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Overdrive Staff | September 01, 2011

“The Department of Transportation has created an inequitable system where some states, including Maine, must seek individual exemptions from year to year while 27 states benefit from permanent exemptions,” said Snowe, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Presently, trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds in the remaining 23 states must either unload cargo or travel to their destination on winding secondary roads through small towns.

During a recent pilot program allowing six-axle trucks up to 100,000 pounds on Maine’s interstates, there were 14 fewer crashes compared to the previous year and no fatalities involving six-axle trucks.

The Commercial Truck Safety Act would end the need for states to seek individual weight limit exemptions from Congress by granting states like Maine the authority to petition the Secretary of Transportation for a permanent waiver.

The legislation would authorize the Secretary to institute a three-year pilot program waiving the weight limit and requiring the creation of a safety committee, which would determine whether the exemption should become permanent.

— Staff reports


Illinois changes weight regs

Beginning Jan. 1, Illinois will begin allowing a maximum truck weight of 80,400 pounds if an auxiliary power unit is used.

Also, when a truck’s registered gross weight is 77,000 pounds or exceeds certain weight limits by up to 2,000 pounds, the owner or operator must remove the excess weight.

A law that became effective July 28 allows dual semi-trailer hitching using a single pivot point.

— Staff reports



Wanted: Truck stops for electrification

Shorepower Technologies is seeking truck stops with at least 75 parking spaces to participate in a national truck stop electrification program to reduce idling.

Through the federally funded Shorepower Truck Electrification Project, qualifying truck stops can receive a complete TSE system at no cost to them. Shorepower will handle everything from construction through grand opening. Truck stop operators will share revenues with Shorepower.

Installations will take place over 18 months, but Shorepower needs to select the sites by September, the company says.

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