Klippert bill would modify provisions on saddle-mount truck combinations

A bipartisan measure that would remove the state's prohibition on saddle-mounted truck combinations of more than 75 feet had a hearing Thursday in the House Transportation Committee. House Bill 1358 is sponsored by Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick.

A saddle-mount combination is one in which a truck tractor tows one or more trucks or truck tractors. The trucks are linked together with only the first vehicle having both its front and rear wheels on the ground. On the other trucks, only the rear wheels touch the ground, the front resting on the truck preceding it. Two vehicles towed in this manner are called a “double saddle-mount combination.”  In the case of three vehicles, the arrangement is termed a “triple saddle-mount combination.”

Such transporter combinations have been described as looking like elephants holding each others' tails with their trunks.

Current state law prohibits such combinations of vehicles to exceed 75 feet in overall length. Klippert's proposal would remove the 75-foot restriction and bring Washington into conformity with federal regulations, which prohibit states from imposing a length for saddle-mount combinations of less or more than 97 feet.

In his testimony to the committee, Klippert said changing the overall length limit would have multiple benefits, both in reducing highway traffic and improving the economy.

“Anything I can do to promote a better business climate and improve economic growth in our state, that's a priority for me,” Klippert told the panel, adding that his bill is “another step in the right direction.”

“It's a matter of fewer trucks making fewer trips, and for the trucking industry that means lower costs and more profit,” he said. “It would reduce highway traffic because, for example, moving six vehicles would take two trips instead of three. Longer truck combinations mean less traffic, less wear and tear on our highways, and less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And best of all, there would be no negative fiscal impact to the state, whatsoever, but a possible positive impact through a more prosperous business climate.”

For more information, contact: Bill Taylor, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7074

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov