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Congress may be asked to allow longer twin tractor-trailers on the road

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Big rigs on Michigan roads may soon be getting longer and heavier.

Congress will soon be taking up legislation regulating the nation’s roadways. Trucking industry advocacy groups are lobbying for the federal government to allow haulers to extend twin-trailers to extend up to an additional ten feet in length. 

Randy Mullett is the executive director of Americans for Modern Transportation and a former Michigan trucking company executive. He says the growing online shopping industry is changing shipping.

“These companies that have traditionally used the twin-28 foot trailers find that they cube out the units well before they hit the existing weight limit,” says Mullett.

Mullett says extending the length of twin-trailers would be more efficient and lessen the number of big rigs on the road.

However, critics, including law enforcement, argue longer double tractor trailers will make interstates less safe. 

It’s not known yet whether proposals to increase the length and weight of double tractor-trailers will be pushed through this year, or if backers will try to include them in a major highway funding bill next year.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.