The federal truck-weight reform legislation known as the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA) has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Mike Michaud (D-ME) and Jean Schmidt (R-OH) as H.R. 763, according to the Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), a group of more than 180 shippers and associations that seeks to responsibly increase federal weight limits on interstate highways.
The bill’s reintroduction comes as Congress considers the first Highway Reauthorization package in more than six years.
“SETA provides a critical opportunity for Congress to enact a Highway Reauthorization proposal that modernizes American truck shipping standards in order to protect motorists and the environment, and give U.S. manufacturers and producers a competitive edge,” said CTP executive director John Runyan.
“Many shippers hit the 30-year-old federal weight limit with significant space left in their rigs and must use more truckloads, fuel and vehicle miles than necessary to get products to market,” he continued. “SETA gives each state the option to correct this inefficiency by raising its interstate weight limit for trucks equipped with an additional axle. Six-axle trucks can safely handle more weight, so American companies can utilize more rig space, minimize the trucks they need to meet demand and reduce their dependency on foreign oil.”
Runyan pointed out that major trading partners of the U.S. have already implemented higher truck weights--- putting the country at a “productivity disadvantage. “ Without this bill passing, he said “the inefficiency we are experiencing will only worsen. The American Trucking Assns. estimates that the trucking industry will haul 30% more tonnage in 2021 than it does today.
“If current weight restrictions remain the same, that means our economy will require 18% more trucks on the road driving 27% more miles than they do now,” Runyan stated “If lawmakers look at the facts, we are confident that SETA will be included in the long-awaited Highway Reauthorization package.”