OneRail Coalition Statement on Truck Size and Weight Increases
The OneRail Coalition concurs with the U.S. DOT’s conclusion in June 2015, based on its MAP-21 Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study, that “current data limitations are so profound” in predicting the impacts of federal truck size and weight limits that “no changes in the relevant truck size and weight laws and regulations should be considered until these data limitations are overcome.”
Consequently, the OneRail Coalition opposes legislation to increase federal limits on truck weights from 80,000 to 91,000 pounds, which would further stress the nation’s already struggling and underfunded roads and bridges. At a time when state and local transportation departments are straining to meet infrastructure maintenance demands for the foreseeable future, actions that will accelerate highway damage and costs by diverting freight traffic from privately funded railroads to publicly subsidized roads and putting heavier trucks on those roads are not in the national interest. Further, actions that would divert freight traffic from the railroads to the nation’s highways would add to highway congestion, fuel consumption, and harmful emissions. Finally, any diversion of freight from rail to truck would likely diminish railroad resources available to invest in maintenance and capacity and therefore have negative impacts on the intercity passenger rail and commuter rail services that depend on freight rail infrastructure.