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Transportation companies propose longer trucks to meet demand

Transportation companies propose longer trucks to meet demand

Semi Truck / Tractor Trailer at loading Dock

A federal bill currently up for vote before the U.S. Senate includes a provision that would allow bigger trucks to occupy the nation’s roads. While the bill is facing some opposition, carrier companies are generally being positive about the potential effects this new truck size may have on their ability to meet growing demand in the market, if adopted.

A transportation law attorney may recognize the huge impact this could have on the industry.

The proposal

The Herald-News reports that the proposed provision, which is part of a federal transportation and housing bill, would allow longer and heavier trucks on the road. The maximum tandem length for a trailer would be 33 feet, which is 4.5 feet greater than current law allows at 28.5 feet.  This would let trucks have triple trailers, longer double trailers and longer single trailers, all over the nation.

Significant pros

In addition to simply moving more freight and increasing truck productivity, supporters of the new transportation law state that it would reduce commercial vehicle traffic and help make the roads safer. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admiration, there were over 10.5 million large trucks on the nation’s roads in 2012. These trucks drove a combined 268,318 million miles and were involved in 3,700 fatal crashes. An additional 5,584,000 nonfatal truck crashes also occurred that year. A transportation law attorney may agree that if the number of trucks on the road was reduced, this number could be significantly reduced.

Studies indicate positives

Before agreeing to back the bill and its highly controversial provision on trucks, several lawmakers called for a federal study to determine just what impact it might have on the nation. The study showed that it is impossible to evaluate any safety tradeoffs that may be present simply because of lack of data.

However, the idea of fewer accidents with the change was supported by a recent study performed by the State of Wisconsin. The safety study aimed to determine whether or not the proposed changes to the trucks would result in extra harm to the general public. Researchers found that there would be 90 fewer crashes each year in their state alone if the legislation were enacted. Additional supporters point to the United Kingdom, which adopted similar legislation and saw a noted reduction in fatal heavy truck accidents.

Carrier companies who would like to learn more about how this bill may affect their business are invited to speak to an Illinois transportation law attorney. With their assistance, businesses are likely to be better prepared for any changes that may come to the industry in the near future.

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