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Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles (2011)

Chapter:Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles

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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Suggested Citation:"Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14677.
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Research Results Digest 362 Responsible Senior Program Officer: Christopher Hedges October 2011 REVIEW OF MEXICAN EXPERIENCE WITH THE REGULATION OF LARGE COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES This digest presents the results of a follow-on study to NCHRP Project 08-63, “Review of Canadian Experience with Large Commercial Motor Vehicles.” The study was conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) with the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) as subcontractor. John Woodrooffe of UMTRI and Dan Middleton of TTI were co-Principal Investigators. Other authors are Juan Villa of TTI and Manuel Solari Terra, private consultant. SUMMARY The objective of this research was to review and summarize the most current information on the Mexican experience with changes in truck size and weight limits and to evaluate the potential applicability to size and weight limits in the United States. The major activities involved in this research were to investigate truck size and weight limits in Mexico, determine the concerns of U.S. border states, develop options to ad- dress those concerns, and conduct Mexico/ U.S. analysis to determine what the United States can learn from the Mexican truck size/ weight experience. Truck Size and Weight Limits Mexico has been regulating large com- mercial vehicles since 1980, and since then significant changes have occurred to the maximum allowed size and weight. Many of those changes have been induced by eco- nomic or technical reasons, but many others are the consequence of pressure from vari- ous groups that benefit from larger and heavier trucks. Current Mexican maximum weight and size limits vary depending on highway classification and vehicle and axle configuration. Mexican truck size and weight regulations also include exceptions and special permits based on highway con- nectivity or access to specific industrial or distribution centers. The Mexico Bridge Formula is the following: where GVWMX = maximum gross vehicle weight (kg), L = distance between extreme axles (m), and N = number of axles U.S. Federal Bridge Formula B is the following: where GVWUS = maximum overall gross weight of the group (lb), L = distance between extreme axles of the group (ft), and N = number of axles in the group GVW L N N NUS = − + + ⎡ ⎣⎢ ⎤ ⎦⎥500 1 12 36   GVW L N N NMX = − + + ⎡ ⎣⎢ ⎤ ⎦⎥870 1 3 66 11  . C O N T E N T S Summary, 1 Background, 3 Assessment of Mexico’s Truck Size and Weight Regulations, 7 Potential Impacts on U.S. Border States, 19 Mexico/U.S. Analysis, 26 Conclusions, 30 References, 32 NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM

Figure 1 shows that the bridge formula used in the United States is more restrictive than the bridge formula used in Mexico to establish maximum GVW limits. Concerns of U.S. Border States The states that border Mexico do not have substan- tial concerns about Mexican truck size and weight limits exceeding U.S. limits simply because of the extensive inspection process conducted by both the states and the federal government at border inspection facilities. However, there are concerns about the long queues of northbound trucks waiting to be inspected. Air quality and noise concerns arise because of trucks idling or creeping slowly and unproductive driver time waiting for the inspection. Texas and Arizona are either planning or have implemented three initiatives that can mitigate the effects of Mexican truck size and weight limits that are being felt along the U.S./Mexico border. The three initiatives allow trucks to exceed the allowable weights and dimensions under special permitting as described below. The overweight corridor program operating be- tween the Port of Brownsville, Texas, and the Vet- eran’s International Bridge—Los Tomates allows trucks to haul break bulk steel and other cargoes loaded to Mexican truck weights. The gross weight of cargo and equipment is not allowed to exceed the allowable permitted axle load, the Mexican legal weight limit, or 125,000 lb, whichever is the lowest weight. The dimensions of the load and vehicle cannot exceed 12 ft wide, 15 ft 6 in. high, or 110 ft long. To reduce the number of crossings at the U.S./ Mexico border, Texas and Arizona are proposing initiatives to allow one of the Mexican long combi- nation vehicles (LCVs) (T3-S2-R4) with two 40-ft trailers to cross into the United States. The proposed initiative would allow trucks to cross the border, go through the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and state safety inspections as a combination vehicle with two trailers, and then travel to a staging yard where the trailers would be decoupled. From there, two power units would pull the two single trailers to their destinations on U.S. roadways. The main ben- efit of this proposal is the reduction in the number of trips at international border crossings where current operations are congested. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has implemented a single trip overweight permit, which allows a motor carrier transporting fresh produce within the Mexico/Arizona commercial zone to lawfully operate a vehicle with an overall gross vehicle weight of up to 90,800 lb on a five-axle 2 0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 120,000 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 52 56 60 G ro ss W ei gh t ( lb) Outer Bridge Measurement (ft) U.S. 4 axles MX 4 axles U.S. 5 axles MX 5 axles Figure 1 Comparison of U.S. Federal Bridge Formula B and the Mexico Bridge Formula.

