The short line industry stands against initiatives to increase the size or weight of trucks on our nation’s highways. Heavier trucks present public safety issues, as well as increase the need for road and bridge maintenance – both costs that are heavily underwritten by the American taxpayer.
Railroads, particularly short lines, can serve the public good and the local economy by providing an efficient means of transporting goods – particularly those that are bulky or heavy.
ASLRRA joined a letter urging the Senate and House Appropriations committees to oppose any legislation, including any “pilot programs”, that would increase maximum truck weight limits on federal highways beyond the current standard of 80,000 pounds. Any change overturning current federal weight laws allowing heavier tractor-trailers will negatively impact highway safety and congestion, infrastructure, and business.
Truck Size and Weight Perspective
Truck diversion studies have shown that an increase in allowed total gross truck weights from 80,000 to 91,000 pounds (but with no change in trailer length) is estimated to result in the diversion of 2.6 million annual railroad carloads and 1.8 million intermodal units to the roadways. Alternatively, an increase of truck weights to 120,000 pounds combined with twin 33-foot trailers leads to a predicted diversion of 7.5 million annual rail carloads and 8.5 million diverted intermodal shipments – increasing congestion, road damage.
CABT Traffic Diversion Study