June 8 2010 aashto scoht annual meeting
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June 8, 2010 AASHTO SCOHT Annual Meeting. Coalition AGainst Bigger Trucks. What I’m Not. The “I hate big trucks guy” Not anti-truck or even anti-big truck Engineer – pavement, bridge, or other Railroad spokesperson Wildcat or Tiger Indifferent To industry – shippers or trucking

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Coalition AGainst Bigger Trucks

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June 8 2010 aashto scoht annual meeting

June 8, 2010

AASHTO SCOHT Annual Meeting

Coalition AGainst Bigger Trucks


What i m not

What I’m Not

  • The “I hate big trucks guy”

    • Not anti-truck or even anti-big truck

  • Engineer – pavement, bridge, or other

  • Railroad spokesperson

  • Wildcat or Tiger

  • Indifferent

    • To industry – shippers or trucking

    • To your challenge


Coalition against bigger trucks

Coalition Against Bigger Trucks

  • National grassroots non-profit

  • 100+ campaigns, nearly 20 years

  • Expected & unexpected allies

    • Law enforcement & safety groups

    • Truck drivers & independent owner-operators

    • AAA clubs

    • State & local elected officials

    • Environmental, public interest, & taxpayer groups


More than maine

More Than Maine

  • 97,000 pounds, 6 axles nationwide at state option (HR 1799)

  • Pilot programs in Maine and Vermont

  • 129,000 pound LCVs in Idaho (S. 1059 & S. 398)

  • 96,000 pound, 6- or 7-axle in Iowa

  • 88,000 pounds, 5-axle in Florida

  • LCV resolutions in Colorado, Idaho


Issues with tsw increases

Issues with TSW Increases

  • Safety

  • Infrastructure damage

    • Pavement

    • Bridges

  • Underpayment

  • Energy & environment


Issue safety

Issue: Safety

  • Longstanding, significant concerns

    • Rollover

    • Off-tracking

    • Braking

    • Crash severity

    • Systems effects

  • Enforcement challenges

    • TSW increase would raise the bar

  • Ongoing need for more complete data


Issue infrastructure damage

Issue: Infrastructure Damage

  • Increased pavement damage

  • Bridges

    • Half of NHS bridges >40 years old

    • 25% of US bridges are deficient

    • “According to FHWA, it would cost $140 billion in 2006 dollars to immediately repair every bridge that is deficient in the country” (AASHTO, 2008)

    • Ongoing need for more complete data

      • LTBP funded by SAFETEA:LU at 1/4 requested amount (and is “long-term”)


Bridges seta

Bridges & SETA

  • 2000 DOT Study estimated $50-$63 billion bridge costs for NAFTA scenario

  • H.R. 1799 includes HVUT increase, but it’s inadequate

    • At most, HVUT would generate ≈$500 million per year

  • Posting violation rate as low as 2.5% results in significant loss in reliability (ASCE, 2005)

    • If posting not strictly enforced, reliability benefits of posting can almost vanish (ASCE, 2001)


Issue underpayment

Issue: Underpayment

  • Premise: vehicles should pay for the damage attributable to their operations

  • Federal cost allocation study showed significant heavy truck underpayment


Full cost recovery mile

Full Cost Recovery ($/mile)


Full cost recovery gallon

Full Cost Recovery ($/gallon)


80k 5 axle v 97k 6 axle mile

80K, 5-axle v. 97K, 6-axle ($/mile)


80k 5 axle v 97k 6 axle gallon

80K, 5-axle v. 97K, 6-axle ($/gallon)


Issue environment

Issue: Environment

  • Bigger trucks use more fuel, emit more pollutants

  • Bigger trucks don’t mean fewer trucks

    • ATRI only refers to fully-loaded trucks

    • ATRI looks mainly at highway operations

    • ATRI doesn’t contemplate rail diversion


Bigger trucks fewer trucks

Bigger Trucks ≠ Fewer Trucks


Rail diversion

Rail Diversion

  • US DOT

    • 7% loss of car miles

    • 50% loss in contribution

  • TTX

    • 25% of intermodal and carload traffic

  • Martland

    • 44% short line merchandise traffic

    • 17% overall short line traffic


Rail diversion1

Rail Diversion

  • Montreal, Maine, & Atlantic Railway

    • Predominantly served forest products industry

    • Not profitable, filed for abandonment

  • San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad

    • CO now allows110K, 7-axle on state roads

    • 20% of bulk cargo diverted to highways

  • Brownsville & Rio Grande Int’l Railroad

    • TX allows heavier trucks between Mexican border and Port of Brownsville

    • Lost nearly all of southbound traffic


Shipa h r 1618 s 779

SHIPA (H.R. 1618 / S. 779)

  • Close permitting loopholes

  • Extend weight freeze to NHS

  • Extend LCV freeze to NHS

  • Freeze trailer length at 53 feet

  • NO ROLLBACKS

  • Develop a model fine system


Federal legislative situation

Federal Legislative Situation

  • Conflicting stand-alone bills

  • Unlikely to be addressed outside of reauthorization

  • Requests to extend pilot projects have been submitted to Appropriations Committees


Thank you

Thank you


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