Tag Archives: bigger trucks

Owner-Operator describes what it takes to drive wiggle-wagons (twin trailers)

This owner-operator describes what it takes to drive a double trailer rig:

He calls them wiggle-wagons and makes this recommendation to drivers: “There is more to know when operating this type of unit, but these are the main points.  Fed Ex is pressing the government to allow twin 33′ trailers.  They are making a good case for the allowance stating that it will increase productivity and decrease fuel consumption.  With that in mind, I recommend that you get your doubles endorsement in order to make yourself more versatile and attractive to prospective employers. – See more at: http://www.365trucking.com/blog/2015/5/16/so-you-want-to-pull-wiggle-waggons-a-joey-slaughter#sthash.vWr9Zb5W.dpuf

It seems to me that it requires additional training and experience to drive these things. And I still need convincing (I am told that DOT might be studying this) that the sought-after increase in productivity & decrease in fuel consumption will not be paid for with the price of an increase in crash deaths.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 56 – 31 in favor of the Wicker Amendment: “Specifically, that amendment would require U.S. Department of Transportation to complete a comprehensive safety study before longer trucks are permitted on highways. It would also require the agency to conduct a formal rulemaking process with public notice and comment period. ” http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Stories/2015/11/10/Senatevotes56-31toopposetwin33s.aspx

We all share the road with trucks. Let’s make sure that our travels are as SAFE AS POSSIBLE.

Underride guards Great Dane trip 016

“The Trucks Are Killing Us”: Interesting Op-Ed by a former exec. at the American Trucking Associations

Just read this Op-Ed in today’s New York Times:


Letter from wife of truck driver killed by fatigued truck driver: Federal studies show longer truck trailers dangerous.

By Express-Times Letters to the Editor
on July 31, 2015 at 11:28 AM

“I am writing in response to Mark Rosenker’s July 28 letter, “Longer truck trailers have a good safety record.”  Nearly three years ago my husband Brad, a truck driver, was killed by a fatigued truck driver who swerved off the road and struck Brad while he was standing on the shoulder. Sadly, this crash is not unique. All too often I read about a construction worker hit by a semi in a work zone, or a family crushed in their minivan simply because the truck driver did not apply the brakes soon enough.

Yet some people in Washington believe it’s time to increase the length of double tractor trailers, from 28 feet per trailer to 33 feet. Proponents of the increase rely on one study — industry-funded junk science that claims these longer trucks to be safer. That is false. . . ”

“. . .  These differences could be what prompts yet another wife or mother to write a letter to the editor on truck safety.

Kim Telep

Read other posts on this topichttp://annaleahmary.com/tag/bigger-trucks/

Twin 33s: Some thoughts on longer trucks from law enforcement and a trucking association

Some thoughts on longer trucks from law enforcement and a trucking association:

“‘Safety on our Nation’s roadways is a top priority and efforts to allow new longer, more dangerous trucks should be rejected. We applaud Senator Schumer for opposing the provision to allow twin 33-foot trailers, which threatens our members and the motoring public. We will continue working with him to prevent this alarming proposal from becoming law,’ said Sergeant Andrew Matthews, Chairman of the National Troopers Coalition, which represents over 40,000 State Troopers in 38 states, including New York.

“’The Trucking Alliance opposes efforts to force states to allow double 33’ trailers on U.S. highways. These longer trucks would have negative impact on highway safety, accelerate wear and tear on the nation’s highway system, and make it very difficult for small and medium sized trucking companies, which are the heart of our industry, to compete,’ said Lane Kidd, Managing Director of the Trucking Alliance, a group that represents some of the Country’s leading trucking companies.”


Trip North May 2015 149Dsc00920

What you need to know about LONGER & LARGER Trucks. . .

The Facts on Longer Trucks

“Proposals to allow longer trucks on our nation’s roadways will jeopardize safety, further damage our infrastructure, produce greater unfunded costs, and create a less efficient multimodal freight system. ”

Read more here: Truck Size Fact Sheet – TSC 2015


Support the Wicker Amendment:

  • The Wicker (MS-R) amendment calls for a rulemaking on Double 33 tractor trailers.
  • This will allow the Department of Transportation to conduct further research and evaluate whether Double 33s are safe for America’s roads.
  • It is important to gather all the relevant data and conduct the proper analysis before any increase has been decided on, as opposed to what happened in the Appropriations Committee a few weeks ago.

