Last year Wabash National displayed a 33-foot pup trailer marked to show its extra capacity over current 28s.  Photo: Tom Berg

Last year Wabash National displayed a 33-foot pup trailer marked to show its extra capacity over current 28s.  Photo: Tom Berg

Twin 33-foot trailers may not be dead after all, as a conservative congressman from Colorado is trying to get them legalized as part of a larger bill.

Republican Rep. Ken Buck, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, has introduced a bill that would “take back congressional authority,” supposedly usurped by President Obama’s executive orders. He said the president’s actions violate Article I of the United States Constitution, which defines congressional and executive powers.

Congress could have taken back its rightful powers last December, when it passed the Omnibus Spending Bill, Buck said, but most amendments were stripped out before passage. Among them was a provision that would’ve authorized states to allow 33-foot trailers in addition to the twin 28s that run now.

Killing of that amendment was the work of several senators who opposed the longer pup trailers on safety grounds. Truckload carriers and other groups also opposed twin 33s, but less-than-truckload and package carriers who operate doubles were in favor, as were some shippers and business interests, for productivity reasons.

Buck included the twin-33 issue in his new bill. It would strike a passage stipulating “28 feet” from existing U.S. law that limits certain trailer lengths and substitute “33 feet.” Other matters the congressman addressed include immigration, the Environmental Protection Agency’s water program, and mining regulations.

There’s a good chance that Buck’s bill will go nowhere in the House of Representatives or the Senate, or that its provisions, including the one on twin 33-foot trailers, will be killed. We’ll see.

Author

Tom Berg
Tom Berg

Tom Berg

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational trucks and trailers of all types.

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Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational trucks and trailers of all types.

View Bio
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