws. In the long term I don’t think anyone is going to come out ahead. That’s how I look at it.

  • rebelcowboy8175

    I deliver oilfield equipment and most of the equipment will exceed 90000 lbs than we have too get permits I hope they raise the load limit

  • Spence

    True. In western states like Idaho you can pull a train with a 38 or 40 foot tandem axle lead trailer and a 20 foot pup trailer with two single axles. One on front and one on back and gross 106,000 pounds. I think that’s how it is but then I could be wrong. In eastern Colorado where I live the weight limit is 85,000 and you can buy a permit to gross 97,000, but you still can’t gross over 80,000 on the interstate or gross more than 85,000 on certain state highways. You also can’t pull a train unless you have a designated route and stick to it. As bad as the roads are in eastern Colorado I really can’t see where the increased weight is going to benefit anybody in the long term unless the state gets their act together and starts fixing roads which I don’t see happening anytime soon. One other problem I see is that most trucks and trailers with tandem axles aren’t really built well strong enough to sustain the increased weights. That’s how I see it.

  • Luc Bouchard

    First step could be why not use the same HOS like in CANADA 13 Hours drivng or 14 Hours on duty on 16 Hours recap 10 Hours rest (1+1+8 also) !!!

  • vrahnos

    I hear what you are saying.Not all western states have heavy haul laws like we do here in the northwest.Calif will only haul up to 80,000 with out a permit.Others like Nevada let a truck haul up to 150,000 on two or three trailers(mostly A trains)So that kind of hauling isn’t the same all over the west.

  • quentinjones

    Wow, I sense an anger issue….Seek help…

  • USMC 69-75

    What reason would Mel have to be angry?????? Not that the fuel is out of this world, taxes steadily rising, e logs, and in cab cameras being shoved down our throats, not to mention all the rights and freedoms that are being stolen every day under the guise of safety, education, or some other bogus claim….. nah he hasn’t got any reason at all to be angry or upset! Not to mention people that don’t know squat about our business, tell us how great it would be, while they just sit at a computer????? You are the ones that need help!

  • USMC 69-75

    10-4 and Amen

  • USMC 69-75

    I pulled one of those first 57’s out of Fort Worth up 35 to I believe it was OK city. I’ve pulled double 48’s on the NY thruway for sometime…..but that dang thing was a nightmare. If memory serves me correctly, that bad overhang beat my old cabover and me to death. Not to mention the mall I delivered to had one dock (in the front of the store.) Good thing I got there at night, getting out with all the four wheelers around was a nightmare too! I didn’t see anything extra for that load either, and pulling doubles on the thruway was only a $.02 per mile increase in pay, and I believe it was like 10 or 15 for every break up!
    But I use really get a chuckle out of the drivers not paying attention and would give you the lights when the first trailer got by, not realizing there was another right behind it. Horns blowing lights going cray, guys hitting the shoulder for fear you would come over on them, coming on the CB and apologizing for not realizing there were two trailers. I’d just laugh and let them know it happened all the time.

  • USMC 69-75

    Because the DOT down here can’t keep up with the HOS as it is, they need made simple by big brother, so they don’t have to take off their socks and shoes to do the recap, and total hrs driven verse off etc.etc….so they just want everybody to run the same and use e-logs so their job is a lot easier, and will generate more revenue. It amazes me the number of DOT that couldn’t do a simple recap with the old 60/70

  • USMC 69-75

    The company your pulling the load for should be paying the permit included in your rate, but if I’m not mistaken oil field equipment is regulated a little more lenient than regular road trucks??? So why give up safety for the multitudes when it isn’t costing you anymore money, in fact if they raise the weight, you’ll loose that permit fee and your rate will drop????

