Lure of the open road
Loggers seek access to federal highways in bid to cut down on collisions.
Drivers may soon notice more logging trucks hauling their freight down interstate highways if an industry trade group has its way. The American Loggers Council (ALC) has launched an initiative that seeks federal legislation enabling more log trucks to utilize federal roads for short-haul trips.
Noting that fatal log truck collisions increased 41 percent between 2011 and 2015, the Hemphill, Texas-based organization says one of the reasons is inconsistent truck weight tolerances between state and federal roads. Those inconsistencies can force trucks hauling logs to sawmills to use city, county, and state roads, where more than 96 percent of log truck collisions occurred, the group says. To cut down on these accidents, the ALC has urged Congress to allow the industry's trucks to haul state-legal weight tolerances on federal interstate highways, which often provide safer routes to mills.
"Safe and efficient log hauling is essential to our industry and the nation's economy, but inconsistent truck weights are putting American lives at risk," ALC Executive Vice President Daniel Dructor said in a release. "As fatal log truck collisions increase, there is ample data suggesting that truck weight reform saves lives by routing log trucks away from schools, crosswalks, city intersections, and railroad tracks."
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