Increased federal weight limits: Voices against

| November 19, 2013

highway road

Owner-operator Cary Goodman joined others in commenting on October news about Congressional hearings on the notion of raising the weight limit on federal highways to 97,000 lbs. with the addition of a third trailer axle. It’s been a perennial subject of discussion led by shipper interests, among others — find in this linked post mention of reporting on the issue from the year 2007, when the collapse of the Minneapolis I-35W bridge put a halt to the discussions.  


Infrastructure can’t handle truck size, weight increases, OOIDA says in public session

The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association spoke against changing truck size and weight limits at a Department of Transportation session to gather public feedback.

More weight? No way
As an owner-operator I am totally against this for several reasons. I run a lot out west and am dwarfed by all the heavy haulers that are based out there and have had several conversations with a few of them. They say it isn’t paying for them to haul the extra weight. They feel it has been more or less forced on them as they have to compete for freight. Another thing is: look at the road conditions of the states that allow this extra weight. They’re terrible and in constant repair. And what about the truck manufacturers, who are soon to have minimal fuel mileage standards forced upon them? Where is the line to be drawn? If there is to be a happy medium, let the standard 80,000 lbs. stand but with special provisions in each state to go the 97,000 lbs. properly equipped and permitted on a per-load basis. –Cary Goodman  


Roundup: I-5 bridge collapse weighing heavy, operators flying the flag

Many of the same issues are in the political foreground today around highway regulation and funding as were being debated in 2007 when the Minneapolis ...

Other readers weighed in — no pun intended — on the story, too, in comments here. Here’s a standout: 

Dan Gerster: More damage [would be the result]. We can barely fix the problems we have now. Look at Michigan’s roads — they fix them and they’re worn out in five years. Why give in. 80,000 lbs. is enough. Need more freight moved, hire another driver.

What do you think? 

  • pilgrimm007

    If you increase weight, You’ll increase death rates.
    There are too many Trucks gong over the posted speed limit and too many of them tailgating smaller vehicle. Intimidation of the four wheel seems to be a habit now a days and courtesy is dead and buried. SO increased weights at say 75 will increase stopping distance.
    If you increase weight you need to bring back the 55 mph speed limit .. especially for trucks of the new weight. Yes it will increase delivery times and shippers will probably revert back to the lower weights.
    You will also create unemployment by increasing weight, two trucks will do the job of three!! And there are enough complaints of Drivers square wheeled for days as it is.

    This isn’t the Australian Outback, and we don’t need Road Trains…………… So who stands to profit by this bill being passed? Shippers!!!!

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    we have been hauling 100,000 lbs in New England for decades, if there was a death rate or accident increase it would have been abandoned decades ago, so all you well meaning voices that don’t have a clue, silence is golden.

  • MercenaryMan

    Extra weight on roads thru Chicago, Atlanta and other Citys will destroy roads and bridges even faster, these bridges werent built for this, and you want to place a third axle on every trailer…thats simply Nuts, Imagine those bridges that have collapsed or may collapse…Michigans roads are crumbling, Ohio, Illinois, and that would only get worse. I dont see this as a win for anyone….especially not taxpayers, and will these extra heavy vehicles be taxed differently, NO to the Extra weight

  • MercenaryMan

    New England is a very small percentage of the road….very small

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    like I say, those who don’t know anything more than speculation should be silent

  • horseman

    well, here is my 2 cents, we truckers already are underpaid for the life we have to lead, and the risks we take, not to mention how the families at home suffer when we are away. The reason for adding more wieght as a standard isn’t for our bennifit, we won’t make more money from it, but the companies that already don’t pay enough for what we haul, will save more money for there own pocket because they can get rid of more drivers. so, we put more americans out of work, and the big companies save an extra buck, while what drivers we have left have more wieght, wear and tear (o/op) and i say, what is in it for us the driver/owner opp ?? they already try to under cut O/Op by offering .$.92 a mile, where any GOOD O/O knows that isn’t making money if you add ALL the expenses in a truck, you end up owing a company you leased to because it Really cost every bit of that to run nowa days. why are we giving big frieght companies more of what they want, while they take more of what we need away.?? answer that one… Thanks.

  • rayzer2368

    I don’t think I would like all the extra wear and tear on my equipment. What’s in it for us drivers? Like another driver said, if shippers want more freight hauled, then hire more drivers.

  • Common sense

    Never going to happen….next topic pleas.

  • jackie

    It’s just another way of putting drivers out of work, I remember adding a third trailer,thus putting a driver out of work, while adding stress on the driver making them qualify to pull them, and no extra pay was add to the drivers pay check, oops I lied a extra penny for the third trailer,a whole 5 dollars for a 500 mile run what a joke! And yes it does add to the ware and tear to your equipment,extra ware and tare on your tires axel barring and not to mention the destruction to the highways,and most of all if your involved in a accident,the damage caused by the extra weight! And I’ll guarantee your pay check won’t reflect the extra weight just another scam to screw the driver again or haven’t you noticed the scams in trucking,if you haven’t maybe you need to become a brain doctor

  • jim stewart

    Please drivers don’t fall for this weight increase crap. ,,97,000– Does anyone actually think that the shippers, customers, ports will pay extra for the additional weight? If so i would love to sell you some prime underwater property along the outskirts of the Everglades!!!!!

    How many times must we re-invent the wheel?

    Drivers we made good money back when the standard national weight limit was 73,280..

    OH I still recall the little voices saying we need to raise those weight limits, increase trailer length, wider trailers, OH yes the new CDL is much needed,, It will help regulate and hold drivers to a more professional standard, OH but the TWIC card will make us all safe within the HOMELAND!!!

