The NGFA recently sent letters to leaders of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee requesting a 10% axle-weight tolerance on the Interstate Highway System for commercial motor vehicles transporting cargo in trailers specifically designed to hold dry bulk goods.
The request is for a tolerance that would increase the maximum weight limit for tandem-axles from 34,000 pounds to 37,400 pounds, but would leave the maximum gross vehicle weight limit unchanged at 80,000 pounds.
Shippers and carriers from a variety of sectors are making the request as the committee soon will consider an infrastructure bill and the next highway bill.
NGFA signed two similar letters to the committee – one from agricultural groups and one from a broader array of industries. Read the April 19 agricultural letter and the April 22 dry bulk carrier-shipper letter.
“We are making this request because dry bulk loads, such as grain and feed, regularly shift during transport and can cause a breach of the tandem-axle weight limit without exceeding the overall gross vehicle weight limit,” the April 19 letter notes.
For grain alone, approximately 20 million truckloads are transported from field to commercial storage facilities each year. After the initial movement to storage, agricultural commodities often are transported at least one more time before arriving at the final domestic destination.
“Commonsense policies, such as authorizing an axle weight tolerance to account for shifting during transport, are vitally important to the agricultural industry,” the agricultural groups noted.