The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted in June to include an amendment in the Invest in America Act that provides a 10-percent axle tolerance for tank trucks transporting dry bulk loads. The amendment was introduced by U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown (MD-04) and supported by U.S. Rep. Greg Pence (IN-06) in a bipartisan effort to provide relief to dry bulk stakeholders throughout the supply chain.
The amendment was introduced on behalf of a coalition of more than 130 partners representing major industries and employers from across the country, including agriculture, food and manufacturing.
“On behalf of the broad dry-bulk coalition, I commend House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter Defazio, Rep. Brown, and Rep. Pence for their critical support of our top legislative priority,” said Dan Furth, president of National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC). “Through their leadership, the bipartisan Brown Amendment was passed by the transportation committee last evening resulting in a significant victory for our coalition. NTTC dry bulk carriers extend their gratitude to these leaders, their professional staffs, and the many advocates that worked so hard to achieve this win in this particularly trying time for the nation’s economy.”
This amendment does not allow for any increase in the maximum weight or size of truckloads. It incorporates into current limits an axle tolerance to account for dry bulk shifting and settling during transportation. Dry bulk commodities such as grains, powders, and pellets tend to shift during loading, unloading, and transportation, resulting in an uneven distribution within the trailer. This means that a truck that was compliant with all weight limitations at the beginning of its journey may find itself in violation of them at a later inspection, despite hauling the same load.
“As an active coalition participant and dry bulk carrier, I am extremely pleased with the inclusion of the dry bulk axle-tolerance amendment in yesterday’s Invest in America Act,” said Harold A. Sumerford Jr., chief executive of J&M Tank Lines in Birmingham, Ala. “This common sense fix to a unique operating issue will ultimately improve highway safety and reduce congestion.”
The Invest Act is expected to pass the House and move to the Senate, where its prospects are still fluid. NTTC and the Dry Bulk Coalition will continue their joint efforts to make a 10-percent dry bulk axle tolerance into law, the organizations said.