RSI urgent call to action: Kill those double 33-foot trailer trucks!

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Today, Nov. 10, 2015, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on an amendment for a procedural motion that would provide instructions to the Senate conferees on the Highway Trust Fund Bill Conference Committee regarding double 33-foot trailer trucks. The Railway Supply Institute is urging the industry to contact Senate members immediately and urge them to vote yes on the amendment.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) will offer the amendment, “Motion to Instruct Conferees of the Highway Bill on Double 33-Foot Trailer Trucks,” which would instruct conferees to allow the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary to issue a federal rule allowing for these longer trucks only if USDOT finds that such an increase would not have a net negative impact on public safety.

Over and above protecting the motoring public from longer and heavier trucks, this provision would protect railway supply industry and railroad jobs, RSI stresses, adding that “there has been no debate, no vote by the Senate, no hearings, no research and no safety analysis, so this motion is a commonsense approach to require the Secretary of Transportation to thoroughly evaluate the impact on public safety.”

Those who want to contact their U.S. Senators directly (there are two per state) can find them and their contact information by clicking HERE.

RSI recommends this approach:

Inform the staff that you are a constituent and work for (name of your company). They will likely ask for your address to confirm you are a constituent. Inform the staff that you are calling to ask the Senator to vote YES on the Motion to Instruct Conferees of the Highway Bill on Double 33-Foot Trailer Trucks. Explain that you are asking for the YES vote because:

• There has been no debate, no vote by the Senate, no hearings, no research and no safety analysis, so this motion is a commonsense approach to require the Secretary of Transportation to thoroughly evaluate the impact on public safety of double 33-foot trailer trucks.

• Truck-related crash fatalities and injuries have been rising for four years. Our nation’s roads and highways will be forever changed by more trucks and longer, heavier trucks driving next to our families.

• Double 33s are opposed by law enforcement, trucking companies, truck drivers, Republican and Democrat elected state officials, truckload carriers, short line and regional railroads, railway suppliers, and consumer, public health and safety groups.

• Longer trucks will hinder intermodal freight transportation. Intermodal railcars are equipped to carry six 28-foot trailers end to end, stacked two-high. By allowing 33-foot double trailer trucks, these railcars would only be able to carry three 33-foot trailers per trip, which equates to only half the number of trailers and a 41% reduction in intermodal efficiency. This will have a huge impact on the U.S. railway supply industry, in particular, manufacturers of intermodal railcars.

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