Allowing interstate travel would provide many benefits for timber industry
Logging trucks crisscross roads across the southeastern United States every day, bringing more than 200 million tons of timber from forests to mills every year.
Every mile they travel adds to the overall cost of the timber—and current federal weight laws prevent log trucks from using interstate highways. Now, University of Georgia research is measuring the benefits of shifting log trucks from back roads to interstate highways: safer routes that take logging trucks off local roads, minimize wear and tear on these roads, and cost savings for timber producers.
“The federal government sets weight limit laws for the interstates, which have been in place since 1974,” said Joe Conrad, assistant professor of forest operations. “So, the goal of the research was, if you made the weight limit the same on interstate and state highways, would it improve the efficiency of our timber transportation industry? The results were a resounding yes.”