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ATA supports boosting truck weight limits

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The American Trucking Associations (ATA) "strongly supports" the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2010, a bill that would authorize states to allow the operation of heavier trucks.

For more information about the bill, see Will states raise weight limits for trucks?, posted Aug. 9.

"The bill authorizies states to allow the operation of trucks on the Interstate Highway System with a gross weight of 97,000 pounds," say ATA officials.

"Current law limits the weight of five axle trucks traveling on the Intertstate System to 80,000 pounds. The legislation requires that trucks operating above 80,000 pounds must add a sixth axle to compensate for the extra weight. The extra axle adds additional braking capacity, preventing an increase in stopping distances, and prevents pavements from sustaining more damage.

"Operation of these more efficient vehicles will allow trucking companies to deliver the nation's freight while making fewer trips," they continue. "The result will be a reduction in the number of truck-involved crashes, less fuel use -- and thus reduced emissions and carbon -- and less congestion on our crowded highways."

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