WASHINGTON, DC, US — In a letter more than 60 US agricultural groups requested each state to increase truck weight limits on highways within their jurisdictions to a “minimum harmonized weight” of 88,000 pounds.

“Increased truck weights improve the food and agriculture industry’s efficiency and capacity to deliver essential food, feed and key ingredients which sustain our food supply chain,” the groups said in a March 30 letter to all state governors, lieutenant governors, transportation directors and agriculture commissioners. “This will become more critical if the availability of truck drivers is impacted adversely by COVID-19.”

The federal Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act signed into law clarifies the US Department of Transportation’s authority to allow states to increase truck weight limits on US highways and federal interstate highways within their jurisdictions during the COVID-19 emergency.

“Establishing a minimum truck weight limit of 88,000 pounds would ensure that a minimum harmonized weight exists across the country and help protect against essential shipments adhering to this common increase from being impeded at state borders,” the letter said.

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) has been working to create regularity among state, federal and local rules that affect business operations and COVID-19 emergency response efforts.   

The NGFA along with 53 other groups sent a letter previously on March 25 urging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to grant relief from federal drive time rules for all truck drivers hauling agricultural goods.

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