Thursday, January 26, 2012

A chicken in every pot and a longer, heavier truck on every interstate?

When it comes to Big Trucking’s claim that trucks with more axles will be the future of trucking AND save the nation, it’s not hard to kick all the glittering claims to the curb and ask some stumping questions.

One consideration that is being overlooked but can’t be ignored in the debate is how your everyday motorist – your wife, your mom, your next door neighbor – are going to safely interact with longer combination vehicles on the highways we all share.

We have asked truckers if they think the average four-wheeler knows the difference between an 80,000-pound truck and a 100,000-pound truck. In one unscientific but revealing web poll we did, a overwhelming 98 percent said NO. Then we followed up with another poll that asked if truckers thought four-wheelers are savvy enough to drive differently round LCVs. It, too, was a resounding NO.

Now that all may seem to be a “duh” to the inth degree, but those responses say a lot. They say that truckers are convinced that we’ve got a long way to go before the “civilian traffic” can handle going up and down the road, side by side, with longer, heavier trucks.

Let’s face it. You pro drivers out there might be able to pilot twin 53-footers as slick as Cousin Carl Edwards handles the #99 car – but it’s still not likely that the people in four-wheelers will know how to safely share the road with you.

Now that’s scary.


  1. I couldn't agree more. When the average four wheeler doesn't realize that it takes an 80,000 lb vehicle over 365 feet to come to a stop at 65mph what will it take to get that 97,000 lb truck to stop?

  2. Another point that bigger truck proponents ignore is the fact that most of our 53ft trailers aren't full when shipped. In my own 10 years of OTR, I informally tallied the full trailers I had against the ones not full. I "not full" were about 72%. So if longer and heavier trailers are allowed, we'll just have bigger empty spaces in them.

  3. Looking at the supposed INCREASED WEIGHT while utilizing UNCOMMON SENSE and LOGIC:

    Increasing weights for CMVs is tantamount to increasing DEATHS ON HIGHWAYS, 2 LANES, ETC.
    It is INSANITY in the least and only benefit shippers because MANY LOADS will fail to arrive at receivers!!

    Haz-Mat loads being heavier will present MORE DANGER to not just the Truck Driver but to ALL PERSONS IN ALL VEHICLES.

    I, for one, being a SAFE CMV Driver, will abjectly REFUSE TO PULL SUCH LOAD WEIGHT for SAFETY REASONS, MINE as well all others on any roadway.
    I rarely pull over 40,000 lbs.

    The CMV Braking System was not designed to handle such INCREASED weight and the carrying structure (Truck and Trailer Framework) will suffer as well will the Tires/Wheels.


    A 97,000 lb Combo will require a additional 100'+ to safely stop, and GOOD LUCK.

    Thank You.
    G. Eric Gaither
    Greensboro, NC

  4. So the groups pushing bigger trucks aern't putting safety first, though no doubt many of their companies have that in their mission statement. Think about this - we had to put reflective stripes on our trucks and trailers for safety. I heard over and over --- "if just one life is saved, it is all worth it." BUT, now, bigger and heavier trucks are more efficient (they say) and. I ended that sentence with "and" because they aren't saying much more. What happened to the importance of "just one life?" Doublespeak!
    from, Danny Schnautz, Pasadena, TX

  5. I started driving 20 years ago and quickly found that customers I delivered to were often in warehouses that had been designed for use by straight trucks or 40 foot trailers. Then came the 45's and the 48's. Most of my driving, however, was with a 53', 102". I was amazed at the limited maneuvering space available at many places especially in the northeast. Even warehouses that have been built in the past 20 or 30 years. It's as though architects NEVER looked at a truck dock before sitting down at their drawing boards. I've had to buck traffic in a major city to back off the street to reach an indoor dock that could not be reached any other way. No room to turn around off street on the customer's property. This failure to consider the logistics and the geometry is what makes me scratch my head when the out-of-touch not rich enough shippers, carriers and brokers talk longer and heavier. I think these movers and shakers should be condemned to delivering for a year or two to garden shops in New England or textile companies in the Carolina's or any factory older than 50 years in Providence. Then talk about longer and heavier. Until then, if they want to ship a trainload of stuff they should use the railroad.

  6. If these rules are passed, most of these heavier trucks will be operated by companies that govern their trucks at less than the posted speed limit, and the additional weight will make it more difficult to get to and maintain their governed speed, worsening the speed differential safety problem.

  7. It's all about corporate greed no safety thoughts considered.


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