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Monday, May 06 2019
Truck Weights in Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Forestry Association is an advocate of federal issues, and after the devastation created by Hurricane Michael, additional resources are needed to recover the Florida Panhandle forests. This vital resource provides healthy watersheds and is critically important in retaining jobs, especially in the hardest hit counties who rely heavily on this industry.

The Association supports legislation to allow trucks operating at the maximum allowable state road truck weight limit to travel at that weight on that state’s portion of the federal interstate highway system.  The bill, known as the Right To Haul Act, would apply only to trucks carrying agricultural commodities, including raw logs.—{The Right to Haul Act of 2014 exempts certain agricultural loads traveling on federal highways from federal vehicle weight limitations. Makes individual state weight limitations for agricultural commodities on state highways applicable to federal highways within the state's borders.} —This is a sensible approach to a problem that confronts loggers and farmers looking to trim delivery times and improve efficiency.

According to the Association, increasing allowable gross vehicle weights on the Federal Interstate Highway system will:

  • Conserve fuel.
  • Reduce total emissions, including carbon.
  • Increase the productivity of forest products transport and wood supply management.
  • Enhance safety and reduce traffic congestion by reducing the volume of trucks now forced to use state roads as primary hauling arteries, due to their exclusion from the interstate system.
  • Reduce congestion and accident-exposure on local roads.
  • Improve the U.S. forest industry’s global competitiveness.

“The current federal vehicle weight limit, according to them, is outdated and out of touch with today’s engineering advancements and consumer needs.”  

The 80,000-pound arbitrary truck weight restriction on Federal Interstate Highways has introduced unnecessary costs and inefficiencies to raw material suppliers and finished product shippers that depend on our roadways every day. In many states, the allowable weight limit for state roads is higher than the limit imposed on federal highways.  As a matter fact, this evident disparity has created a number of unforeseen issues, including forcing loggers to travel longer distances on state roads and through small towns instead of safer, more direct routes on the federal interstate.  

In the forest products sector, moving harvested trees from the forest to facility may comprise 30% of a product’s delivered cost, despite the fact that the entire forest product supply chain has worked tirelessly to wring every cent out of the system through innovation and technology.

With respect to trucks operating on the NHS in Florida, several provisions in State law allow trucks to exceed some elements of Federal limits:

State law allows up to 40,000 lbs on a tandem axle.

State law includes a 10 percent weight allowance for axle weight limits.

Summary of Florida Truck Weight Limits for Vehicles in Regular Operations

Single Axle

20,000 lbs. (22,000 lbs. with 10 percent tolerance)

Tandem Axle

40,000 lbs. (44,000 lbs. with 10 percent tolerance)

Tridem Axle

Per FBF

Gross Weight

80,000 lbs.

Other

10 percent scale tolerance*

Regarding perishable food crops: The Governor may declare an emergency when there is a breakdown in the normal public transportation facilities necessary in moving perishable food crops grown in Florida. 

During such emergency, the Department of Transportation is authorized to set new weight limits and designate routes, excluding Interstate highways, to facilitate the transportation of perishable food crops (Fla. Stat. Ann. §316.565).

Posted by: AT 12:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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