Last month, the Americans for Modern Transportation made a push to ask congress to approve measures for longer pup trailers. This has been an ongoing project, as not but a year ago similar motions were made for twin 33s. This time around, in addition to capacity concerns, Americans for Modern Transportation cited numerous benefits to the trucking industry, road safety, infrastructure, the environment, and more.
Longer Pup Trailers Would Benefit the Trucking Industry
By increasing the allowable length of pup trailers from 28-feet to 33-feet, the new capacity limits will help to ease the burden on carriers to meet the demands of shippers. Shippers will also benefit, because the added capacity could potentially reduce overall shipping costs by around $2.5 billion.
Benefits to Infrastructure
The added capacity would ultimately lower the number of trucks needed on the road at any given time. Extrapolating from the added capacity pup trailers offer, there would be roughly 53 million less hours of road congestion caused by trucks. Less congestion would greatly improve safety by lowering truck-related accidents by over 4,000. Additionally, longer pup trailers would reduce wear and tear on highways by over 3 billion miles.
Getting in-line with environmental concerns, Americans for Modern Transportation detailed the reduction in emissions from using twin 33s. Longer pup trailers would decrease carbon dioxide emissions by almost 3 million tons. This is directly related to the reduction in trucks on the road from larger capacity trailers. By extensions, the reduction in carbon dioxide would result from the trucking industry using 255 million gallons of fuel less per year.
Challenges Facing Longer Pup Trailers
Americans for Modern Transportation is a very large organization with support from companies like Amazon, FedEx, XPO Logistics, and more. However, the motion for twin 33s is not without opposition. Many believe that increasing trailer length would only increase existing problems such as truck parking and overall road safety. The last time this proposition was brought before congress, it did not make any headway because officials thought that longer trailers would further marginalize smaller trucking companies. Others believe the focus should not be on the capacity of trailers, but rather detention time and the imposed hours of service in conjunction with ELDs.
Express Freight Finance will be covering this issue as it unfolds before congress.