Teamsters oppose heavier trucks
Published: July 10, 2008
Source: Teamsters

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Teamsters oppose the Bush administration plan to relax restrictions on truck size and weight, General President Jim Hoffa said Wednesday.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing a pilot program along the border states to allow larger trucks to operate on U.S. interstates.

“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 right now.”

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.