Legislators Looking To Increase Truck Weight Limit

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By Andrew Reed

Jerome, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) AAA Idaho is concerned about allowing larger, heavier trucks to operate on state highways, bridges, and local roads.

In 2003, Idaho legislators passed a house bill, which created a pilot project to test the effect of increasing the legal truck weights on state highways.

"There were selected highways that were chosen to run a test study to see what kind of effects the overall weight would do to the roadways.
We're at the ten year mark on that study and the results have been passed on to the legislatures” said Nathan Jerke, Idaho Transportation Department.

Legislators this session will consider a proposal to increase the weight limit of trucks from 105,000 to 129,000 pounds on approved state highways.

In a decision Wednesday afternoon, Idaho transportation officials found a new weight increase will enhance freight mobility and promote economic opportunity without compromising highway safety.

"The load we have now is beverages and we're at 42,000 pounds, plus the trailer weight. We're just barely legal, increased weight would give us much more flexibility on not having to worry about penalties for being overweight,” said David Fowler, truck driver.

"With these heavy trucks right now I'm allowed 97,000 pounds, some of our trucks are permitted for 105,000 pounds. If they increase that weight limit that could be good for my boss, but could be bad for the roads” said Jeff Vaughan, truck driver.

A study that is in the hands of lawmakers to decide what is best for the gem states highways.

Idaho’s First News spoke with Representative Clark Kauffman and said the weight increase would help businesses move a larger load with less drivers and trucks on the highways.


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