WASHINGTON– Harmonization amongst states on roadway laws associating with capacity would greatly enhance interstate trucking, according to market experts.
States establish weight limits for their highways, and these policies often vary in between nearby states.
Rich Goldsbury, president of Doosan Bobcat North America and Oceania, used the example of a motorist transporting double flatbeds across one state and having to dismantle to single flatbeds before reaching neighboring state lines. He spoke at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ briefing May 15, hosted in conjunction with Infrastructure Week.
Infrastructure Week is marked nationally by education and advocacy occasions that highlight the state of roadways, bridges, rails, ports, airports and more.
Goldsbury, whose business relies mostly on flatbed trucks, said that these differing rules develop delays for truckers.
Flatbed Facilities Week
Ben McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, acknowledged that roadway limitations exist due to the fact that of states’ ability to handle heavy loads. The facilities capability of Rhode Island varies considerably from that of Wyoming. However, McLean suggested that states work on a regional basis to establish weight laws. Based in Iowa, Ruan is a logistics company that runs about 4,000 trucks.
” [I’m] annoyed by the harmonization of interstate trucking,” Goldsbury stated. “It truly affects us. That’s a big obstacle for us.”.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ occasion used a chance for manufacturing and transport market representatives to go over the function infrastructure plays in the motion of products. Panelists spoke of “pain points” that belong to facilities and bear unfavorable impacts on the trucking market.
Among these “discomfort points” is the total lack of truck motorists, according to McLean. American Trucking Associations in 2015 reported a lack of more than 50,000 motorists.
Labor force development– and the quality of life for existing truck drivers– would enhance with facilities financial investment, McLean stated. He stated that motorists would squander less hours if blockage points along the highway system and in cities were attended to.
” It is hard to obtain motor providers driven by professional motorists to move freight. We truly feel that crunch,” McLean stated.” [The] congestion points that we have in our national highway system are rather severe.”.
Facilities funding remains a difficulty for federal and local government agencies. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said at the kickoff of Infrastructure Week May 14 that the Trump administration still is sifting through a slew of funding mechanisms, from a vehicle-miles-traveled cost to a fuel tax, to boost infrastructure financing.
McLean said that raising the gas tax, unblemished considering that 1993, would be a low-priced mechanism to increase funds.
The federal tax on diesel is 24.4 cents a gallon, and on gas it’s 18.4 cents.
Goldsbury said state and regional agencies need a source of funding that is more trustworthy than the Highway Trust Fund, which assists states with upkeep and building and construction projects. The fund is supported by the federal fuel tax. But improvements in fuel usage and shifting driving habits add to the account’s stable decrease, triggering a number of general fund transfers in the last few years to maintain its solvency.
ATA President Chris Spear, in a statement May 14, described the Highway Trust Fund as “operating on fumes.”.
” If no action is taken by 2020, the Highway Trust Fund will be flat broke,” Spear stated.
The White House’s financing principals unveiled Feb. 12 would rely significantly on private funds of as much as $1.3 trillion to reach a topline of $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
Goldsbury said that facilities financial investment is essential for the movement of goods, particularly in rural areas such as the North Dakota community where a Bobcat plant is based. He stated drivers must pass through a two-lane highway to reach the factory, which can in some cases deal with interruptions from snow.
” It’s a challenge to us from a structural viewpoint. We live and operate in North Dakota. Since of the lack of population, the absence of highway possibilities, it’s tough to obtain material in and out of North Dakota,” Goldsbury said. “It’s crucial to me that facilities is well-funded.”.