  • big ed

    To all of you that thinks it a good ideal to have more weight look at the steel in Kentucky and Indiana 1 1/2 year ago price was 1.50 per hundred weight for loades 80, 000 now we haul 120, 000 for .73 cents per hundred weight

  • Don

    I run mostly in Nv. where it is common place to see combinations from 5 to 9 axles. With permits we run up to 129000 with 9 axles. Those things can be a pain to stop. Now they want to raise for everyone??? What about all the newbies who can barely haul 80 with a 48 or 53??? They will f-up more shit. Ive been runnin 15 yrs doing different jobs. I ran a 3 axle wreacker in the mtns of cali and most of the trucks I had to go rescue were nubie otr driver who thought the “no trucks” or “king pin to rear axle over 30′ not advised” were a joke just because the nav system said to go that way. If they want to up the weights… they need to have a system or something that allows experienced drivers to run those loads with the appropriate pay.

  • steve4447

    As far as the shipper is concerned …there will never be a truck large enough…They could be as big as a cruise ship….They would still say that they need to be bigger…

    And HOS …If Drivers would demand to be paid…The whole HOS thing would not matter….Just keep giving it away…And they will keep taking it….If you want to work for FREE….Stop by my place …I know I can find something for you to do…24/7…

  • B Dubya

    Please remember, Jim, that some of us actually do get paid more for a heavier load. Personally, trying to fulfill my customers order usually puts me between 82k & 85k, which means not only do I make a little more on each load, with the increased weight allowance I’d be legal. Personally, I’d be happy if the increase was limited to 85k.

  • B Dubya

    The reason freight rates go down isn’t limited to the loads getting heavier. Part of the equation is that there are more and more carriers competing for the same freight, which leads to cut-throat “competition”. The fleet owners are t going to accept less money if they can help it. The cost of maintenance doesn’t go down. So, what is the easiest thing to cut that they control? Driver pay.

    If you want to advocate for something, think about advocating for a return to the old days of rate regulation: Every carrier charges the same for freight services between point A and point B. Not only will that stop the cut-throat “competition”, it will force the carriers to compete on the basis of good customer service. And that can’t help but rub off on the drivers.

  • mousekiller

    Exception to the rule. Not in the freight business. farm and ag is a whole nuther thing.

  • Jim Stout

    Sizes of vehicles shouldn’t be increased until the roads are improved to handle them. Current-sized 53′ rigs are faced with negotiating roads established a century ago with engineers who delight in placing curbing at intersections and traffic circles to damage our tires. Turns on old roads require the use of four or five traffic lanes with four-wheelers unable to comprehend why we “run them off the road.” No, no increases until we are able to get from the interstates to the warehouses.

  • serutcip1

    Check out the movie the grapes of wrath boy you truckers are dumb if u don’t …. they will increase the limit cut the price per bushel and u make the same if not less it’s simple economic history bound to repeat it self till we put our foot down if you want to haul more weight the driver and only the driver should be aloud to buy a permit to do so that way the company’s have no say so and the driver can say so so that it suits his pocket book and forces him to provide he can haul the wight with bridge laws and axels and tax him on the over weight permit based on the increased profit he will make that way there is a measure of keeping things in check…. lastly let him decide where that tax money goes instead of a greedy politician!

  • Cary Davis

    Again… Acception to the rule… There always will be. By no means would this or the guy hauling AG be the majority of freight movement in America.

  • Cary Davis

    Jim has it right so far!

  • Cary Davis

    This information is located at:—Complete-Version
    I think you need to re-evaluate your thinking here. According to the statistics the amount of carriers in the in United States is currently in a death spiral…I copied a few for you to look at, but at no point since 2002 has there been an increase in carriers. It is always steadily declining.!!!!

    As of August 2002, 585,677 interstate motor carriers are registered with the USDOT’s Office of Motor Carriers.

    11,500 carriers went out of business between 2001 and 2003, 5,000 trucking firms went out of business in 2003 alone.

    2008 Over 3,000 trucking companies, mainly small companies and owner-operators, went out of business
    2011 over 7,800 trucking companies went out of business.

  • B Dubya

    Ive read lots of the comments so far. I advocate for an increase weight limit (to 85k) simply because most of the time I’m between 80k and 85k. Raising the limit wouldn’t make me start loading that much more, but it would keep me within the rules and less subject to an overweight ticket.

    All the comments I read; the complaints, the reasoning behind this or that, would all be solved by re-regulating the trucking industry. At the very minimum, regulation of the freight rates point A and point B would be the same, no matter what name is on the truck. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.