A bill to improve truck productivity in North Dakota is on the table for legislators to vote on this legislative session. The bill would amend North Dakota Century Code Title 24 by creating a limited network of roads within the state on which a 129,000-pound gross vehicle weight is allowed for long combination vehicles. The intent for boosting truck productivity is to increase the transport of regional agricultural products to the Port of Minot, keeping transportation revenues within the state and lowering costs for exporters.
“We’d like to make the port in North Dakota more viable,” said Gene Griffin, a consultant with Global Innovative Solutions who has partnered with the North Dakota Trade Office to spearhead this initiative. “We’re looking to increase truck productivity without undue damage to infrastructure in order to increase North Dakota’s competitive position.”
The expansive plains of North Dakota, as well as its position as the geographical center of North America, creates logistical challenges when transporting goods both in and out of the state. North Dakota’s exports, such as agricultural commodities and manufactured goods, must travel long distances to be prepared for international shipping. The increased travel time as well as the low population density when compared to other states has resulted in higher shipping costs for our exporters. North Dakota relies on its exports for economic growth and must create a more efficient transportation system in order to remain competitive both nationally and internationally.
The bill proposes a limited network consisting of the North Dakota portions of Interstates 94 and 29, US 83 from the South Dakota border to Minot, US 85 from the South Dakota border to Williston, US 52 from Minot to the Canadian border and US 2 from the Montana border to the Minnesota border. The allowable vehicle weight on this limited network would increase from 105,500 to 129,000 pounds on long combination vehicles. Long combination vehicles have more axles than typical tractor-trailers, which spreads their weight out over a larger area.
If the bill passes, North Dakota’s weight limits would be in line with the states of South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
As it goes through the legislative process, please aid North Dakota exporters by contacting your legislators and expressing your support for this bill. Click here to locate contact information for your legislators.