One of the truck and fleet trends that has been bouncing around the federal legislature, is the “Twin 33” semi trailers. As I’m sure you know, this is a coupled pair of 33 foot trailers that have 18% more capacity than a 53 footer, which invariable means more freight carried for same miles traveled.
1.3 Billion Miles Annually
That’s how many miles will be saved if the twin 33 semi trailer configuration is adopted. And actually, 12 states allow the twin 33 trailer package, but since it has not been federally mandated, the twins are not allowed on federal interstates.
Safety and Maintenance Concerns
In the states that allow twin 33 trailers to run on state highways, there have not been any appreciable difference in safety or maintenance problems. And although that sounds impressive, no one really knows if this same type of record would hold up on federal interstates. Of course safety will always be a concern, but the biggest issue will be maintenance of the roads, and in particular bridges, and how they might hold up with two big trailers driving over them on a regular basis.
The Future DOES Loom Large
Federal legislation, late last year, shot down the twin 33 trailer package on the interstates, but the reality is this. As more information comes in about safety and road maintenance, what to expect, how to prevent problems and the training required, there will come a time, in the very near future, where these extra long trailers are going to be a fact of life in the trucking business.
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