August 15, 2015

Document: What Others Are Saying About Twin 33’s August 2015

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Carl Pope, a preeminent environmental advocate and founder of the Sierra Club: “With regard to the Twin-33 provision, I think the evidence to justify the existing federal limitation is flimsy at best, and the evidence for permitting these slightly longer BUT NO HEAVIER trucks to operate is substantial.”

“I have found no evidence in the testimony and submissions of those who oppose this change that it will impair safety, increase wear and tear on roads – but unequivocal evidence that it will save substantial amounts of otherwise wasted fuel, reduce the number of trucks on our highways, and make the trucking sector more efficient – perhaps as much as 16-18% more efficient for the segment impacted. These are the kinds of opportunities that we need to grab – even when the industry in question may well need other vital reforms to enhance safety.” (Letter to Minority Leader Harry Reid, 7/25/15)

Robbie Diamond, President & CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy: “Opportunities to increase the efficiency of our trucking fleet must be seriously considered if we are to reduce our dependence on oil. By putting twin 33’s on the U.S. highway system the industry can save an estimated 204 million gallons of fuel, an important step in cutting that dependence. Furthermore, the new trailers will avoid the need for 6.6 million truck trips nationwide, putting fewer trucks on the road and reducing impacts on our infrastructure. I support the allowance of twin 33’ trailers as an integral part of this goal.”

Jeff Sims, President of the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association: “TTTMA supports allowing 33-foot twin trailers with no increase in the maximum weight allowed for combination truck trailers. The potential for up to 18% improvement in freight capacity will reduce the number of trips needed to carry the country’s freight and will thereby reduce the num­ber of trucks on the road and the likelihood of accidents involving trucks. This improvement in freight capacity will also reduce overall fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by truck trailers.”

Bob Bushman, President, National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition: “From our perspective, the benefit of this change is clear: as roadway freight shipments increase over time, the number of trucks required to carry that freight would increase at a slower rate than under the current policy limits. Slowing the growth in the number of truck trips while allowing for growth in freight shipments helps law enforcement on the side of the road -including the narcotic officers we represent.”

Mark V. Rosenker, President, Transportation Safety Group, LLC, Past Chairman National Transportation Safety Board:“I have studied this proposal closely. I have examined the literature including independent studies, as well as the 2002 recommendations from the Transportation Research Board at the National Academies. I believe this change is sound public policy and encourage you to give every measure of support to its enactment.”

Janet Kavinoky, Executive Director of Transportation & Infrastructure for the US Chamber of Commerce: “As America’s transportation infrastructure continues to show signs of age and businesses look for opportunities for productivity gains, it is imperative to adopt common sense solutions like LTL 33’ twin trailers that will help relieve stress on roads and bridges and enable companies to ship more goods per trip. The reduction in the number of truck trips will also result in greater fuel savings and make for a more sustainable fleet for companies in the LTL market.”

Rosario Palmieri, Vice President of Infrastructure, Legal & Regulatory Policy for the National Association of Manufacturers: “Transportation is critical to manufacturers from start to finish. While freight volumes continue to increase as a result of an economy on the rebound, our infrastructure is not keeping up with these demands. Increasesin productivity are critical to keeping manufacturers competitive. The introduction of less than truckload twin 33’ trailers is a common sense solution to safely and effectively move freight.”

Brian Inman, President of the Association of Montana Troopers: “It is a commonsense approach to improve productivity. By holding weight limits constant, there is no new risk to passenger vehicles. The increased cubic capacity of the twin trailers would allow up to 18 percent more freight to be carried by the same number of truck-trailer combinations. By reducing truck trips, we expect to see a dramatic decrease in accident rates over time.”

Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council: “Science and data support the benefits of longer LTL trailers, from road and bridge infrastructure to highway safety and transportation productivity. It’s time for Congress to update the 1982 regulations that have limited LTL trailers to 28 feet. Twin 33-foot trailers are a commonsense solution for 21st-century businesses and our economy.”

