Latest News & Tips

Bookmark and Share

Should the Weight Limit on Loads Go Up?

Just like with all sectors, changes in the trucking industry are based on trade-offs: the cost of increased regulation compared to safer roads, new trucks but at the cost of stricter emissions stipulations, and the various pros and cons of self-driving trucks. Recently, more and more attention has been on the push to allow heavier trucks. Most trucks are required to have a weight of 80,000 pounds or less, but dozens of agricultural shippers want that limit raised to 91,000 pounds.

What are the benefits of raising the weight limit on federal interstates?

The most direct benefit is that it takes fewer trucks to move more volume. U.S. companies could reduce their logistics expenses, according to Anheuser-Busch, and that reduction could be $5.6 billion dollars each year. Truckers in agricultural and food shipping also profit as the prices for individual loads go up accordingly. Increasing the weight limit could also introduce a more standard measure of fairness: some states grandfather in some trucking limits from when the standards were established in 1956. In other circumstances, states allow truckers to pay for permits that allow loads to exceed federal weight limits throughout the state in select areas. 

What are the downsides of raising the weight limit?

Since more volume can be loaded on each truck, that means fewer loads altogether. With demand for drivers already under threat due to changing technology like Uber Freight and driverless vehicles, this could be bad news for independent truckers and small associations. It would also increase stress on the highway infrastructure and result in greater stopping distances for heavy, five-axle trucks. While no federal changes are currently underway, Senate Minority Leader Schumer's recent focus on the trucking industry could result in more discussion. In order to keep up to date with potential changes in weight limits and other regulations, browse Michigan Truck Sales & Equipment here.

Powered by Devcode