Taxpayer Group Pushing for Higher Truck Weights

April 23, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe

The latest group to endorse higher truck weights has no direct connection with the trucking industry, but rather is self-described as an “independent non-partisan advocate for overburdened tax payers.”

The National Tax Payers Union, which says it represents 362,000 people, has sent a letter to U.S. House members urging them to support legislation, HR 612, the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act. It would give states the option of increasing the maximum interstate truck weight from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds with a sixth axle.

In the letter, Pete Sepp, NTU executive vice-president said, “Such a move would provide a major boost to the economic potential of the nation’s highway infrastructure while avoiding additional deficit spending.”

The legislation was introduced in February by Michael Michaud (D-Maine). It currently has 16 co-sponsors and has been referred to a House subcommittee, but has seen no action for a little more than two months.

Sepp admits in the letter that a connection between the bill and a citizens group may not seem obvious, but notes in the next 15 years truck traffic in the U.S. could double or even triple, making it necessary to find a solution to deal with the increased traffic congestion without huge public expenditures.

He says the legislation “would improve the productivity and efficiency of our economy overall, saving considerable amounts of fuel, labor, and logistical costs for industries that depend on highways to ship their goods. Furthermore, bringing truck-weight limits more into line with our neighbors to the north and south (as well as those across the Atlantic) would enhance America’s international competitiveness, which has been damaged by numerous factors such as a burdensome tax system. Finally, the bill could provide ancillary benefits, e.g. reduced emissions from fewer trucks on the road, without resorting to detrimental schemes such as cap-and-trade national energy taxes.”

Sepp says the legislation is long overdue and faults the previous Congress for not passing a similar bill, instead opting to study such a move even more.

The American Trucking Associations is on record as supporting higher truck weights thought some of its members do not.

You can read the full letter from the National Taxpayer Union’s website.


  1. 1. Francesco [ April 24, 2013 @ 05:51AM ]

    Yes, is time to increasing truck weights,

  2. 2. cowtank [ April 24, 2013 @ 05:09PM ]

    Who is going to pilot these heavy loads safely on our crumbling infrastructure? Where are the safe rest ateas to park?

  3. 3. JP [ April 24, 2013 @ 05:51PM ]

    Its obvious that these people have no clue about what they are talking about. They certainly have no working knowledge of what they are stating.

    How are we going to "save fuel" when longer, heavier loads will use more fuel to move them down the road. Alot more. So, if we are burning more fuel to move these loads how can there be "less emissions" from burning more fuel??? Heavier loads will create more stress, more wear and tear on the trucks, requiring sooner and more maintenance. So how can that be more efficient? It will cost the actual owner of that truck more money. But not the shippers of course. I guarantee you those higher weights will increase maintenance costs.

    And then there are the safety issues. If you are an experienced driver you already know how difficult it can be to stop 80,000 lbs quickly and safely. So lets throw another 20,000 lbs. on top of it. More weight creates more stresses all the way around. So how is that Safer??

    And of course the roads. The roads we have are already a crumbling, sorry mess. Current roads can't handle the weights we haul now. And these people think that another 20,000 lbs of weight wont have a detrimental affect on our now crappy roads??

    And my last point. I hightly doubt that shippers will certainly be willing to pay MORE for the added weight. That much extra weight should no doubt be cause for MORE payment to the truckers for hauling it........ya, ok, we know that will happen.

  4. 4. Keith Pence [ April 25, 2013 @ 12:16PM ]

    I HAVE DRIVEN TRUCKS FOR 30 years , this is just another way for shippers to cut rates. This kind of weight is extremely destructive , and very unsafe to the general public .

  5. 5. Robert W. Mayo [ May 29, 2013 @ 06:16AM ]

    That's right they just want to move more for the same money, And yes the road's are crap now so they will really be crap if this happens. If congress passes this well we will know for sure where they stand and it's not with the people. I say ok we will do it but it's going to cost I would start at $8.00 per mile. I hope they don't pass this I would hate to end up in the river when the bridge fail's because of all this weilght.

  6. 6. Seth [ June 05, 2013 @ 11:37AM ]

    I've been driving a set of doubles that is permitted for 105,500 in the state of Oregon for over 10 years. The extra weight doesn't increase the average fuel mileage more than 1/2 mile per gallon. And with the extra axles braking distance is negligent.
    Moreover adding one axle wouldn't get you passed the bridge formula on axle weights the best you could hope for is 88,000


Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.


ELDs and Telematics

sponsored by
sponsor logo

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All