Brigham McCown, former general counsel at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: “The congestion relief will directly impact every American driver as the proposal would reduce the number of trucks on the road. Fewer trucks, fewer trailers, less gasoline, less wear on our roadways and most importantly, less congestion represents a win-win for us all.” (“How Congress Can Help Make Freight Transportation Safer and More Efficient,” The Hill, 1/12/15)

John Woodrooffe, A Scholar At The University Of Michigan, Demonstrates That Twin 33’ Trailers Are More Stable Than Twin 28’ Trailers, Especially In Turns. “Woodrooffe spoke at the National Private Truck Council’s annual meetingin Cincinnati last week, and he touched on long combination vehicles. So I asked him about twin 33s compared to 28s. He said the 33-foot-long trailers’ extended wheelbases would make them more stable than twin 28s when being pulled by a truck-tractor, especially in turns. He has done computer simulations to prove this.” (Tom Berg, “Twin 33s Would Be Safer than 28s, U of Michigan Researcher Says,” Trucking Info, 4/23/14)

Mike Roeth, North American Council for Freight Efficiency Executive Director and Operations Lead at the Carbon War Room: “LTL twin 33 trailers will allow for more freight hauled per power unit, resulting in greater fuel savings for fleets and less congestion on America’s roadways. This is a common sense proposal that will generate real world results.”

National Retail Federation’s Vice President of Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan E. Gold: “NRF’s members are among the country’s largest shippers, moving hundreds of billions of dollars worth of merchandise through the supply chain. The ability to move freight quickly, efficiently and safely are vital to retailers’ business. Allowing twin 33-foot trailers is a common sense approach to improve efficiency and productivity that will provide for better truck utilization, reduce congestion and keep costs better controlled.”

Mark Gottlieb Of The Wisconsin Department Of Transportation Said A Study Of Larger Trucks Completed By The State Found “Net Benefits In Safety, Productivity And Pavement Conditions.” “Another panelist confirmed the advantages of larger trucks – when a program is carefully considered and evaluated. Mark Gottlieb, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, explained that Wisconsin completed a comprehensive truck size and weight study in 2009, looking at the economic gains compared to potential risks and infrastructure damage. In each of six different truck configurations examined, the study found net benefits in safety, productivity and pavement conditions.” (Kevin Jones, “Trucking Makes Case For Increased Size, Weight,” Commercial Carrier, 2/28/14)

Kelly Kolb, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA): “As the leading retail industry’s advocate, RILA knows how important it is for our member companies to transport products to their customers in the most efficient and proactive manner. Our member companies take great pride in being able to service their customer’s needs in a timely manner. Allowing for the interstate operation of twin LTL 33’ trailers will increase productivity as retailers will be able to ship more goods to more customers with fewer trucks overall in a responsibleand safe manner. It’s time to modernize regulations that hold back this type of progress.”

Bruce Carlton, President and CEO at The National Industrial Transportation League: “The National Industrial Transportation League fully supports legislation that would permit the interstate use of tandem 33’ trailers. This is a safe, common sense approach to adding critically needed truck capacity, reducing transportation costs and injecting greater efficiency into long-haul trucking of goods. When Congress acts on a new surface transportation authorization, the League hopes this long-sought provision will be included.”

The Transportation Research Board conducted a study that found: “The states should be allowed to issue permits for operation, on any road where the use of such vehicles is now prevented by federal law, of double-trailer configurations with each trailer up to 33 ft long; seven, eight, or nine axles; and a weight limit governed by the present federal bridge formula.” (“Regulation of Weights, Lengths and Widths of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Special Report 267,” 2002)

American Trucking Associations CEO and President Bill Graves: “I think there’s some merit to the recent effort on the ‘twin 33s’ [twin 33-foot trailers, rather than 28-foot units] in the LTL [less-than-truckload] industry, because it’s not a weight issue, and even though it is a length issue, it’s minimal in its impact on the average driver, and its productivity impact is really significant.” (Mark Szakonyi, “Both Sides Of Truck Weight, Size Fight Gear Up For Next Battle,” Journal Of Commerce, 2/25/14)

Steve Pociask is president of the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research: “According to an OECD report, ‘higher capacity vehicles have potential to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions,’ as well as yield fewer miles, require fewer trucks on the road, lower transportation costs and result in higher productivity. This would improve road efficiency and utilization, as well as extend the life of our aging roads and bridge infrastructure.”