Support Sen. Bill Nelson’s bill, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2015 (S. 1743), and Sen. Booker’s bill, the Truck Safety Act (S. 1739):

  • S. 1743 and S. 1739 advance safety, and look to address dangerous gaps and omissions in current laws and rules which result in 4,000 people killed in truck crashes on our roads every year.

Oppose Sen. Thune’s bill, S. 1732, the “Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act of 2015”:

  • S. 1732 impedes and delays progress in making our roads and highways safer, and contains numerous dangerous provisions.


Ralph Nader: “Enough! Stop More Giant Truck-Trailers on Your Highways”

Ralph Nader speaks up about the battle for truck safety, calling for citizens to speak up for safer highways–a matter of life & death.

Read more here & see how you can help:  https://blog.nader.org/2015/07/02/enough-stop-more-giant-truck-trailers-on-your-highways/

Rebekah photo of crash


Contact Information for U.S. Senators:  http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state

Contact Information for U.S. House of Representatives:  http://www.house.gov/representatives/

See previous posts for Congress contact information:

Please use the icons below to SHARE this call for action.


No matter who causes the crash, larger trucks pose larger problems for smaller cars.

No matter who causes the crash, larger trucks pose larger problems for smaller cars. If this concerns you, please call senators on the Appropriations Committee now and ask them to oppose increases in truck size.

From the Truck Safety Coalition:

Urgent Action Needed Now!!

Tell Senators on the Appropriations Committee  

to oppose the Shelby Amendment that would allow bigger, heavier, more dangerous trucks on our roadways

June 24, 2015


The Senate Appropriations Committee is at a crossroads. Will Senators crumple under the weight of giant trucking companies and agree to their laundry list of demands? Or will they put you and your family first and work to improve truck safety?

The Senate Transportation Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016 contains a provision that allows truckers to drive up to 82 hours per week. There is also a measure in the base bill to further delay FMCSA rulemaking regarding minimum insurance, which hasn’t been increased since 1980. As the bill moves to the full Appropriations committee for a vote, Senator Shelby will be offering an amendment to increase the size of double 28 trailers to double 33 trailers.


We need you to call and email Senators on the committee (list below) as soon as possible and urge them to vote NO on the Shelby Amendment. The committee vote could happen as soon as tomorrow. If it passes in committee, the bill would then go to the full Senate.

The House version of the THUD bill, which passed, includes language to allow double 33s. If this passes in the Senate, the bill will go to the President with this provision in it.

  • From 2009-2013, 432,000 Americans were injured in crashes involving large trucks.
  • Nearly 4,000 people are killed in these crashes every year and the death toll has increased 4 years in a row.
  • Trucking is the deadliest mode of freight transportation, accounting for 78% of fatalities.
  • 96 out of 100 times it’s someone in the car, not the truck, who dies in fatal truck crashes.

Inform your Senator of these facts about the dangers of double 33s:

  • Increasing 28-foot double trailers to 33-foot double trailers results in:
    • A six-foot wider turning radius,
    • a 33% increase in low-speed off-tracking,
    • And an additional stopping distance of 22 feet.
  • Double 33s performed worse than double 28s in avoidance maneuvers.


Stop the Assault on Truck Safety – Vote NO on the Shelby Amendment


Oppose all anti-truck safety provisions


U.S Senate Committee on Appropriations  


Thad Cochran (R-MS) [Chairman] 202-224-5054
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 202-224-2541
Richard Shelby (R-AL) 202-224-5744
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 202-224-4944
Susan Collins (R-ME) 202-224-2523
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) 202-224-6665
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 202-224-5972
Mark Kirk (R-IL) 202-224-2854
Roy Blunt (R-MO) 202-224-5721
John Hoeven (R-ND) 202-224-2551
John Boozman (R-AR) 202-224-4843
Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) 202-224-6472
Bill Cassidy (R-LA) 202-224-5824
James Lankford (R-OK) 202-224-5754
Steve Daines (R-MT) 202-224-2651
DEMOCRATS Office Number
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) [Ranking Member] 202-224-4654
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 202-224-4242
Patty Murray (D-WA) 202-224-2621
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 202-224-3841
Dick Durbin (D-IL) 202-224-2152
Jack Reed (D-RI) 202-224-4642
Jon Tester (D-MT) 202-224-2644
Tom Udall (D-NM) 202-224-6621
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) 202-224-2841
Jeff Merkley (D-OR) 202-224-3753
Christopher Coons (D-DE) 202-224-5042
Brian Schatz (D-HI) 202-224-3934
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) 202-224-5653
Chris Murphy (D-CT) 202-224-4041




Thanks, Phil & WNCN, for shedding light on truck crashes. It can happen to anyone at anytime.


