Georgia heavy trucks bill likely headed to last-minute negotiations

Credit: Natrice Miller /

Credit: Natrice Miller /

The debate about heavy trucks on Georgia highways is headed to last-minute negotiations between the Senate and House of Representatives.

Under state law, the maximum weight of trucks on Georgia roads is 80,000 pounds. Trucks carrying certain products get a 5% variance, allowing them to weigh up to 84,000 pounds.

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@

House Bill 189 seeks to raise the maximum weight of trucks carrying forestry and agricultural products to 88,000 pounds. The affected industries have lobbied hard for the bill. They say heavier trucks would allow them to ship their goods more efficiently, saving them money at a time of high inflation.

The Georgia Department of Transportation, local governments and traffic safety advocates have lobbied hard against it. They say heavier trucks would mean more traffic fatalities and would cost taxpayers billions of dollars more for road maintenance.

The House and Senate versions of the bills are substantially different. The House version raised the maximum weight for the affected industries permanently. The Senate would sunset the higher weights in July 2024. The Senate also added a provision allowing local police to enforce the maximum weight on bridges – something only the state Department of Public Safety can do now.

On Wednesday morning, the Senate insisted on its version of the bill – a move that will likely result in both houses appointing members to a conference committee that will try to reach a compromise. Stay tuned.

You can read more about the issue here.

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