WHEREAS, the trucking industry is constantly pressuring Congress to increase truck size and weight; and
WHEREAS, the industry has had success in pushing through truck size and weight increases for certain designated segments of the National Highway System; and
WHEREAS, there have been numerous efforts in Congress to increase current 28-foot double trailers to 33 feet, and to increase truck weights on all federal highways from 80,000 lbs. to 97,000 lbs.; and
WHEREAS, our highways and bridges are in such disrepair that these proposed increases will only serve to further deteriorate our infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, nearly half of the bridges in the U.S. are more than 40 years old, and one in four bridges in the United States are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and in need of critical repairs; and
WHEREAS, while adding a sixth axle to a 97,000-pound single-trailer truck may mitigate highway pavement damage, additional axles will not help to reduce the actual weight of that vehicle on a bridge and will only increase bridge damage; and
WHEREAS, our current highway infrastructure is not designed for heavier and longer trucks, which require greater stopping distances, longer merge lanes to get up to speed with traffic flow, and exit ramps that can accommodate these vehicles that have a higher center of gravity; and
WHEREAS, heavier volumes of traffic causes greater highway congestion and puts additional pressure on drivers to make quick decisions about stopping distances, lane changes and other evasive actions to avoid accidents; and
WHEREAS, increasing truck weights has only led to an increase in the number of trucks on our highways; and
WHEREAS, a congressionally-mandated DOT Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study concluded that insufficient safety data warranted no increase in truck size and weight.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters Union will call upon Congress to reject policies that cause damage to our already crumbling infrastructure and that jeopardize highway safety; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters Union will oppose any increases in truck size and weight, and support legislation that freezes the current truck size and weight limits on the National Highway System.