The Great Weight Debate

Dale Artho
Dale Artho
Sgt. Chris Stephens, Texas Department of Public Safety
Sgt. Chris Stephens, Texas Department of Public Safety

Ryan Cody
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, TX - One area industry is asking for a little legislative help tonight. The Texas Farm Bureau recently lobbied legislators to increase the weight limits on trucks. Saying the chance to ship more product in the same load could sustain a local farming business, already hurting greatly from rising input prices.

Most tractor trailers driving on our roads today have a maximum weight limit of 80,000 pounds. But they can hold much more than that.

"If I loaded my trucks for capacity. What it can haul. I'm open for a ticket because most can hold more," says local producer Dale Artho.

Loading those trucks to capacity would be a way for producers to increase their profits. "Your able to haul more commodity for basically the same price so your profitability should increase," Artho says.

But the weight limits are there for a reason. "If a truck is overweight that causes safety concerns for the vehicle. The brakes may fail. There could be cracks in the frame," says Sargeant Chris Stephens of The Department of Public Safety.

Leading to a potentially deadly situation for other drivers. And in some cases causing damage to the roads themselves, which are fixed with tax payer money. Stephens says, "the system that we have in place now that legislature has enacted on weight limits. That's probably the safest means for motorists to transport their goods to the market."

Right now producers can legally transport overweight on certain roads. But the cost for a permit to do so also cuts in to their profit margin.