Ribble Introduces Compromise Truck Efficiency Bill

Ribble Introduces Compromise Truck Efficiency Bill

Washington, DC--U.S. Representative Reid Ribble (WI-08) today introduced the Safe, Flexible, and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act, a bill that would allow our freight shipping industry to be more efficient while creating less pavement wear and tear and improving safety on our shared roads and bridges.  

"The reality is that our roads are already overcrowded with families heading to school and work, and trucks carrying the things we buy across the country.  The U.S. population has almost doubled since our Interstate highway system was built, and demand for freight shipping is only going up,"  Ribble said. "The SAFE Trucking Act will help us safely move more of the things Americans want with fewer trucks taking up space on the road, and it is based on data to ensure that truck stopping times and pavement wear are as good or better than our current trucks.  When we can increase efficiency, decrease traffic, and make everyone safer in the process, that is a win, and the SAFE Trucking Act is able to help us achieve all these objectives."

The SAFE Trucking Act, based on U.S. Department of Transportation safety and road wear data, would allow individual states to decide whether or not they want to allow freight shipping trucks to carry a maximum of 91 thousand pounds, up from the current 80 thousand points.  In order to ensure that these heavier trucks maintain the same or better stopping distance and pavement wear, they would also be required to have a sixth axle, up from the current five.  Importantly, U.S. DOT has indicated that this configuration would be compliant with the existing federal bridge formula.

Our counterparts in Canada and Europe have already had success with trucks over 100 thousand pounds on their roads, and in Maine, which was granted a special exception to allow heavier trucks on their roads, road deaths are at 70-year lows.  

The SAFE Trucking Act is supported by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as well as a coalition of industry experts.  Increased truck efficiency stands especially to benefit Wisconsin producers like paper manufacturers and dairy farmers, who rely heavily on trucks to move their wares across the country and around the world.