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NewsTrucking

Trucking coalition urges lawmakers to fight costly unfunded mandates

A coalition of 31 trucking and trade groups is urging Congress to halt four bills it claims would cost the industry billions of dollars in “burdensome” unfunded mandates.

The coalition sent a letter on Sept. 16 to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), chairman, and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), ranking member, of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), chairman, and Rep. Sam Graves, R-Missouri, ranking member, of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

“As Congress begins to craft the next surface transportation reauthorization, we write to express our opposition to a series of bills that would impose tens of billions of dollars in unfunded mandates on American businesses engaged in trucking,” the letter states.

The four bills are:

  • H.R. 1511/S. 665, the Stop Underrides Act, which would require the installation of front, side and rear underride guards on all trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that exceeds 10,000 pounds and all single-unit trucks with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds and a carriage that is more than 22 inches above the ground. 
  • S. 2033, the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019, which would mandate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) over 26,000 pounds to be equipped with speed limiters set to 65 mph.
  • H.R. 3773, the Safe Roads Act, which would require new CMVs to be equipped with and utilize an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system.
  • H.R. 3781, the INSURANCE Act, which would increase the minimum liability coverage for motor carriers from $750,000 to over $4.9 million. This increase would apply to all businesses transporting property, not just long-haul trucking operations.  

The members of the coalition are: the Agricultural Retailers Association; Agriculture Transportation Coalition; American Dairy Coalition; American Farm Bureau Federation; American Pipeline Contractors Association; American Pyrotechnics Association; Associated Equipment Distributors; Associated Oregon Loggers; Association of Professional Towers of Ohio; Corn Refiners Association; Distribution Contractors Association; Mid-West Truckers Association; National Asphalt Pavement Association; National Association of Small Trucking Companies; National Cotton Council; National Cotton Ginners’ Association; National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; National Grain and Feed Association; National Hay Association; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association; National Utility Contractors Association; National Wildfire Suppression Association; NFIB; North American Millers’ Association; Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association; Police Towers of America; Power and Communications Contractors Association; Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute; Towing and Recovery Association of America; and United States Cattlemen’s Association.

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 13 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and Trucks.com. Clarissa lives in the Kansas City area with her family. If you have a story idea, send her an email to chawes@freightwaves.com.

7 Comments

  1. Especially the 65-mph speed limit is foolish. That’s too fast for some roads, but significantly lower than the maximum safe speed on other roads. Unfair to truckers running the fastest roads out west. Also, the enormous increase in insurance is just a way of feeding the trial lawyers. If insurance limits are too low because of inflation, maybe a 15% increase? But, that is crazy. I met Senator Wicker some months ago. Wish I had know he was going to support all these bills!

  2. Quote:
    “S. 2033, the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019, which would mandate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) over 26,000 pounds to be equipped with speed limiters set to 65 mph.”

    65 mph is equivalent to 105 km per hour as Large Carriers lobbied to have in place in some provinces in Canada in order to decrease costs by saving on fuel and remain competitive . Look into it and you will realize it has absolutely nothing to do with safety .

    In fact , imposing a speed limiter is actually dangerous .

    Since they have regulated that speed limiter on CMV’s in certain province’s within Canada more collisions have occurred . Not due to limiting speed , but it proves that enforcing a speed limiter hasn’t decreased collisions nor has it rendered truck driving “safer” .

    It’s all poppycock in an attempt to save on fuel and to remain competitive due to enforcing it on all CMV’s .

    You can thank the large motor carriers for that one among many other silly regulations they lobbied to implement . Large motor carriers cause the problems and then lobby for solutions to the problems they created by creating more problems .

    Meanwhile on certain highways in Canada(ie;Ontario) they increased the speed limit from 62 mph to 68 mph for the rest of the population . Clearly speed limiter regulations are a discrimination on truck drivers aka CMV’s . There are speed limits and they should apply to all motorists , not just a certain few .

    If the “speed limit” is not respected there are repercussions by way of a summons to an offender for violating a traffic regulation etc. We should not impose speed limiters on a selected few vehicles .

    The industry has placed themselves in a position where they can no longer be trusted to apply good judgement and even less ethical behaviour . That’s capitalism for you , all in the name of PROFIT !

    In my humble opinion ………….

  3. Yeah, ok….Good luck with those 4 bills……Time to get out if you can guys!!!! Let congress people sit behind trucks then and then they will re-think all these positions!!!!

  4. 65 mph is too slow. 72 mph is acceptable. The biggest issue is all the airheads who think they are the greatest behind a wheel of a rig. I’m capped at 65. The morons who come roaring up on my ass (yes… the so called super truckers) not only frequently scare the crap out of me but then proceed to ride my ass for numerous miles as though it will make me go faster. The USA is far too aggressive when driving. All drivers when they get behind a wheel become maniacs on the road. Rude, arrogant, unsafe and non courteous to others who use the same roads. There’s a serious mental issue going on when Americans hit the road. On top of that, no respect for mother nature… simply hammer down regardless of the conditions. It’s beyond moronic. I’ve never seen so many avoidable accidents in my life til driving the USA. People running off roads in perfect dry weather because 90 mph is their favorite thing to do around sharp S turns. It’s not the truck that needs to be changed… it’s the training. There should have been implemented law to create truck lanes only for both Canada and USA a long time ago. No 4 wheelers in thos lanes. Barriers are another thing sorely missing in the USA. Never before seen a country government so firm in ensuring plenty of dead on the highway when simple barriers along deadly roadsides would at least keep the idiots on the road instead of flying over cliffs.

    The bottom line here is SLOW THE HELL DOWN. You road runners at 80 mph always get no extra distance than a 65 mph truck. I’ve proven it over and over again and in fact am several miles ahead of the racers out there at the end of the night, only often to get blown away by these super truckers again the next day from several miles behind where we finished the night before.

    1. Sorry, your last sentence is wrong and it has been proven that you do gain more ground in a faster truck. You are not as stressed and you can take a break from behind the wheel and to enjoy it than a person whom is stuck behind the wheel of a slower truck. Basically, if you dir, are catching a faster running truck, it’s because that person doesn’t know how to keep that left door shut. Truck on!

  5. As a O/O I would take a huge hit financially. Rates are already lower than last year and operating costs are just going up. Our founding fathers are surely rolling over in their graves about how heavily regulated the the transportation industry is already. As far as truck speed limiter, mine is not limited at all. My truck gets the best fuel mileage at 68- 72 mph, so that is the speed I drive at as long as it is legal and safe to do so.

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