The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) has launched the Uniform Permit Transport 2021 (UPT2021) initiative, which aims to establish harmonisation in weight allowances and permitting systems across all 50 US states.
Oversized and overweight trucks travelling across state lines experience different requirements and weight allowances in each state, which the SC&RA said leads to delays and an increase in costs for clients.
The UPT2021 initiative will advocate for widespread acceptance of more comprehensive and representative permitted weight configurations issued under routine or auto-issued permits.
Two of the primary goals for UPT2021 are to encourage all states to allow minimum weight thresholds, and to analyse and issue permits via automated permit systems, 24-7. According to the SC&RA, more than 30 states presently use systems that auto-issue permits - in some cases for a convoy measuring more than 16 ft (4.8 m) wide and high and having a gross weight of 250,000 lbs (113.4 tonnes).
The aim is to gain 100 percent compliance across the country by 2021. "Lack of uniformity amongst states is costing our member companies millions of dollars annually," said SC&RA vice president, Steven Todd. "Manufacturers pay more for transporting their products and those costs are passed along to consumers. Ultimately, it's nearly every citizen/taxpayer bearing the burden.
"Beyond the consumer, the lack of uniformity among states permitted weight allowances has a very real impact on the nation's infrastructure as oversize/overweight loads are re-routed thousands of additional miles, causing more stress on roads and bridges," explained Todd. "This is why SC&RA is committed to working towards uniformity in allowable permitted weight configurations. UPT2021 is one of the most important initiatives we've undertaken because, while the goal of uniformity across 50 states is possible, it's formidable. But the consequences of doing nothing are no longer tolerable."
The SC&RA has proposed 11 configurations that make up the majority of typical overweight permits issued by states in the USA. The 11 selected configurations are already approved in several states.
This initiative pertains only to those loads defined by the US government as non-divisible loads. Typical non-divisible loads include items such as construction equipment, bridge beams and transformers.