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NMPF Backs Truck Weight Legislation

March 8, 2013

Congressional legislation allowing states to increase the weights of trucks used on their interstate roads has the endorsement of NMPF, along with hundreds of other associations and companies.

Reps. Reid Ribble (R-WI) and Mike Michaud (D-ME) introduced the “Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (H.R. 612),” known as SETA, on Feb. 14. The legislation allows an increase to 97,000 pounds on interstates, provided that trucks which utilize the higher weight limit add an additional sixth axle in order to maintain the same stopping distance and weight distribution as trucks currently operating on interstate highways.

NMPF has been circulating a letter in support of the bill, and has signed on to another letter being circulated by the National Cattleman’s Beef Association with signatures from other agricultural organizations.

“This bill is one way Congress can help permit the industry to increase its efficiency, thereby keeping down one key cost in transporting milk and dairy products,” said Jerry Kozak, NMPF President and CEO, in a letter to Congress.

While the bill has received a large amount of bipartisan support, serious opposition remains to giving states the option to increase their truck weights on interstate highways. The SETA legislation failed to make it into the two-year authorization of highway funding passed last July. Instead, a study was commissioned to review the possible safety implications of such a change. The highway bill will expire on Sept. 30, 2014, and SETA will be likely to be a key point of debate in the reauthorization effort.