AMT Asking For Double Trailer Length Increase From 28' - 33'

Topic 24706 | Page 1

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Marc Lee's Comment
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BY DAVID HOLLIS FEBRUARY 22, 2019

An organization representing major trucking companies and national business organizations renewed its call for longer trailers. But, it’s not a change all of the industry supports.

Americans for Modern Transportation earlier this month sent a letter to leaders of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure asking the standard length of double trailers be increased from 28 feet to 33 feet. In its letter to Congressmen Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and Sam Graves (R-Missouri) the association claims the addition of a combined 10 feet of trailer space will mean fewer trucks on the road and thus 53.2 million fewer hours of congestion improve safety by 4,500 fewer truck-involved accidents lower shipping costs by $2.6 billion reduce stress on the infrastructure by requiring 3.1 billion fewer truck milesimprove the environment by reducing emissions by 2.9 million fewer tons of carbon dioxide from 255 million fewer gallons of fuel.

There have been several attempts in the past to approve twin 33's, none of which has been successful. Last June a group of leading truckload carriers sent a similar letter to the then leaders of the same committee asking for the trailer length increase.

But, not everyone in the industry is in favor of growing 28-foot pups to 33 feet.

The Truckload Carriers Association today renewed its objection to any changes in the length of trailers.

“TCA will continue to support a position of no changes to truck size or weight,” said TCA Vice President of Government Affairs David Heller in a statement to Truckers News. “Advocating for a vehicle configuration that only benefits a small segment of the trucking industry would only exacerbate current industry problems such as truck parking, the driver shortage, and overall vehicle safety. “Distracting from the much larger congressional conversation of infrastructure reform, which would correct the shortfall of funding to the Highway Trust Fund and repair our deteriorating roads and bridges, would be irresponsible of an industry that is clamoring for a fix. Constructive conversations regarding productivity should center around the growing issue of detention time, that in a new world of ELDs, has proven itself to be a data-proven problem with a solution that may actually make a difference on many issues that impede the productive delivery of this nation’s freight.”

When the topic of longer trailers was considered last May, the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association spoke out against it. In a letter congress, the OOIDA said twin 33s would benefit large trucking companies but “adversely impact” smaller trucking businesses and reduce highway safety.

Drivers themselves don’t care for the idea of bigger trailers either. When the topic came up almost exactly two years ago, results of a poll of Truckers News readers found 73 percent opposed to 33-foot twins, 16 percent in favor and 11 percent said they didn’t care.

In the past, the Teamsters have weighed in against the longer trailers.

The AMT is a coalition of major trucking companies and private fleets including Estes, FedEx, UPS, XPO Logistics, YRC, and Reddaway. Members also include business organizations such as the National Association of Manufacturers and major shippers like Amazon.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

OOIDA:

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Who They Are

OOIDA is an international trade association representing the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on all issues that affect truckers. The over 150,000 members of OOIDA are men and women in all 50 states and Canada who collectively own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.

Their Mission

The mission of OOIDA is to serve owner-operators, small fleets and professional truckers; to work for a business climate where truckers are treated equally and fairly; to promote highway safety and responsibility among all highway users; and to promote a better business climate and efficiency for all truck operators.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
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This isn't new. Here's a TT post from about 3 1/2 years ago: How About Them Double 33's?

I (little me - a truck driver) am still not in favor. On a driver level, guess who would be responsible for breaking the train down and docking the trainers?

PackRat's Comment
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This isn't new. Here's a TT post from about 3 1/2 years ago: How About Them Double 33's?

I (little me - a truck driver) am still not in favor. On a driver level, guess who would be responsible for breaking the train down and docking the trainers?

How do you dock a trainer?

Errol V.'s Comment
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PackRat queries:

How do you dock a trainer?

Use a better spelkl check, and proof read anyway! rofl-2.gif

Keith A.'s Comment
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I just feel like making trailers longer is a bad idea because they're already too long for the design of a lot of places we go

Navypoppop's Comment
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Double 33' pups will be disaster for sure. The extra 10' of overall length will surely cause more issues than problems solved. I drove for CSE [before they were XPO] for 14 years and the 28' pups were enough. Just like the 53' trailers from 48' cause a lot of problems like too long to fit into most truck stop parking spaces. Most of the time you can't load out a 53' unless it is light weight freight and the overhang behind the rear axles causes a problem with swing. There will be no gain in the amount of trucks on the road or any more places to park. A bad idea all around.

G-Town's Comment
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Although I am in no way advocating longer pups or TL vans, I can think of many times I cube out the 53’ trailer. For example 60 pallets of Kelloggs cereal cubes-out at 32,000 pounds. Add another 4’ of length to the 53’ trailer allows for 64 total pallets and only about 2000 pounds of additional weight. Yes placement of the tandems is problematic making it more difficult to maneuver.

If I am not mistaking this proposed change will also increase GVCW to 88,000 pounds. This would be especially beneficial for a double 33’ combination.

Again, I am not advocating longer trainers and/ or heavier weights, but it clearly can increase overall payload capacity for medium density cargo.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Wiggle wagon 's Comment
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As a ltl driver it would work. There is no trailer swing behind the axles as they are set at the rear of the trailer just like the 28’ pups now. I drive mostly Rocky Mountain doubles. A 48’ with a pup. No problems driving down the road and to those of us used to them very little trouble maneuvering around. The weight on these are 105,000 or 106,000. So the trailers they are requesting are a step between pup doubles and rocky set. The everyday otr driver wouldn’t be driving them anyways just like they are not endorsed for them now.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
LDRSHIP's Comment
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They increased weight will just cause more damage to an already crumbling road infrastructure. Congress froze truck lengths a long time ago for a reason. Longer and heavier is not always better, just my .02.

Tractor Man's Comment
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Trying to squeeze every nickel out of a truck load. Just raise the rates. Like others have said, lots of shippers and receivers can barely a accommodate a sleeper tractor and 53 foot trailer as it is.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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