Idaho 25 & 77
I am in favor of allowing 129,000-pound trucks to run on highway 25 and 77. The roads have been made to haul heavier loads. Transystems is responsible with how they use the roads.
Giving a little explanation on Highway 77, I can see some great benefit there cutting the traffic through the city of Declo. We'd cut 23 percent less traffic through there and also it's a lesser footprint on the road and less pavement wear. On the section of Highway 25 from the 216 into Rupert, I'm in favor for that because right now, without having that road opening up, all of our 129's that come down Highway 81 end up going through the city of Burley which is right down Burley and it's a little congested and I think it would be a safer route for our trucks to travel. Also, on the Highway 25 from Kasota Road into Paul would also be a great benefit. Again, cutting down the traffic and less pavement wear.
I'm a Filer Highway District Commissioner and also on the Transportation Committee of the Idaho House of Representatives. I represent District 25 so I'm not against 129,000 pound trucks on designated routes. I just want to make a point that perhaps we need more enforcement of making sure they stay on designated routes. And I realize that the footprint is less with the 129 but we've seen with other truck traffic and commercial traffic in our highway district that they don't always obey the law. There's not always enforcement that we need so that would just be my point. I wanted to make sure that locals were protected from lack of enforcement on permitting for 129's.
One of the main things that I like about this is the less trucks being used, especially in harvest time. We know there's lots of trucks, not only Trans System trucks but our trucks on the roads which can be, and we have known in the past, a safety issue. Being less trucks during that time of the year is a great benefit, I think not just for the farmers but for the public. I think with the trucks being able to carry more, having less compaction on the roads and being able to utilize that benefits not only us as farmers but the state also with the roads as far as the compaction and less trucks. And I just hope that we would be able to get this done, you know, so it would benefit us.
I'm for all three routes being 129. I understand the difference in 105 and 129. It makes sense to me being you can be 12,000 pounds on a 129 axle because we've got more axles running or you can do 15,000 at 105. I mean, do the math. Take 105, divided by 7 axles or 129 divided by 10 axles. You're less weight per square inch. Less trucks on the road. Less trips that got to be made to the piles to pull them out. Hauling 105, we've got to make more trips to haul the beets out. 129, we make less trips so it's less traffic on the road. It would be better as far as safety as far as I'm concerned because less chance of an accident, too.
I think that we should be in favor of the 129's expanding the routes because we have more square footage on the road and we have less traffic because we can get more loads done. We can get things done quicker with less loads and we have more square footage on the ground with the 129 units. So I think it does a lot less damage just because of the pressure on the roads. And we actually have a lot better stopping power with the 129 units than we do with the standard 80,000 pound rig because we have more axles. It's easier to control that, especially in the winter months when we're driving those with those more axles on the road, more square foot to actually grab, to be able to stop. So those things are the reason why I think we ought to allow the 129 - expand those routes.
We need all three of them badly. I can see no reason why we don't have 129's running on all the roads. They make more sense than any other truck on the road. They're easier on the roads and I feel like in most respects, they're probably safer than most of the other trucks. They'll stop better. You know, you have more rubber on the road. I think they're easier on the roads.