Governor signs Klippert bill modifying saddle-mount truck provisions


Legislation that removes the state's prohibition on saddle-mounted towing combinations of more than 75 feet was signed Tuesday by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The bipartisan measure (House Bill 1358) was sponsored by Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick.

Saddle-mounted transporter combinations — in which a truck tractor tows one or more trucks or truck tractors — have been described as looking like elephants holding each others' tails with their trunks.

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 configuration is termed a “triple saddle-mount combination.”

State law has prohibited such combinations of vehicles to exceed 75 feet in overall length. Klippert's proposal removes the 75-foot restriction, and brings Washington into conformity with federal regulations, which prohibit states to impose a length for saddle-mount combinations of less or more than 97 feet.

“Changing the overall length limit will have multiple benefits,” said Klippert. “Longer truck combinations mean fewer vehicles on roadways, less carbon monoxide emissions, and a reduction of wear and tear on our highway system. There's an additional economic benefit because fewer trips will help trucking companies lower their costs. This will help get Washington working more prosperously again, and every little bit helps.

“An additional bonus is the change in law has no negative fiscal impact to the state. If anything, it will have a positive impact on our overall fiscal status,” he concluded.

The measure takes effect in late July.

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


Photo cutline: Rep. Klippert (second from right) joined Gov. Chris Gregoire for the signing Tuesday of HB 1358.

Click here to download high-resolution photo.


Washington State House Republican Communications