Preventable, though-unforeseen, inconceivable, unimaginable, irrevocable. . . all these words describe too many truck crash tragedies year after year–as a result of numerous factors which have been argued over too many times.

WNCN: News, Weather, Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville

Ask Congress to strip the FY2016 THUD bill of all the ANTI-SAFETY Provisions. Send an email tonight.

We have learned that Congressman David Price (D-NC), Ranking Member of the House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, is going to be offering an amendment during Wednesday morning’s House Committee on Appropriations markup to strip the FY2016 THUD bill of all of the anti-safety provisions from the bill.  Please make as many calls or emails as you can to House Appropriations Committee Members before Wednesday morning and ask them to:

Vote Yes on the Price (NC) Amendment”.  Choose SAFETY: we all travel the roads of this country.

 CONTACT INFORMATION for members of the House Committee on Appropriations is listed below.



Special Interest Riders in the FY2016 THUD Bill Include:

 FedEx Double 33’ tractor trailers on federal and local roads (House THUD bill Sec. 125).  The anti-safety, pro-industry plan will overturn state laws and bulldoze states to accept trucks that are at least 84 feet long on federal, state and local roads.

  • If truck lengths are increased from 28 to 33 feet, the laws of 39 states (AL, AK, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, IL, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI) which currently prohibit longer trailers may be overturned.  States where double 33s are prohibited and states where they are not running will be pressured to allow these longer trucks on their roads which are not equipped to accommodate them.
  • Longer double-trailer trucks will make passing even more dangerous than it already is. A double-trailer truck using 33-foot trailers would be at least 84 feet long, the height of an 8-story office building, and a triple-trailer truck would be at least 120 feet long, equivalent to a 12-story building. These longer trucks would dwarf the size of an average car and are the equivalent of 5 to 8 passenger cars in length


Special interest weight and length exemptions for specific states including Idaho and Kansas (House THUD bill Secs. 124 and 126) or specific industries. The provision would allow Idaho to operate trucks up to 129,000 pounds and Kansas to operate trucks potentially more than 100 feet long.

  • By overwhelming margins in numerous public opinion polls over the last 20 years, the American public consistently and convincingly rejects sharing the road with bigger, heavier and longer trucks. The most recent poll in January 2015 by Harper Polling revealed that 76% of respondents oppose longer and heavier trucks on the highways and 79% are very or somewhat convinced that heavier and longer trucks will lead to more braking problems and longer stopping distances, causing an increase in the number of crashes involving trucks.
  • Special interest truck size and weight exemptions are essentially “earmarks” for states and “unfunded mandates” imposed on all American taxpayers who bear the cost of federally-financed infrastructure damage and repairs.


Extension and expansion of the  “Collins Amendment” tucked into the 2015 overall federal spending bill last December that dramatically increases the working and driving hours of truck drivers up to 82 hours a week and takes away their “weekend” off, resulting in more tired truckers and jeopardizing safety (House THUD bill Sec. 132).

  • A provision added to the Omnibus spending bill (Pub. L. 113-235) in December 2014 rolled back important safety reforms to hours of service (HOS) rules which were implemented by the DOT in July 2013 after a lengthy rulemaking process which considered 21,000 formal public comments, thorough and compelling scientific research, extensive stakeholder input, as well as three lawsuits.
  • This major change will significantly increase working and driving hours for truck drivers, from 70 hours to 84 hours. Essentially, this provision takes away the two-night off “weekend” for truck drivers.
  • With this provision, the HOS rule reverts to the Bush Administration rule in effect when a 2006 survey of truck drivers found an alarming 65% of truck drivers reported they had often or sometimes felt drowsy while driving and nearly half admitted to falling asleep while driving in the previous year.


