Federal Spending Bill Includes Increase to Idaho Truck Weight Limit

December 28, 2015

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Idaho will be allowed to increase its truck weight limit on interstate highways to as a result of a provision attached to the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill passed earlier this month, according to a report in Capital Press.

The omnibus legislation determines the yearly budget for the federal government and is prone to riders being attached to its more than 2,000 pages to ensure that they will be passed.

A provision in the bill allows Idaho to increase its truck weight limit to 129,000 pounds on Interstate highways.

Truck weights had been limited to 105,500 pounds in Idaho since 1991, and the move is seen as a way to gain parity with surrounding states that have higher weight limits. Aspects of transportation like shipping costs and agricultural commodities are expected to be positively impacted by raising the weight limit.

The rider was attached to the bill by Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson and Sen. Mike Crapo, according to Capital Press.

"By ensuring that Idaho’s vehicle laws match those of its neighboring states, Idaho can more efficiently play a larger role in transferring goods without impacting road safety," Simpson said in a statement.

"A higher weight limit means trucks will have more axles than traditional trucks," he noted, "distributing the weight in such a way that there is less weight on each axle than a standard truck. It also will reduce the number of trucks on the road."

This is not the first time amendments to truck size and weight limits have been addressed by Congress. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives voted down a provision to the recently passed highway bill that would have allowed states to increase the federal vehicle weight limit to 91,000 pounds for tractor-trailers equipped with a sixth axle.

In earlier versions of omnibus bill, there were attempts to add a provision allowing for 33-foot-long double trailers on highways, regardless of state laws. However, the provision was stripped from the bill by the time it reached Congress.

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