Lawmakers in Virginia are considering allowing a vehicle called “Super Trucks” onto I-81.
These Super Trucks would be able to carry 90,000 pounds of cargo or more, and that could mean being able to tow not one, not two, but three trailers behind them.
Driving along side of tractor trailers is an everyday situation while traveling on I-81.
“I’ve had many times where I’ve had one infront of you, one behind you, and one on the side of you,” said Taylor Briese.
Briese regularly drives I-81, and shares the road with tractor trailers. She’s not convinced allowing bigger trucks would be a good fit for this stretch of the interstate.
“I mean people already don’t like driving on 81 because of the trucks as it is so I don’t know if adding more trucks or trucks that are tri-part is a good idea,” she said.
CDS is a school for truck drivers in Roanoke. Everett Markham is the Lead Instructor of the program, and says the first thing he thinks of would be the size of the vehicles.
“Well the bigger the truck, the more weight the truck, the more distance you need to stop,” said Markham.
Markham also appears a bit apprehensive about the idea, mostly from a safety point of view.
He says, at 60mph, it takes a regular sized tractor trailer a full football field to stop, and trucks should try to maintain enough space to stop within 7 seconds.
“Getting to 7 seconds at any given point in time on 81 with as busy as it is is nearly impossible,” he said.
He adds that the mountainous terrain across much of I-81 is probably not the best place for the super trucks.
“It’s going to slow them down more going up those hills, and speed them up more going down the hills. So it will make it a bit more dangerous. You will need more space and space is the problem on 81,” said Markham.
The Senate Transportation Committee is expected to vote on reconsidering this bill tomorrow after it originally failed in a vote just a week ago.
Source: WFXR-TV / Fox Roanoke