“For many years, there have been recommendations to increase the less than truckload (LTL) trailer size from its current twin 28-foot length to 33-foot without increasing trailer weight limits. The idea of improving highway efficiency by reforming truck size was embraced by the Transportation Research Board as far back as 2002. According to a more recent report, twin 33-foot trailers were found to be significantly safer than the 28-foot trailers that on the road today; and, if widely used, the change would yield be fewer trucks on the road, less diesel fuel consumed and fewer highway accidents.” (Steve Pociask, president of the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, Daily Caller, “Time To Revisit Trucking Regula­tions: Bigger Trucks Are Good For Roads And The Environment,” January 21, 2015)

American Highway Users Alliance President & CEO Greg Cohen: “The key issues are safety, congestion, and impacts to pavement and bridges. The twin 33-foot truck trailers have been studied exhaustively for safety and found to be safe. The potential to ease congestion at freight bottlenecks is excellent, particularly as the amount of goods to be shipped is projected to grow substantially and very limited new highway capacity is funded. In terms of impact on pavements and bridges, the current trailers frequently fill with volume well before existing weight limits are reached and additional weight is not on the table. Accordingly, we are pleased to support the twin 33-foot trailer proposal.”

Mike Regan, Chairman of the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC) Advocacy Committee: “NASSTRAC joins other CERT supporters in calling for approval of twin 33-foot trailers as a safe and efficient means of improving trucking industry productivity and meeting the need of an expanding US economy for growth in motor carrier capacity. This issue was a key theme in NASSTRAC’s March 3-4, 2015 Washington DC Fly-In and visits to Capitol Hill, and we will continue to work for approval of this initiative.”

Society of the Plastics Industry’s Vice President of Science and Regulatory Affairs Robert Helminiak: “Ensuringthat manufacturers have access to the most efficient shipping options is vital to everyone in the supply chain. At the Society of the Plastics Industry, an organization that represents nearly 900,000 American workers in the third largestU.S. manufacturing industry, this is no different. Permitting twin 33-foot trailers is a sensible approach to make sure customers and businesses receive products at the lowest possible cost.”

George Clark, President of Manufacture Alabama: “Scientific data demonstrates that extending the LTL trailer length to 33 feet will: enhance safety on our highways, reduce congestion, increase productivity, conserve energy and is environmentally friendly. That’s why Manufacture Alabama agrees that a five-foot extension on less-than-truckload trailers would be good for our health, safety and commerce.”

Executive Vice President of Uline Phil Hunt: “Uline is a family-owned Wisconsin business and a leading distributor of shipping industrial and packaging materials. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with the best service possible. Part of our commitment to our customers requires fast, reliable freight carriers to move our product. Allowing for Twin 33s will create greater efficiency and productivity in the shipping and freight industry by reducing the number of trucks on the road, as well as the strain on the current highway infrastructure. In addition, shipment volume will increase, along with the safety of the trucking industry. Uline supports legislative action allowing for Twin-33 trailers.”

Patrick Atagi, Vice President of Advocacy and External Affairs at the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association: “The wooden pallet industry primarily ships its product via truck and trailer. The predominantly produced pallet in the United States is 48” x 40”. An increase of trailer length from 28 feet to 33 feet would significantly increase shipping capacity. Greater capacity means less fuel used for transportation costs, which helps our members who are mostly small businesses owners. We as a country need to continue our focus on sustainability and its simple math that more cubic feet on a trailer reduces truck trips, which in turn reduces the number of trucks on the road. At any given time there are 2 Billion pallets in use in the United States.”

Marc Scribner, Research Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute: “The Feinstein-Wicker amendment, like all opposi­tion to twin-33s, is rooted in the politics of fear and ignorance. Virtually all credible independent research has found that twin-33s reduce wear-and-tear on infrastructure, improve safety, boost productivity, and benefit the environment. Twin-33s are a win-win for both the public interest and the private sector. To be sure, there are many complex issues at play in this forthcoming surface transportation reauthorization, but this is simply a no-brainer.”

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