The American Trucking Associations applauded the approval of five bills by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee today that will support the trucking industry and strengthen the supply chain.
“The comprehensive and bipartisan bills that advanced today would address some of the root causes of ongoing supply chain challenges and improve the overall safety, efficiency and resiliency of freight transportation,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “ATA has repeatedly engaged with Congress to discuss persistent challenges facing our industry, and we thank Chairman Graves for his attention to these issues and for his leadership of today’s markup. We also commend the bill sponsors who worked with us and other key stakeholders to craft solutions that would benefit our industry, the economy, and American consumers.”
Details on the five trucking bills that advanced today are below:
1) The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act
Introduced by: Reps. Mike Bost (R-Illinois), Angie Craig (D-Minnesota), Daniel Meuser (R-Pennsylvania), Troy Nehls (R-Texas), Eric Swalwell (D-California), Nancy Mace (R-South Carolina), Pete Stauber (R-Minnesota) and Brian Babin (R-Texas)
Purpose: The bill would establish a competitive grant program to fund truck parking projects across the nation.
Background: There is currently only one parking spot for every eleven truck drivers on the road today, and drivers spend an estimated 56 minutes every day looking for a safe place to park. Providing drivers with access to safe parking spots at night and rest breaks mandated by federal hours-of-service rules would increase highway safety, improve supply chain efficiency, improve the quality of life for drivers and make fulfilling careers in trucking more attractive to a new generation of truckers that will include more women and other currently underrepresented demographics.
2) The LICENSE Act
Introduced by: Reps. Darin LaHood (R-Illinois), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Dusty Johnson (R-South Dakota), Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), Jim Costa (D-California) and Josh Harder (D-California)
Purpose: The bill would make permanent two DOT waivers that provide flexibility for the licensing of qualified new drivers to meet trucking’s workforce needs.
Background: These waivers improve the application process for individuals seeking Commercial Driver’s Licenses by allowing skills test examiners to also administer the CDL knowledge test, and to administer a driving skills test to any applicant regardless of the applicants’ state of domicile or training. The waivers were extended multiple times with no findings of adverse safety impacts by both the Trump and Biden administrations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3) The CARS Act
Introduced by: Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas)
Purpose: The bill would provide a 10% weight tolerance specifically for stinger-steered automobile transporters.
Background: A weight tolerance for automobile transporters, which are hauling heavier hybrid and electric passenger cars to market, would enable these vehicles to maximize the use of their equipment to get clean cars to auto dealers. Without exceeding federal bridge weight limits, this bill would reduce the number of miles traveled by heavy-duty trucks that must now complete multiple trips because they are unable to fully load their equipment due to current weight limits.
4) The Dry Bulk Weight Tolerance Act
Introduced by: Reps. Rick Crawford (R-Arkansas) and Salud Carbajal (D-California)
Purpose: The bill would allow a 10% weight tolerance for dry bulk carriers to allow for the shifting of cargo, in vehicles loaded at or below federal weight limits, during transit.
Background: This flexibility would increase the efficient movement of dry bulk cargo, including agricultural goods, and would ensure that companies moving those goods are not unfairly penalized due to the shifting weights due to braking and other standard events on our highways.
5) H.R. 3447
Introduced by: Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Arizona)
Purpose: The bill would provide a 2,000-pound weight exemption to hydrogen-powered vehicles, similar to the exemption currently enjoyed by both battery-electric and natural gas-powered heavy-duty trucks. This legislation would reduce emissions while restoring technology- and fuel-neutrality in federal regulations for companies investing in new, cleaner heavy-duty vehicles.