• U.S.

Transport: Truck Trials

2 minute read

Last week the U. S. Supreme Court unanimously decided that South Carolina could do what it liked with its own roads. Last week South Carolina considered resolutions to show that it was not entirely unreasonable. Over 2,400 miles of paved highways, 16 ft. to 20 ft. wide, it has long limited the width of motor trucks to 90 in., their weight to 20,000 lb. Only in four other States—all in the South—is the gross weight of trucks fixed so low; nowhere but in South Carolina is there such a narrow (90 in.) width limit. Most U. S. trucks are 96 in. wide, though Rhode Island and Connecticut permit 102-in. widths. South Carolina allows a maximum length of 35 ft. Length in other States varies from 27 ft. in Tennessee to 60 ft. in Nevada.

South Carolina’s new truck regulation annoyed oil, fruit, fertilizer and logging concerns, whose trucks, legal in neighboring States, were thus made illegal in South Carolina. U. S. truckmen are hopelessly bewildered by the multiple regulations enforced by various States. Eleven ordinary truck trailer, tractor and axle classifications vary according to the State, further complicated by rules, exceptions, footnotes. The Supreme Court decision confirmed highway developers’ belief that the only solution for confusing, expensive Stateregulation of roads is a single, all-powerful Federal Department of Transport.

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