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Support SAFE Trucking Act, farm groups urge

Congress needs to include a new trucking act in highway reauthoriziation legislation expected to go before the full House this week, a coalition of farm and agricultural groups said Tuesday.

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Congress needs to include a new trucking act in highway reauthoriziation legislation expected to go before the full House this week, a coalition of farm and agricultural groups said Tuesday. The Safe, Flexible and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act (H.R. 3488 ) is a proposed amendment to the highway legislation. The act would give states the  option to raise the federal gross vehicle weight limit from 80,000 pounds to 91,000 pounds for trucks equipped with six axles rather than the typical five. Doing so would reduce the number of trucks needed to move ag products, according to the farm and ag groups. The groups -- which include the American Farm Bureau, American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition, American Soybean Association,  International Dairy Foods Association, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Grain and Feed Association, and the National Farmers Union -- also have this to say: "In its most recent 'Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study,' the U.S. Department of Transportation found that six-axle trucks can safely weigh up to 91,000 pounds-the configuration allowable under the SAFE Trucking Act-while yielding significant truckload reductions, pavement wear savings and environmental efficiency benefits without diverting significant freight from rail. The U.S. DOT has also stated that the configuration is compliant with the federal bridge formula, and that wide use of the SAFE Trucking Act configuration would not cause any increase in one-time rehabilitation costs for Interstate bridges." The groups' support for the change is expressed in a letter to Congress. Click  here  to read it.

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