Nothing breaks regulation up quite like desperate times.
The state departments comprising the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO) have gotten together and agreed to allow uniform weight standards for deliveries regarding a presidential State of Emergency.
MAASTO comprises of the following nine states:
The new weight limits they are enabling are increasing interstate truck weights from 80,000 pounds to 88,000 pounds, with an increase of no more than 10 percent per axle to prevent trucks from becoming lopsided during emergency deliveries.
This means that truckers traveling from Wisconsin to Ohio can carry about 10% more supplies for an emergency.
“We learned the importance of working regionally during the pandemic and are using those lessons to be better prepared for the next disaster,” said Julie Lorenz, president of MAASTO and Kansas Secretary of Transportation. “We need to help truckers speed delivery to communities by setting the same emergency weight limits and cutting red tape before the disaster hits.”
If there are wildfires or gas shortages affecting these states, they will now be 10% more prepared for any disaster that happens.
With the MAASTO leading the way in terms of raising weight limits for emergency scenarios, it may be a matter of time before other states follow suit. It might even come before the desk of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, of which each state Department of Transportation (plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico) each get a vote. Additionally, the federal government could get involved with changing weight limits as they have done before. While 66% of all United States tonnage travels through at least one of the MAASTO states, the weight limit increase only applies to nine states in total. It would certainly be awkward to have to unload 8,000 pounds of goods were a truck driver intending to deliver emergency supplies to New York, for example.
It will be interesting to see what becomes of weight limits during emergency situations going forward.
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