House bill would increase trucking weight limit

Neighboring Nebraska already has a 90,000 pound limit.
Neighboring Nebraska already has a 90,000 pound limit.

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – A bill in the Kansas House of Representatives would allow heavier grain and livestock tractor-trailers on roads across the state.

“It adds up in the long run,” said Brian Koehn, who manages a trucking company. “From the financial side, it would definitely help us out to haul more weight.”

Right now, a six-axle tractor-trailer in Kansas can carry up to 85,000 pounds.

The bill would increase that to 90,000 pounds, which is about 50 more bushels per load.

Truckers say that can quickly add up to big bucks.

“Five loads, you’re looking at approximately you know 250 bushels,” said Koehn. “You take that times the rate, and yeah, it does make a difference.”

Neighboring states like Nebraska already have a 90,000 pound limit. Koehn says it’s caused problems when shipping across state lines.

“It is nice if we could load a legal load over there and be legal here also so we’re not worried about the difference in weight when we cross the state line.”

Critics of the bill say increasing the weight limit on trucks will have a negative impact on rail shipping.

Representatives from the rail industry testified about the concerns for the already struggling rail industry at a committee hearing.

The committee is also considering the impact on local bridges and roads and how more weight would affect cities and counties.