A prohibition on rulemaking going on right now at the U.S. Department of Transportation to determine whether or not motor carriers have sufficient insurance coverage, which has not been reviewed and revised since 1985. (House THUD bill Sec. 134) The bill will STOP progress on this needed & already-too-long-delayed increase.

  • Congress gave the DOT Secretary and FMCSA the authority to review the insurance level.  The rule making process, which includes public comments, should be respected and followed.
  • Minimum levels of insurance for trucks, currently set at $750,000, have not been increased in over 35 years and are woefully insufficient.
  • The underinsured segments of the industry are effectively subsidized by American taxpayers through unreimbursed social welfare programs including Medicaid and Social Security.
  • If all of the industry were required to absorb more of the losses they cause, significant changes in the industry would occur, resulting in safer highways for all.

According to Michael R. Lemov, Car Safety Wars, p. 31, “Today, the U.S. DOT uses a figure of $9.2 million per lost life (2013) which includes value for both economic costs and other costs including value for pain and suffering.” Compare this to the $750,000 current trucking minimum liability insurance.


Urge Members of the House Appropriations Committee:

Stand Up For Safety –Vote YES on the Price (NC) Amendment!


To Contact the Members of the House Committee on Appropriations:

  1.  Hal Rogers (R-KY) at 202-225-4601 or through email at: shannon.rickett@mail.house.gov
  2. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) at 202-225-5034 or through email at: kathleen.hazlett@mail.house.gov
  3. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) at 202-225-4876 or through email at: mark.dawson@mail.house.gov
  4. Kay Granger (R-TX) at 202-225-5071 or through email at: shannon.meade@mail.house.gov
  5. Mike Simpson (R-ID) at 202-225-5531 or through email at: nathan.greene@mail.house.gov
  6. John Culberson (R-TX) at 202-225-2571 or through email at: catherine.knowles@mail.house.gov
  7. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) at 202-225-2501 or through email at: erica.striebel@mail.house.gov
  8. John Carter (R-TX) at 202-225-3864 or through email at: steve.gilleland@mail.house.gov
  9. Ken Calvert (R-CA) at 202-225-1986 or through email at: Ian.Foley@mail.house.gov
  10. Tom Cole (R-OK) at 202-225-6165 or through email at: maria.bowie@mail.house.gov
  11. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) at 202-225-4211 or through email at: miguel.mendoza@mail.house.gov
  12. Charlie Dent (R-PA) at 202-225-6411 or through email at: drew.kent@mail.house.gov
  13. Tom Graves (R-GA) at 202-225-5211 or through email at: jason.murphy2@mail.house.gov
  14. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) at 202-225-2865 or through email at: patrick.carroll@mail.house.gov
  15. Steve Womack (R-AR) at 202-225-4301 or through email at: Adrielle.Churchill@mail.house.gov
  16. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) at 202-225-4806 or through email at: alan.feyerherm@mail.house.gov
  17. Tom Rooney (R-FL) at 202-225-5792 or through email at: jessica.moore@mail.house.gov
  18. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) at 202-225-3271 or through email at: alek.vey@mail.house.gov
  19. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) at 202-225-3536 or through email at: chad.ramey@mail.house.gov
  20. David Joyce (R-OH) at 202-225-5731 or through email at: john.miceli@mail.house.gov
  21. David Valadao (R-CA) at 202-225-4695 or through email at: Kristina.Dunklin@mail.house.gov
  22. Andy Harris (R-MD) at 202-225-5311 or through email at: john.dutton@mail.house.gov
  23. Martha Roby (R-AL) at 202-225-2901 or through email at: Andrew.Ashley@mail.house.gov
  24. Mark Amodei (R-NV) at 202-225-6155 or through email at: Kyle.Thomas@mail.house.gov
  25. Chris Stewart (R-UT) at 202-225-9730 or through email at: cam.madsen@mail.house.gov
  26. David Jolly (R-FL) at 202-225-5961 or through email at: Jenifer.Nawrocki@mail.house.gov
  27. Scott Rigell (R-VA) at 202-225-4215 or through email at: John.Thomas@mail.house.gov
  28. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) at 202-225-3452 or through email at: Brian.Barnard@mail.house.gov
  29. David Young (R-IA) at 202-225-5476 or through email at: Tara.Morgan@mail.house.gov
  30. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) at 202-225-5772 or through email at: Patrick.Large@mail.house.gov
  31. Nita Lowey (D-NY) at 202-225-6506 or through email at: drew.jacoby@mail.house.gov
  32. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) at 202-225-4146 or through email at: mike.berman@mail.house.gov
  33. Pete Visclosky (D-IN) at 202-225-2461 or through email at: kevin.spicer@mail.house.gov
  34. José Serrano (D-NY) at 202-225-4361 or through email at: matthew.alpert@mail.house.gov
  35. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) at 202-225-3661 or through email at: Eric.anthony@mail.house.gov
  36. David Price (D-NC) at 202-225-1784 or through email at: kate.roetzer@mail.house.gov
  37. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) at 202-225-1766 or through email at: victor.castillo@mail.house.gov
  38. Sam Farr (D-CA) at 202-225-2861 or through email at: debbie.merrill@mail.house.gov
  39. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) at 202-225-4001 or through email at: elizabeth.king@mail.house.gov
  40. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) at 202-225-3631 or through email at: jonathan.halpern@mail.house.gov
  41. Barbara Lee (D-CA) at 202-225-2661 or through email at: colin.foard@mail.house.gov
  42. Mike Honda (D-CA) at 202-225-2631 or through email at: eric.werwa@mail.house.gov
  43. Betty McCollum (D-MN) at 202-225-6631 or through email at: Jennifer.Holcomb@mail.house.gov
  44. Steve Israel (D-NY) at 202-225-3335 or through email at: Mark.Snyder@mail.house.gov
  45. Tim Ryan (D-OH) at 202-225-5261 or through email at: ryan.keating@mail.house.gov
  46. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) at 202-225-3061 or through email at: Deborah.Haynie@mail.house.gov
  47. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) at 202-225-7931 or through email at: coby.dolan@mail.house.gov
  48. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) at 202-225-1640 or through email at: megan.swearingen@mail.house.gov
  49. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) at 202-225-6116 or through email at: Joe.Marro@mail.house.gov
  50. Mike Quigley (D-IL) at 202-225-4061 or through email at: joseph.bushong@mail.house.gov
  51. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) at 202-225-5916 or through email at: Kevin.Warnke@mail.house.gov 

