Food Engineering

Will heavier trucks enhance the food supply chain?

March 7, 2012
Food industry groups are putting their support behind proposed legislation that would allow heavier trucks on the nation’s Interstate Highway System. A large majority of states already allow heavier trucks to access some or all road networks, but the current federal weight limit restricts many of these heavier trucks to non-interstate roads, which are often less safe and less efficient. The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA) would allow states to raise truck weight limits on gross vehicle weight up to 97,000 pounds for six-axle, single-trailer trucks that operate on the interstate system within their borders.

“This legislation is very important to the dairy industry because it will allow safer, greener and more efficient hauling through the supply chain,” said Ruth Saunders, vice president for policy and legislative affairs at the International Dairy Foods Association.

Many of these heavier trucks now operate on five axles instead of the six axles SETA would require for enhanced safety.

Fifteen food industry associations wrote to committee members asking them to support the measure, H.R. 763, noting it would safely improve transportation efficiency, facilitate economic growth and bring much-needed improvements to the American food supply chain.