Teamsters oppose heavier trucks
July 10, 2008
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D.C. — The Teamsters oppose the Bush administration plan to relax
restrictions on truck size and weight, General President Jim Hoffa
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing a pilot
program along the border states to allow larger trucks to operate on
“Bigger trucks are more dangerous trucks,” Hoffa said. “Lifting
truck weight and size limits would turn big rigs into time bombs.”
The Bush administration has consistently worked to undermine highway
safety, Hoffa said.
“Bush has opened the border to dangerous trucks from Mexico and
allowed truck drivers to spend more time behind the wheel,” he said.
“Further weakening safety rules is the last thing our drivers need
The Teamsters represent 140,000 drivers who operate
tractor-trailers, with some driving doubles or triples.
Teamster truck driver Vince Brezinsky has been driving long-haul
trucks for 31 years. Brezinsky, of Dallas, testified Wednesday
before the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit about the
dangers of allowing bigger, heavier trucks on the road.
Bigger trucks take longer to stop, are harder to get up to highway
speed in merge lanes and are too long to make tight turns.
Further, Brezinsky said, “Our current highway system is not built
for longer and heavier trucks.”
It takes 9,600 cars to cause the same road damage caused by a fully
loaded 80,000-pound truck, he said, citing a road test conducted by
the American Association of State Highway Officials.
Finally, he said, heavier trucks aren’t fuel efficient. “As a truck
gets heavier, more fuel is used,” Brezinksy said.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the
United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.