Should Big Rigs Be Supersize?

You drive next to a big rig on the highway. Has anyone ever that thought they are not big enough?

Well, your consumer concerns are not even in the radar of Kraft Foods Inc., MillerCoors, or Coca-Cola, which would all like trucks to be bigger so they can carry more product around the country on fewer trips. The companies then save money on gas.

Kraft is part of 150 companies that are lobbying Congress to allow trucks 20% heavier on the nation’s roadways, according to Chicago Breaking Business. Instead of the maximum of 80,000 pounds, they could weigh up to 97,000 pounds. Mega-trucks could add two, even three trailers to allow for the heavier loads, bringing the length up to 120 feet up from the current limit on most interstates of 53 feet.

But consider that heavier trucks increase the likelihood for more catastrophic failures of our bridges, such as the collapse of the I-35 Bridge in Minneapolis where 13 people were killed and 145 were seriously injured.

Nineteen western governors like the idea of the “double” and “triple” tractor trailers. It’s already happened in the train industry. Union Pacific Corp. ran a test of a “monster train” that ran 3.4 miles through Southern California. Union Pacific failed to alert local authorities of the test. Imagine what could happen if an emergency vehicle had to cross the tracks when this monster was passing through?

There is a bill in the House and one in the Senate to allow for the larger big-rigs. Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) proposes raising the weight limit to 97,000 pounds.

In the last 50 years, the trucking industry has been relentless in its push to put larger and larger trucks on the road and to push its drivers to log longer and longer hours behind the wheel. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.) and Rep Jim McGovern (D., Mass.) have filed legislation to ban bigger and heavier trucks.

Where do consumers weigh in? Truck Safety Coalition’s Jane Mathis, who lost a son and his wife in a big rig accident in Florida says, “We don’t need bigger trucks; we need safer trucks,” in her support of the Lautenberg bill.

This concerns Florida truck accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers throughout the nation.