OLR Bill Analysis

SB 1078

AN ACT INCREASING THE GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT OF VEHICLES HAULING AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES.

SUMMARY:

This bill potentially increases the maximum allowable weight of certain commercial vehicles traveling in Connecticut. The maximum gross vehicle weight limit for Connecticut under federal law is now 80,000 pounds. Current state law allows bulk milk tankers with a gross vehicle weight of up to 99,000 pounds to travel in the state, provided federal law permits it.

The bill allows both (1) bulk milk tankers and (2) trucks hauling agricultural commodities, to have a gross vehicle weight of up to 100,000 pounds. As under current law, federal law must allow vehicles weighing this much to operate in the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2013

BACKGROUND

Federal law sets a maximum gross vehicle weight limit of 80,000 pounds, but allows higher maximum weights in states that permitted higher gross vehicle weights prior to passage of the federal law (“grandfather rights”). Connecticut does not have such grandfather rights for gross vehicle weight, and, according to the Department of Transportation, needs Congressional approval to exceed the 80,000 pound limit.

In 2010, Congress created a pilot program allowing Maine and Vermont to allow trucks with a gross vehicle weight above 80,000 pounds to operate on those states' Interstate highways (Public Law 111-117, 194).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Commerce Committee

Joint Favorable Change of Reference

Yea

19

Nay

0

(03/14/2013)

Transportation Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

24

Nay

0

(03/27/2013)