Congress may consider legislation to improve America’s transportation infrastructure when the current highway funding bill expires at the end of 2020. This effort could open options for increasing the allowed truck weights on interstate highways up to 91,000 pounds. The current weight limit is 80,000 pounds, but the increase would save dairy companies hundreds of millions of dollars in transportation costs, according to a recent analysis by Blimling and Associates.
The funding bill also could address the current shortage of truck drivers and restrictive hours-of-service regulations that hamper dairy’s delivery efforts.
Current federal truck-weight limits were set in 1982, and many advancements in paving and safety technology have taken place since then. IDFA believes it’s time to modernize the regulations and supports establishing a federal pilot program to evaluate the safety of increased truck weights on interstate highways. IDFA also supports bipartisan legislation, called the DRIVE Safe Act (S. 569), that would build a bigger base of drivers by creating an apprenticeship program to train 18 to 21 years of age and allow them to drive across state lines.
Although the highway funding bill doesn’t expire for another year, IDFA is promoting these options now with lawmakers and policy makers.
For more information, contact Donald Grady, IDFA director, legislative affairs, at email@example.com.