Trucks Should be Heavier, Government Report Finds

Washington, D.C. -- According to a recent study concluded by the National Research Council's Transportation Research Board, heavier and bigger trucks should be allowed on the nation's highways.

The report suggests that highways should be open to trucks weighing 10,000 pounds more than the current 80,000-pound limit; tandem trucks, which now carry two 28-foot trailers, should be allowed to haul two 33-foot-long trailers; and bigger trucks could move more freight at a lower cost. The study also called for a new federal agency to study the impact of trucks on the nation's highway system.

While the trucking industry has applauded the board's conclusions, transportation safety groups argue that safety issues should be addressed before issues of increasing weight are met.

Congress requested the study as part of its 1998 bill renewing highway and transit programs for six years. Lawmakers need to revisit the issue in 2003.