Congressional Amendment to Allow Heavier Loads Shot Down

The House of Representatives voted down Rep. Reid Ribble’s (R – Wisconsin) amendment to increase the weight load allowed on federal roads. Rep. Ribble was seeking to increase the allowable weight threshold to 91,000 lbs.

Hypothically the move may have be beneficial for customers of the freight industry as higher density cargo shipments could be consolidated into fewer shipments thereby theoretically saving shipping costs.

However it would have been a problem for carriers as there would be fewer loads to go around and the heavier loads would necessitate additional equipment expenses and cause additional wear and tear on both trucking equipment and public roads. Had this amendment gone through it may have driven many smaller carriers out of business.

Additionally, as carriers go out of business rates would increase and taxes on shipping could increase dramatically as the government sought out new ways to pay for highway infrastructure.

The Truckload Carrier Association (TCA) agrees and told Ribble in an open letter, “While this provision attempts to improve trucking productivity on our highways, it clearly would only benefit a minority of the industry.”

Reid’s amendment looks like a loser all the way around.

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