Friday, August 15, 2008

Big truck insanity

Recently, the ATA and a number of shipper and receiver groups started yet another push to allow longer, heavier trucks onto our nation’s highways.

It’s not really a new fight for them, or for all of us. But this time, they are trying some new angles to get Congress to agree with their request.

But the facts behind this discussion haven’t really changed at all.

One of them I haven’t brought up lately is a simple matter of measurement – there are a lot of places where a double, much less a triple, wouldn’t fit on the existing streets, or into an existing dock.

A trucker recently called in to remind us about that. He mentioned some of the spots he drives in California, but what we’re talking about here isn’t unique to California – not by far.

In fact, there are plenty of cities where the whole infrastructure system is built around a single 48-foot trailer – where they even have trouble with a single 53-foot trailer.

Putting doubles or triples into that situation is insane.

What we’re seeing here is larger carriers whose office-bound bean counters have determined that this will save them cash. And that’s what this is about – their money.

It’s not about safety, it’s not about the environment – it’s money.

We were all taught in Sunday school that the love of money is the root of all evil. Seems sometimes that old wisdom is the best wisdom.