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January 18, 2016

Dairy trucks get exemption from CT weight limits

U.S. Reps. Joe Courtney and Elizabeth Esty are hailing the passage of new federal regulations that permit Connecticut dairy trucks to travel at full capacity. Until the approval, the trucks could only travel at 80 percent capacity.

Courtney, who co-chairs the Congressional Dairy Caucus, said he advocated for its passage because small and medium sized dairy farmers couldn’t fully use the container space in their milk trucks. He said it would also reduce truck traffic on state roads.

The new weight exemption will allow haulers to transport the same volume of fluid milk in four full milk trucks compared to the five partially filled milk trucks used to meet existing weight restrictions, Courtney said in a statement.

Esty co-sponsored an amendment to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act that allows states to issue special weight permits specific to bulk milk haulers and to treat the dairy product as a non-divisible load, which Esty said was necessary for the safety and security of bulk milk.

Connecticut sets weight restrictions based on how many axles a truck has and the distance between axles. According to a Cornell University study, milk trucks typically carry anywhere from 50,000 to 55,000 lbs. of milk a day.

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