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Trucking industry wants bigger loads? Then pay more for roads

Courtesy of MnDOT
If bigger loads are going to increase wear and tear on our roads, then why don't the people making extra money pay more of the taxes?

This session has promised to debate our need for transportation dollars. Both parties agree, but differ on amount and extent.

But it seems a little counterproductive to watch a bill that would increase the maximum truck load from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds weave its way through the legislature.

The bill has bipartisan support and could very well pass this session.

My question is: why is increasing loads on trucks moving faster than a comprehensive transportation package to fix and maintain the roads they ride on?

The trucking industry sees no problem here:

“We have not found any evidence these trucks are causing any additional damage to roads, and we have not seen any evidence these trucks are any less safe than current trucks that are on the road,” Fred Corrigan with the Aggregate and Ready Mix Association of Minnesota said. 

Mr. Corrigan, please, it seems to me you have not looked.

With just one quick search, I found this from North Carolina:

Increasing a truck’s weight to 90,000 pounds results in a 42 percent increase in road wear. Pavement designed to last 20 years wears out in seven.

Yes, an increase in load limit would make trucking somewhat more efficient and probably reduce the number of hauls. So, obviously, companies paying for those hauls will save money.

So, if the bigger loads are going to increase wear and tear on our roads, then why don’t the people making extra money pay more of the taxes?

How is this bill not part of a broader transportation package that would get increased maintenance revenue from each pound over the current 80,000 pound limit?

Is there not any logic to this?

This post was written by Dave Mindeman and originally published on mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog. Follow Dave on Twitter: @newtbuster.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Jesse Langanki on 02/19/2015 - 09:20 am.

    Heavier trucks use more gasoline that lighter trucks or cars, so increasing the gas tax is a good way to capture additional revenue from those causing the most wear. As a side effect, it encourages fewer unnecessary trips, encourages people to buy more fuel efficient cars, and encourages public transportation usage. Higher gas taxes are good all around.

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