FedEx Ground President and CEO Henry Maier spoke before Congress recently. He, among other industry leaders, hope Congress will up size and weight limits for trucks transporting freight in the United States.
They argue that such access will, contrary to popular belief, reduce traffic and help road conditions. They also argue easing the restrictions will help the trucking industry be better prepared for coming massive growth.
According to Maier, the amount of tonnage moved in the US is expected to double by 2035.
If we think traffic congestion is bad today, imagine twice as many trucks on our highways, not to mention more passenger vehicles. As a business whose customers rely on us for fast and reliable service, we can attest that impassable roads and bridges lead to increased costs, service delays and untold equipment damage.
– Henry Maier, CEO, FedEx
Senior VP for the Volvo Group Susan Alt agrees. She argued that road safety would not be compromised due to advances in technology in new trucks.
With existing infrastructure, we can already move more freight with less fuel and less emissions, and with fewer drivers – and we can do that today with some policy changes. Throughout the rest of the world, Volvo Group already provides trucks that haul longer, heavier freight – safely.
– Susan Alt, Senior VP, Volvo Group
Mark Gottlieb of the Wisconsin DOT presented research from 2009 done in his state that showed larger and heavier trucks allowed for “significant efficiencies and economic benefits” with “safety and infrastructure protection.” During the study, there was actually a decline of traffic fatalities in Wisconsin.
Other groups, including Teamsters and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Associations, support freezing current restrictions.
Congress has already directed the US DOT to conduct a two year study on truck size and weight limits earlier this year.
What do you think? Would increasing the legal size and weight limits of trucks help the economy, or would changes create more safety hazards on our roads?
Source: Overdrive Online