Size and Weight Update
The American Trucking Associations, in an apparent attempt to regain the support of some of the nation's largest trucking companies and shore up its deteriorating membership base, has recently announced that increased trucking productivity is at the top of their 1999 agenda.

The way to increased productivity according to ATA is increasing truck size and weight limits and expanding the authorized use of multiple combination trailers. "The consequences of these ill-advised and counterproductive efforts are already becoming apparent," states OOIDA President Jim Johnston. "The recent blitz of anti-truck headlines throughout the country, most of which are instigated by the well-oiled propaganda machines of railroad funded anti-truck groups, are just the first and most visible examples.

Truck size and weight study released

On Dec. 30, Volume III of the Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study was released, pointing out some of the most glaring problems with longer, heavier trucks. The report is the U.S. Department of Transportation's most extensive examination of the impact of truck size and weight since the early 1980s. The complete study will have four volumes. The draft of Volume II was released in June 1997. Comments on both Volumes II and III will be incorporated into the final report, which is expected in spring of this year.

"The next onslaught will be in the usual and recurring calls for increased enforcement to address the supposed horrible truck safety problem and then of course the calls for increased truck taxes."

ATA seeks to accomplish its objective of "increased truck productivity" by getting Congress to allow all states to set their own truck size and weight limits within their borders claiming the various state governors and legislators know best what truck size and weight limits should be allowed within the individual states.

"We've been down that road before, too," states Johnston. "We fought long and hard throughout the 1970s and early 1980s and did so with ATA's participation to gain nationwide uniformity of truck size and weight limits. We did so because at that time the states were allowed to set their own limits and there were almost as many variations as there were states.

"What's productive for a trucker who starts out in New Jersey with his one truck and trailer - and every state line he hits, the size and weights are all changed?" says Johnston.