    OK, how about those expensive DPF filters and EPA approved engines that will be more fuel efficient, save countless lives, and protect the planet from that horrible invisible diesel particulate matter which compared to a suicide bomber is even more vicious!

    Yes, diesel particulate matter, the number one killer of Joe Q Public, and older truckers who have driven, slept in, breathed in, eat in, rode in, and maintained these killer vehicles their entire career never realizing that we as older truckers may never see our 90th birthday because we were without proper EPA protective face mask or clothing while being exposed to that killer 1964 GMC cracker box! ,.

    OH NO drivers,,,, it’s the government regulators, Green Wacko groups, Mothers against drivers who deliver their children’s damn groceries, and the four wheel terrorist safe driver groups who actually are going to kill us dead in the end with over regulation or bad new regulations………

  • Kevin

    Too Heavy To Dangerous Period.

  • Someone Who Care’s

    Instead of heavier weight limits, how about more pay and more fuel surge $$. And set a % limit for brokers of how much they can take and stop double brokering for good! Now that’s what you should be looking at!

  • Mike Smith

    With all the horse shit the government is putting on DRIVERS, using safety as an excuse, why would they try and put the average trucks on the road with 97,000 lbs.

    The gov entertaining the idea of raising the weight limit to 97k is makes it clear to me that the government is wrong headed, and working for the corporations, not the CITIZENS of the USA.

  • mike

    I do not see how one more axel will help the stopping distance of a combination unit of 97,000 lbs. we do not have a good enough understanding of the new stopping regulations for new trucks now. instead of more pay to retain drivers they seem to want the drivers that are left to haul more wt.

  • Life With No Fixed Address

    Increasing the weight limits has nothing to do with efficiency, safety or environmentalism. These are cloaks to disguise the true motivation. And that is to have yet another way for shippers too offload their costs onto the truck AND the taxpayer. The roads in Washington state where they allow heavier trucks are terrible, The depressions in the lanes are dangerously deep, melting under the weight. More fuel is used, there is more wear and tear on the trucks, we have not yet found a good way to reuse tires.

    Bowing continually to the big guys bottom line is slowly but surely be proven as the least best way to go. We need balance. The big shippers are sucking up taxpayer resources to boost profits, pay CEOs vulgar amounts of money and giving back what? Cheap wages, no benefits, a broken infrastructure.

  • Terry Rice

    It would cause the roads in states that are already drowned by debt to add more debt to the already states budget and mostly, owner operators would have to budget more for fuel and repairs when rates are at a low.

  • jbass5

    the lobbyists flying into washington national airport on private jets don’t care how much a driver makes..

  • Ed Sanders

    I did a research paper on this topic a few years back. Highway maintenance can’t keep up now; why would anyone think this would help the problem? The main thing I discovered is how much force it takes to stop a semi weighing 80,000 pounds. Adding the extra axle doesn’t come close to reducing the force inflicted upon the braking system of a semi.

  • wadka176

    reply on tires reuse. Yes we do there is roofing, door mats, truck mud flaps and list go on.

  • sticksnstones

    Seems like poor timing to make a suggestion like this right after that bridge collapse in WA state with people and autos in the water and all of the state budgets still ailing. Is this even federal business? I swear, it seems as if they are just dreaming up stuff to do that they hope they can agree on.
    If lawmakers need something to do with their time they could comb the rulebook for rules and laws to eliminate. Rewrite to streamline them if anything.
    They could spend some time evaluating the power of FMC and other appointed regulatory agencies to trim them down and hand control back to the states. Look into undue influence on these agencies and conflict of interests.

  • Steve

    Yeah We heard the same Crap when we went to 80’000 now we have less freight to haul because every 10 loads gets 1 more truck off the road. The only ones to profit from this is the shipper. The drivers and the owners get to haul,load and unload more freight for the same price as we did when we were at 73’280 . Don’t fall for the same Crap that was pushed on us before

  • Mike Waddell

    ooida is always watching and with our support they will fight for us, as they have been. o/os and drivers should look at them close and join for all our benefit.

  • EF McHenry

    I agreed with almost everyones comment except the comments by the person named Tom and Sheila Hurd! The rest of you pretty much said it all!! Nothing more to add, I’m in full agreement and I’m totally against increasing the weight limit!

  • Del Harris

    Strongly agree with Someone Who Cares, well stated – short and sweet. Really hit the root problems. Address then and make everyone’s life better. Then we cam go forward to tackle all the other important changes needed.

  • Jon McLaughlin

    If and when it comes to it “JUST SAY NO!!!” I seldom haul over 35,000, as the weight rises the rate paid per mile falls. Why should we tear up our equipment for less money. It must be the Democratic way of thinking.

  • rooshooter

    If you look at the readers rig gallery 99% of the photos are from Australia and the bulk of those photos are of B-double configurations. Most those set ups are rated at around 63 tonnes.( metric tonne=2,200 lbs). Up until the later half of the ninties b-doubles were considered road trains and not allowed on busy coastal routes. They now travel most roads that they fit on as economics entered the equation. B-triples and road trains still traverse the interior and are broken at designated locations before entering metro environment. Aussie drivers are well paid as the equipment reflects that and the public pays for it.The skill set in Australia is very demanding and I don’t know what the turn over rate for drivers is.Northwest states( Oregon) allow for 105,000 lb configuration now and it would seem that heavier grosses may be on the way. Truck build requirements in the states is lagging as heavy haul rigs are pretty rare. Driver skill requirements are diminishing at a rapid rate and in my opinion I don’t think the USA is at all ready to make the switch to heavy haul b-double configurations. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.