Earlier this morning, TCA President John Lyboldt sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives voicing TCA's opposition to Twin 33-foot trailers. He stressed that 33-foot trailers are not the solution to improving conditions on the nation's roadways.
View the letter here.
Lyboldt stated in his letter that the perceived productivity benefits that the longer trailers would provide are not worth the immense costs to the trucking industry as a whole, and that this shift from the industry standard would generate.
"The truckload industry recognizes the benefits that would be bestowed upon our Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) associates by adding additional cubic feet of freight space and how those benefits add to their productivity," said Lyboldt. "The metric of mandating Twin 33-foot trailers almost exclusively benefits LTL freight, thus putting the truckload segment of the industry at a competitive disadvantage."
Lyboldt noted that the financial burden of changing 53-foot trailers as "a shift to 33-foot trailers would be considered voluntary, and the shipping community would automatically transition to carriers with the most cubic space for their goods, rendering our nation’s fleet of 53-foot trailers nothing more than antiques."
He added that one issue notably absent from the discussions surrounding 33-foot trailers is the effect that the configuration would have on the industry's population of drivers. "Ramifications of operating fleets consisting of 33-foot trailers would be severe," said Lyboldt.
The truckload industry and its long-haul operations are not logistically designed for longer trailer configurations, as the majority of loading docks are built to accommodate trailers that reverse into these spots. The Twin 33-foot trailer configuration has proven problematic as they must be separated prior to reversing. Additionally, the potential for driver injury will increase "when separating trailers and their 3,000-lb converter gear," added Lyboldt, and "would jeopardize any improvements to the health and well-being of drivers that our industry strives to make."
"The Truckload Carriers Association pledges to partner with our congressional leadership to discover solutions that truly benefit our industry and the American public as whole," he said. "As discussions surrounding the topic of productivity begin to propagate over the coming months and years, TCA seeks to unite with all who have a vested interest in freight delivery solutions that work for everyone."
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