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Heavier trucks would divert traffic away from Class Is, study shows


Allowing heavier trucks on interstates would add 7 million to 18 million more trucks on U.S. highways and subtract a big chunk from Class Is’ traffic, according to a recent study cited by the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks (CABT).

An increase in maximum truck weight from the current 80,000-pound limit to 97,000 pounds could reduce overall Class I traffic by 19 percent while an increase in longer combination vehicles (LCVs) — long double- and triple-trailer trucks — could divert as much as 36 percent of Class Is’ traffic to truck, according to the study, which was conducted by independent transportation consultant Carl Martland.

If more states allow 97,000-pound, six-axle trucks, 7.8 million truck trips worth of freight would be added to highways; longer LCVs could add 17.4 million truck trips worth of freight, the study found.

“Allowing heavier or longer trucks takes us in the wrong direction,” said Curtis Sloan, policy director for CABT, which opposes efforts to increase truck weight and size, including the recently reintroduced Safe & Efficient Transportation Act (H.R. 763). “Raising the maximum truck weight will divert freight from railroads, add millions of heavy trucks onto our roads and add more strain on budgets at all levels.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/23/2011