There are still efforts in Congress to increase the gross weight limits for trucks. One piece of legislation is the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (H.R. 763). This bill would allow increasing the weight limit from the current 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds.
Proponets of heavier trucks claim it will reduce greenhouse gases, ease what they see as an upcoming driver shortage when the economy improves, and make freight transportation more efficient. In other words, fewer trucks can haul more freight and reduce highway congestion. Heavier truck supporters also say new hours of service regulations going into effect in 2013 will create increased demand for more equipment and drivers.
What proponets of heavier trucks usually don’t admit is they want to load more freight on the truck, but pay truckers the same old freight rate. It doesn’t matter to them that heavier trucks also increase risk of more highway damage, not to mention the greater wear and tear on tractors and trailers, decreased miles per gallon and longer distances required for a big rig to stop resulting in more crashes.
Some things never seemed to change in trucking and this is one of those issues that has been out there for decades.