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Truckload Carriers Association Urges Congress to Say No to Longer Trucks
On the eve of a key vote, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is urging members of Congress to oppose legislation that would force motorists to share the roads with 91-foot-long trucks, saying bigger trucks harm many trucking companies and their drivers.
In a letter, TCA's Chairman, Keith Tuttle and TCA's Highway Policy Committee Chairman Jim Towery, urged the top Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the house Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) to oppose possible language that may come up Thursday during the Committee's consideration of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization & Reform Act of 2015. The language at issue would force states to allow 91-foot-long trucks (also known as Double or Twin 33's) onto all U.S. Interstates and national highway routes.
"Our members are deeply concerned that if this language becomes law, there will be enormous pressure on truckload carriers to switch to Twin 33 foot trailers to haul our current truckload freight," said Keith Tuttle, TCA's Chairman. "Such a shift would be disastrous for many truckload carriers. Many companies simply cannot afford to invest in Twin 33 foot trailers, which can cost twice as much as a single 53 foot trailer. Nor can they afford the increased cost of training, certifying and licensing their drivers to operate these vehicles, which research by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has shown are more likely to roll over than a truck with a single 53 foot trailer."
Tuttle also warned that longer trucks will increase the potential for driver injuries, noting that the physical demands of operating and assembling a tractor trailer increase greatly with the size of the truck.
"Although our drivers have weathered may changes over the years, requiring them to break up 91-foot-long trucks four times on each load and manhandle a 3,000-lb con-gear is simply too much to ask. As our workforce ages, the last thing we can afford is a setback to our efforts to improve the job and enhance the drivers' quality of life," Tuttle said.
A copy of the TCA's letter to the Committee's leadership can be found here.