Even Trucking Industry Groaning Under Weight Issues
In January, it seems like everyone's talking about their weight and the trucking industry is no exception. Maine just passed a temporary weight increase for loggers in an effort to help counteract high diesel prices. Taking the opposite tact, New Hampshire is considering tripling fines for overweight trucks. And farmers are pushing for uniform weight regulations for interstate ag haulers.
- Maine helps loggers. Last week, Maine's Governor John Baldacci signed a temporary waiver to allow forest product haulers to carry 5% more weight until April 1. "We know that our forest products industry and Maine's truckers are being hurt by record high diesel prices," Baldacci said. "They are struggling right now, and they need help. With the quick action of this Legislature, they get relief right now."
- New Hampshire to triple fines. This week New Hampshire staterepresentatives will discuss a transportation bill that wouldtriple fines for overweight trucks. Fines would start at $300 for a first offense, jumping to $750 for subsequent violations. Fines for exceeding state bridge weight limits would also increase substantially.If passed, the law would take effect in January 2009.
- Farm vehicles redefined. Backed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Oklahoma Representatives introduced a bill into the U.S. House to increase interstate weight limits on agricultural haulers from 10,001 (current federal standard) to 26,001 pounds (state maximum). Farmers are seeking the higher weight to keep their drivers out of the CDL system.