TCA Sends Letter to House Stating Concern Over Truck Weights
On April 5th, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) wrote a letter to the House panel stating their opposition to changing truck weights. Currently, the federal gross vehicle weight limit is 80,000-pound for trucks with a fifth axle.
According to the letter, “the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is the only national trade association whose sole focus is the truckload segment of the trucking industry, which consists of over 524,000 companies within the U.S., operating millions of power units.”
TCA President John Lyboldt shared that the TCA fears the leaders of both the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations will allow freight shipping trucks to carry a maximum of 91,000 pounds with the addition of a 6th axle.
“While this change in operation attempts to improve trucking productivity on our highways, it clearly would only benefit a minority of carriers, while forcing the rest of the industry either to divert critical resources into these new configurations or risk becoming obsolete.”
“Truckload’s shift from 48’ trailers to 53’ trailers was exactly this issue, only in reverse,” Lyboldt said, sharing some historical data. “Shippers who filled trailers by volume before maximizing the allowable weight put pressure on industry to move to 53’ trailers. Like the proposal today, there were pilot programs prior to it being legalized across the nation. Only half of the loads cubed out before they weighed out, yet the entire industry was forced to move.”
In addition to sharing past struggles with industry changes, TCA also cited the financial implications of which a small trucking fleet with “100 trucks you’d be retrofitting 300 trailers and forced to reinvest between $900,000.00 and $1,500,000.00.”
The three-page letter concluded by reiterating the TCA’s firm “no-weight change” stance, but offered their willingness to engage in open dialogue to improve “overall transportation efficiency and productivity on our nation’s highways.”