Will longer trucks make the roads safer? Yes OR No?

Thus far, we have not addressed the truck size and weight issue on this website. But it is clearly an issue that needs addressing.

The trucking lobby has once again thrown its weight to sabotage legislative measures meant to improve the safety of travelers on the road. What is their purpose in doing so? Can they back up their claims that the provisions they are backing will make the roads safer and that the measures that they are preventing are unnecessary?

Decide for yourself. . .

Jeff Plungis has once again thoroughly researched and reported on truck safety issues:  http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-05-04/trucking-friendly-plan-in-congress-decried-as-attack-on-safety

In particular, I have been looking into the area of increasing truck size and weight. The trucking lobby claims that allowing “Double 33s” will make the roads safer because there will be fewer trucks on the road.  And exactly what research have they done to back up this supposition?

Furthermore, has the trucking industry taken steps to provide the necessary additional training for truck drivers who would be handling these bigger trucks? I have had several conversations–in person and via email–with a seasoned trainer of truck drivers. This is what he said last night when I asked him about this concern of mine:

Drivers of modified trucks ( longer trailers or “doubles”) do in fact require additional training. Because of their size, they require a higher level of skill and knowledge. The whole idea of safer roads because of fewer trucks is just a “gimmick”. We need to be careful as we move into this area. If the training requirements are not appropriate, the roads in fact will be more dangerous. (Charlie Gray, Carolina Trucking Academy)

Here are some other articles and research studies on this issue, including evidence of possible failure to maintain lane upon braking:

I’d like to know the answers to these questions. I’d like to know because it could well be a matter of life and death. . .

Minolta DSC
Minolta DSC


WarsawINFilmPhotographer_MIMemoria_Film_063WarsawINFilmPhotographer_MIMemoria_Film_082May 8, 2014 from Kathryn

Sign & Share our Vision Zero Petition:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death—about 40,000 people die in crashes each year. The Department of Transportation makes highway safety rules based upon how much safety measures will cost. We are hoping to change that and move toward a Vision Zero safety strategy model with goals of: Zero Deaths, Zero Serious Injuries, Zero Fear of Traffic.

“Towards Zero – There’s no one someone won’t miss.” https://youtu.be/bsyvrkEjoXI