Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Road Haulage Guide to US State Weight Limits Will Aid Truckers

Truck Tracking Firm Publishes Help for Drivers
Shipping News Feature
US – As is so often the case the lines between state and federal regulations can become blurred and are often confusing, and there is no industry where this occurs more than that of freight and logistics. With winter in Europe now setting in drivers on a ‘night out’ will be firing up their night heaters to stay safe and warm in their sleeper cabs. British road haulage units are traditionally fitted with small diesel fired night heaters which are usually more than adequate for the purpose. This however is not the norm across the Atlantic.

North American truckers tend to spend vastly longer away from home than their European cousins and often have to endure extremely harsh conditions in trips which can routinely span thousands of miles. To accommodate their needs manufacturers incorporate larger auxiliary power units (APUs) which, as with European heaters, eliminate the need to run the engine on idle while parked, but are considerably larger than the UK style equipment, some weighing in at around 250 kilogrammes.

In 2005 President George W Bush’s administration introduced legislation increasing axle weights by 400 pounds for APU equipped tractors to allow for these essential devices, but this was disavowed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) in November of that year in a memo to operators saying federal law could not supersede existing state regulations. President Obama then signed the updated highway bill MAP-21 in 2012 increasing the weight tolerance by a further 150 pounds but the confusion which still reigns can be seen with a quick glance at documents such as the FHA’s ‘Common State Statute Exemptions to Standard Federal Limits' and similar FHA documents.

Now however help is at hand as US based GPS tracking service Track Your Truck has published this free to use APU Weight Exemption Guide which will help truckers pinpoint the states which have no legislation, exempting drivers with trucks equipped with APU technology. The simplified guide can show at a glance which states have modified regulations or have legislation pending but truckers are advised to ensure they are aware of the most up to date rules for any states they drive in.