17.7.17

LIMIT OTHER FORMS OF GOVERNMENT.

There isn't enough traffic in Hawaii for tandem and triple trailer rigs, but Jim "Travel and Trains" Loomis encounters them when he's on the mainland.  (On some of his cross-country trip reports, it would be interesting to know how many triples are being kept off the interstates because they're on container and van trains.)
I have no idea what sort of safety record these double and triple units have, but it’s got to be scary for other drivers who have to negotiate around them.
It is, particularly given the free-for all the rig operators engage in to get in ahead of the competition.
On top of that, there’s the latest device the big trucking companies are using to skirt the law and increase their profits: they turn their drivers into independent contractors. Since, technically, they are no longer employees, the trucking company is no longer responsible if the drivers choose to be on the road 12 or 14 hours a day. Or even more.
It's worse than that, but the fleet operators who hire in these contractors have yet to grasp why there's a driver shortage.
And now comes one more thing to worry about. There is a proposal pending in Congress to increase the maximum allowable weight for trucks from 80,000 pounds to 91,000 pounds.

Holy Gross Tonnage, Batman! Did you realize that some of these big trucks highballing along our highways could weigh as much as forty tons? And now they want to raise the limit by another five-and-a-half tons?

It’s estimated that some 60,000 bridges in this country are potentially unsafe. Swell! Then let us, by all means, allow the truckers to carry an additional five-and-half tons over those bridges and out onto whatever Interstate highway is nearby. There’s too damn much government regulation in our lives anyway.
Perhaps it's more accurate to say there's too much rent-seeking. That Congressional mandate becomes another unfunded mandate for the states, which are running short of money to fix the roads they've already built.

Something that cannot go on, won't.

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