The South Dakota Soybean Association (SDSA) is the soybean advocacy organization that works hard to represent farmers’ best interests in Washington. Transportation infrastructure is a top priority for SDSA and for all of South Dakota’s farmers. While we’ve all been busy in the fields with harvest, SDSA has also been engaged in important legislative discussions. Today, SDSA submitted letters to South Dakota’s Congressional delegates on the Safe Trucking Act.
The “Safe, Flexible, and Efficient Trucking Act” (Safe Trucking Act) legislation, introduced by Congressman Reid Ribble, will result in enhanced motorist safety, diminished wear and tear on our nation’s roads, reduced carbon emissions, and greater efficiency of transporting soybeans, grain and other freight.
The Safe Trucking Act will provide each state the option to allow semis to weigh up to 91,000 lbs. – provided the addition of a sixth axle (22 wheels total) – to operate on the Interstate Highway System within the state. The current federal weight limit on interstates is 80,000 lbs. – most frequently transported via a five axle (18 wheels total) configuration. While the truck configuration proposed by the Safe Trucking Act will permit more freight to be transported per semi, the size and length of the truck will not increase. A semi will simply be allowed to utilize a higher percentage of its available capacity.
American farmers and grain handlers depend upon our nation’s system of roads and bridges to efficiently deliver products to the local country elevator, processor or export terminal. Having a safe, well-maintained, and efficient system is essential to the profitability of farmers and agriculture.