Speaking at a Senate Press Conference, Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) director of safety & policy David Heller voiced TCA’s opposition to any provision in the current highway funding bill that would require states to allow twin 33-foot trailers on federal highways.
Heller addressed Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. and Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss. The senators have been key opponents to the longer truck provision.
“Our member companies share the concerns that others here have voiced about the impact of this legislation on motorist safety and highway infrastructure,” said Heller. “We are particularly concerned about the impact this legislation will have on all truckload carriers and the several hundred thousand people our member companies employ across the U.S. and Canada.”
If the proposed language becomes law, there will be enormous pressure on truckload carriers to switch to Twin 33 foot trailers to haul truckload freight. Such a shift would be disastrous for many truckload carriers. Numerous companies simply cannot afford the Twin 33 foot trailers, which can cost twice as much as a single 53 foot trailer.
Operating and assembling a tractor trailer is physically demanding work. The strain of this work increases greatly with the size of the truck. Although drivers have weathered many changes over the years, requiring them to break up 91-foot-long trucks four times on each load, and to manhandle a 3,000-pound converter-gear is simply too much to ask.
“At a minimum, there has not been sufficient dialogue around this language to understand its full impact," said Heller. “For these reasons, the Truckload Carriers Association is proud to stand with Senators Blumenthal, Feinstein, and Wicker in urging Congress to oppose any legislation with provisions related to nationwide changes in truck size.”