Dry Bulk Axle Tolerance Amendment Passes House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 18, 2020 - Yesterday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted to include an amendment in the Invest in America Act that provides a 10% axle tolerance for tank truck transporting dry bulk loads. The amendment was introduced by Representative Anthony Brown (MD-04) and supported by Representative Greg Pence (IN-06) in a bipartisan effort to provide relief to dry bulk stakeholders throughout the supply chain.

The amendment was introduced on behalf of a coalition of over 130 partners representing major industries and employers from across the country, including agriculture, food, and manufacturing, some of America's most critical and essential industries. 

“On behalf of the broad dry bulk coalition, I commend House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Peter Defazio, Representative Anthony Brown, and Representative Greg Pence for their critical support of our top legislative priority,” said NTTC President Dan Furth.  “Through their leadership, the bipartisan Brown Amendment was passed by the T&I committee last evening resulting in a significant victory for our coalition.  NTTC dry bulk carriers extend their gratitude to these leaders, their professional staffs, and the many advocates that worked so hard to achieve this win in this particularly trying time for the nation’s economy.”

This amendment does not allow for any increase in the maximum weight or size of truckloads. It incorporates into current limits an axle tolerance to account for dry bulk shifting and settling during transportation. Dry bulk commodities such as grains, powders, and pellets tend to shift during loading, unloading, and transportation, resulting in an uneven distribution within the trailer. This means that a truck that was compliant with all weight limitations at the beginning of its journey may find itself in violation of them at a later inspection, despite hauling the same load.

“As an active coalition participant and dry bulk carrier, I am extremely pleased with the inclusion of the dry bulk axle-tolerance amendment in yesterday’s Invest in America Act,” noted Harold A. Sumerford, Jr., CEO of J&M Tank Lines in Birmingham, Alabama.  “This common sense fix to a unique operating issue will ultimately improve highway safety and reduce congestion while providing substantive relief to the many stakeholders who work in this space for the betterment of the nation’s economy.”

The Invest Act is expected to pass the House and move to the Senate, where its prospects are still fluid. NTTC and the Dry Bulk Coalition will continue its joint efforts to make a 10% dry bulk axle tolerance into law.