At the end of this year's ATA Management Conference & Exhibition in Dallas, TX, the American Trucking Association and the Truckload Carriers Association asked that policy makers allow for a 97,000 pound limit on a six-axle configuration.
This proposal has been a hot button issue within the trucking industry and safety groups alike. Many trucking industry experts are concerned that the added productivity that larger loads would allow would not offset the costs of retrofitting the trucks or buying new equipment meant to handle such weights.
In traffic safety circles, the proposal has not had a warm reception either. Safety advocates are concerned that heavier trucks will mean more crashes. The heavier the vehicle, the longer it takes for it to stop and the greater the force during a crash. The impact of the trucks on roadways is also a concern. One study found that when more trucks moved off of the highway and onto slower roads (the move mandated by weight limit regulations) pavement damage rose by 12 percent.
The Texas crash attorneys at the Hart Law Firm hope that lawmakers consider all factors carefully before allowing the higher weight limits in Texas. Just one collision involving one of these heavy trucks is too many.