I think it's a good idea to change 55 to 129,000 LBS trucks. It will cut the loads hauled by 20 percent less weight per axle because of extra axles on larger trucks. There are more brakes on these trucks. They stop better. More tires with less weight means the roads will hold up better. Less traffic, because of less loads hauled. I think it is a win-win situation if this is passed.
Upon review of the information provided by the ITD on the website, and the discussion and graphical presentations at the hearing, allowing the use of 129,000 pound trucks appears to be the most prudent course of action. The neeed for fewer trucks (reduction in actual traffic), less damage to roadway (due to lower weight per axle), safer trucks (because of greater braking capacity) all indicate a positive outcome in proceeding in this direction.
I represent the Snake River Sugar Company and The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC. We are a grower-owned cooperative with 800 members, raising 185,000 acres of sugarbeets, most of which are Idaho acres, stretching from Blackfoot in the east to south central Washington and eastern Oregon to the west.
We are members of the Right Truck for Idaho Coalition, and have joined with more than 50 companies to work toward strengthening Idaho's economy through the use of more efficient 129,000-pound trucks in Idaho.
We totally support the ITD and the Idaho Legislature in actions taken over approximately the last thirteen years to objectively evaluate the impact of 129,000-pound trucks on Idaho's economy, road safety, and environment, which ultimately resulted in legislative action to codify the 35 existing 129,000-pound routes and provided for the expanded use of 129,000-pound trucks on acceptable Idaho roads.
We support the ITD's rule-making process to expand the use of 129,000-pound trucks and the requirement that any additional rotues must be limited to those designated as structurally appropriate by ITD. We also support that all additional routes must have a formal request submitted to ITD for approval. We support and would assume that the selection criteria would be objective, scientifically based, utilizing sound engineering principles.
Amalgamated Sugar participated in the approximately 13-year, 129,000-pound truck pilot project. Some of the trucks used to transport sugarbeets from receiving stations to our three Idaho factories for processing were upgraded to 129,000 pounds. We proved to ourselves that there were benefits to be realized in the areas of safety, (fewer trucks, more braking capacity), environmental (reduced emissions), and economy (reduced fuel consumption and freight costs). For crop year 2011-2012, Amalgamated moved a total of 1.3 million tons (20 percent of the total beets) over 129,000-pound roads with an estimated savings of $475,128. The increased load limit allowed a reduction of 6,212 round trips, a reduced diesel fuel consumption of 54,855 gallons, and a reduction in weight per tire transferred to the road surface from 2,540 to 2,260 pounds.
With access to the interstate highway systems, most of the fleet would be converted to 129,000 pounds, and the savings would increase to approximately $3 million per year.
We strongly support the Idaho Transportation Department Board of Directors resolution supporting the increase of interstate weight limitations to 129,000 pounds and the efforts of the ITD, our state government, and the Idaho Congressional Delegation as they seek an increase in gross vehicle weight on the interstate highway system in Idaho to 129,000 GVW.
My name is Bryan Whipple, and I am in the transportation department with Amalgamated Sugar, and we are the applicant on this piece of road.
Of course, being the applicant, we are in favor of this proceeding. We are representing both the Amalgamated Sugar Company and Snake River, the grower co-op who owns Amalgamated.
We have 800 members, mostly growing sugar beets, of course.
We expect to have a record crop this year. Mother Nature has been very kind to us. We got the beets in. They didn't freeze out like they do on many of the years.
We are also members of what they call The Right Truck for Idaho Coalition, and there's 50 of us in the group.
We as a group, as a coalition, are also very supportive of this 129. We've been involved with it since the first pilot project went into place almost 20-some odd years ago.
What was really funny is it started out with a little piece from Sugar Loaf, Idaho, to Twin Falls. That was the first project. We ran it for about three years, and then had nothing going on for about another two or three years. Did a project, expanded a little bit more and we've always supported ITD and the idea of 129. We appreciate that we get the opportunity of adding to that. The legislation allows that.
One of the things that we have promised to do at all times is that we would never divert business off a federal road to a state road just because one was 129 and the freeways weren't. I don't think you've ever seen that happen on any of the roads that we've moved it off the freeways to the state roads.
We actually are pretty convinced from a scientific standpoint that this is good for not only economics but for the road as we put more axles on.
There is a little bit of savings. At this point in time, we only put 20 percent of our beets on the 129,000 pounds. Most of them are still coming in at 105.
There's only certain ones that make sense to go state roads. It is the location. The Nampa factory is sitting there right on the freeway. Most of our piling grounds, the big growing areas, are in the Mountain Home area, so Glenns Ferry, reverse, and we get on the freeway and come all the way. Grandview and Murphy and Beaumont make sense to come up Highway 45. The piling ground that we are looking at this one is Marsing, one of our smaller stations, actually. There's 16,500 tons there. As we're coming down now, there would be approximately 500 trips. That's 500 coming, 500 going. If the 129 is approved, and we are able to load up to that, it would go down to 384.
Moneywise, again, it's not a whole of difference on money. It is safer. The safest truck, we're convinced, is one that is not on the road. We think that the foot print is going to be lighter, and it looks like the engineering guys said that the bridges are o.k., too.
All you have to do is tell us this doesn't make sense for the roads. We're off of it. So that's our commitment. That comes from the president. If it starts breaking them up, if it's not the right thing to do. We live in Idaho. We're part of Idaho. We think it is the right thing to do. But you guys are the experts. That's my testimony.