New Proposal Could Increase Maximum Weight Of Tractor Trailers

WASHINGTON (WJZ)— There’s a push on Capitol Hill to keep big rigs from getting even bigger. A new proposal could increase the maximum weight of tractor trailers.       

Jessica Kartalija explains why some say this could wreak havoc on Maryland roads.

AAA Mid-Atlantic is fighting the proposal in Washington, saying bigger trucks will lead to more fatalities and could destroy Maryland roads and bridges.

A video released by the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks shows triple tractor trailers as they drift and sway along the highway.

“They drive like lunatics out here,” said one motorist.

Triple trailers are illegal here in Maryland. But a proposal before Congress could change that and allow trucking companies to increase the weight of tractor trailers from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds—an 8.5 ton difference.

“Obviously if the trucks are bigger, they have additional breaking distance issues, more equipment failures,” said Ragina Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Representing Maryland, Averella has been on Capitol Hill lobbying against these bigger big rigs.

“The overwhelming majority of Maryland motorists–in fact, 85 percent oppose such legislation,” Averella said.

“They cut people off,” said a motorist.  “And if they are bigger there will be more accidents.”

WJZ spoke with the Maryland Motor Truck Association who says they don’t have a stance either way.  Those who like the proposal say it could save a ton of money in shipping.

A major concern is that Maryland roads wouldn’t be able to support heavier trucks.

“We feel it would do further damage to our transportation infrastructure and our roads and bridges,” Averella said.

A total of 18 states are involved in the fight against this proposed legislation.

More from Jessica Kartalija
  • ed

    Right, let them ruin the roads all for profit. This state has no backbone & the truck lobbyists have the lawmakers in their pockets. I will find out who votes for & against & take action when I vote & speak…..Stop the slaughter on the highways by these big trucks.

  • Mark0487

    It’s not like they are not out there this very second. Now maximum weight is 80,000 – unless you get a permit. Trucks are on our roads every single day with much higher weights. They pay huge permit fees for every time they are over 80,000 lbs. How do you think heavy equipment is moved? Dozers, excavators, they can weigh 100,000 a piece then add a truck and fuel, you are looking at 120,000 150,000 lbs. and more You gotta move this stuff. All states allow heavy moves. You just have to pay extra – which is supposed to go to taking care of the roads.

  • Shelby Dilley

    Yes Mark, they have the high weight, but the issue is the triple trailers.. Unlike the over sized loads that are on one trailer, this is three trailers that sway when you drive, which constantly causes a shift in the weight, and its a toss up between who drives worse, Us or the truckers. Most of the time the drivers are complaining about not getting enough sleep or down time, even with the electronic logs. Can you imagine how much more dangerous one of these trucks would be? This is why we have a rail system. And as someone who works with truck drivers 37.5 hrs a week I know how careless some of them are when it comes to driving. For the safety of my family and friends I hope that these triple trailers are kept off of Maryland roads….

    • Jonathan Chiles

      Truckers have more regulations against them than anyone. They have mandatory time they have to take a brake. They get more points on their license for speeding, whether in a truck at the time or their person vehicle.
      Shelby, according to the article the request was for an increase to the maximum allowed weight. from 80- to 97k pounds.
      The coalition against bigger trucks showed a video about triple trailers; Yes – but that is not what wasn’t what was being debated on. It’s a scare tactic….

      I could easily point out that you should be more weary of your Mercedes drivers, because according to their own commercial; Drivers who have been in Mercedes have fallen asleep at the wheel, and were not paying attention when the truck in front of them came to a stop. According to Mercedes, they had to come out with features so the car could do what the driver was supposed to be doing.

      I drive quite often on the beltway and throughout Maryland for work and they one thing I notice the most is when a Big truck tries to leave space in front of them for stopping and all these cars cut in front and take away the space. Then they are the very same people who complain when they have a truck on their bumper. Or when a car is in lane 2 , which is one lane to the right of the fast lane, and they are going slower than the lane’s to their right. If you are not going to keep the flow of traffic, move over. It is not like the semi behind you can pass you in lane one. That – is another regulation against them.

  • Wheres common sense when you need it

    Just another truck bashing story. So for all of you haters, heres how you can get back at all of these dangerous truck drivers. Stop buying anything that is delivered by a truck. Its that simple! Yup, with out a demand for these products, there will be no work for these diesel demonds. Now you can rest easy. The roads will be totally safe.

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