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Trucking Industry Wants Uniform Standards for All Illinois Roads

Feb 16, 2016 at 10:10 AM CST

Trucking officials in Illinois say the state is being hurt by having various truck length regulations that tend to inhibit the ability to efficiently move goods.

Don Shaeffer of the Midwest Truckers Association says on major highways trucks are allowed to observe nation standard for truck length, but get off the state roads and interstate highways the length limit drops to 55 feet.

"Unfortunately that 55 foot in overall length means your local grocery store, gas station, Wal Mart or what have you, if they are not on a major or state highway they are illegal."

He added, "A farmer that has to haul his grain or he's got livestock that he wants to move off of his farm, he's limited because if the trailer and truck combination is over 55-foot he is illegal."

For farmers, most livestock and grain trailer are designed to national standards, meaning the exceed the 55 foot limit. Shaeffer says it will take a legislative change in Springfield to make all areas of the state accessible to legal length trucks.

"That would be a legislative change that would be made in chapter 15 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. It's an issue that's been out there and has the backing of most business groups, most industries, all the ag groups all see it as a desperate need."

He went on to say, "The opposition coming from the Township Road Commissioner, the County Highway Engineer, the Municipal Highway Departments, they are all saying not in our back yard, we don't want these big trucks."

Trucks often have to stop, and switch loads from longer trucks to shorter legal trucks to gain access to off highway businesses, raising the cost of shipping and delaying delivery.