tractor-semitrailer. The program began on May 17, 2010, and will allow ADOT to evaluate the effective- ness of allowing overweight trucks from Mexico and to determine whether to continue and possibly expand the service to other Mexico/Arizona commercial zones. Among other requirements, the carrier must utilize a sealed container originating in Mexico, must meet Arizona axle load limits, and must follow spe- cific routes designated on the permit. Mexico/U.S. Analysis Keeping roadways safe and protecting infrastruc- ture from premature decline are key issues in the debate over truck size and weight in the United States. A review of the Mexican experience with larger, heavier trucks may provide important insights that can be factored into the decision process in the United States. A major contributor to the adoption of heavier trucks in Mexico is the Mexican Bridge Formula. However, it is difficult to evaluate this formula in comparison to U.S. Federal Bridge Formula B because there is little or no documentation on com- pliance with Mexico’s bridge construction stan- dards, monitoring of bridge construction, or bridge maintenance. The United States is more conservative than Mex- ico and Canada in permissible GVW. Nonetheless, one element of the Mexican experience that may have relevance for the United States involves desig- nating specific routes for heavier vehicles. However, if heavier truck limits were permitted, there could be increases in administrative and enforcement costs on these designated routes. These costs could be offset by a reduced number of trucks resulting from greater efficiencies. BACKGROUND Providing background information on the char- acteristics of Mexican truck movement will help lay the foundation for later discussion of size and weight issues. The emphasis placed on the types of trucks crossing the U.S./Mexico border is significant because Mexican trucks have been crossing the border into the U.S. commercial zone for many years, and the expectation is that Mexican trucks could someday travel far beyond the commercial zone on a more widespread basis. U.S./Mexico Trade by Truck U.S./Mexico trade by truck grew by a factor of almost three between 1995 and 2008, from $80 bil- lion in 1995 to $234 billion in 2008. This increase is equivalent to an average annual growth rate of 8.75 percent (1). The number of trucks that crossed the border from Mexico into the United States grew from 2.9 million in 1995 to 4.9 million in 2008 (see Figure 2). Land trade between Mexico and the United States is concentrated heavily at a limited number of ports of entry (POEs). Texas POEs near Laredo, El Paso, and Hidalgo (Pharr/McAllen); California POEs at Otay Mesa and Calexico-East; and the Arizona POE at Nogales handled 90 percent of the total trade by truck between the two countries. The Laredo POE is 3 TX CA AZ NM 6,000,000 5,000,000 4,000,000 3,000,000 2,000,000 1,000,000 0 N o. o f T ru ck s Year 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Figure 2 Trucks entering the United States from Mexico.

by far the largest, with 38 percent of the total trade in 2010, and Laredo and El Paso combined handled 56 percent of the total 2010 truck trade (see Fig- ure 3). Truck trade between Mexico and the United States is expected to continue growing. Freight trans- portation in Mexico is dominated by trucks. More than 80 percent of the total tonnage transported in Mexico by land modes is moved by truck. Vehicle Size and Weight Regulations Several rules and regulations define the opera- tion of commercial vehicles in Mexico. Laws, or “reglamentos,” establish in general terms the subject matter regulations, and the standards, or “normas,” define the detail. The regulations have one or more Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) (Official Standard). The Mexican Official Standards provide greater detail pertaining to the content of the regulations. In Mexico, the federal government—through the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) (Ministry of Communications and Transport)— establishes truck size and weight regulations for operation on the federal highway system. The states do not have the authority to establish different stan- dards from the ones established by the federal govern- ment, specifically the SCT. The Comité Consultivo Nacional de Normalización de Transporte Terrestre (CCNN-TT) (National Consultation Committee of Standard in Land Transportation) develops the Mexi- can NOMs in the transportation sector. Ley Federal sobre Metrología y Normalización (the Rule and Reg- ulation Federal Law) defines the committee opera- tion rules. The CCNN-TT is chaired by the SCT’s transportation undersecretary and includes four groups of members: • Federal agencies of the government – Economy – Security – Treasury – Environment – Foreign Relations – Health – National Defense – State Department – Tourism – Labor – Agriculture, Fishing, and Natural Resources – PEMEX (the state oil company) • Industry and trade organizations, includ- ing those involved in transportation such as Camara Nacional del Autotransporte de Carga (CANACAR), a trade association represent- ing individual carriers within the Mexican trucking industry; Asociación Nacional de Pro- ductores de Autobuses, Camiones y Tracto- camiones (ANPACT), an association of bus and truck manufacturers; and Asociación Nacional de Transporte Privado (ANTP), an associa- tion of private transporters among others. • Education and academic institutions, including the Instituto Mexicano del Transporte (IMT), the Mexican Transportation Institute, which is the research arm of the SCT, and the National Autonomous University (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) among others. • The Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor (Federal Consumer Commission) 4 120 100 80 60 40 20 - Bi llio n D ol la rs La red o - Te xa s El Pa so - Te xa s Ota y M es a - Ca lifo rn ia Hid alg o - Te xa s Sa nta Te re sa - Ne w Me xic o No ga les - A rizo na Bro wn sv ille - T ex as Ca lex ico -Ea st - C alif or nia Figure 3 Value of U.S./Mexico truck trade by port of entry—2010.

The CCNN-TT’s main functions regarding truck size and weight regulations include the following: • Contributing to the National Standard Program by developing proposals for new standards • Requesting that the SCT publish a particular NOM • Reviewing and modifying the NOMs if needed • Coordinating with other groups as needed • Analyzing the Manifestación de Impacto Reg- ulatorio (MIR), a regulatory impact statement. The CCNN-TT meets at least every 3 months and also has subcommittees that analyze the NOMs with more detail. Before any regulation or NOM is pub- lished in Diario Oficial de la Federación (the Mexican Federal Register), it has to go through a process of approval by la Comisión Federal de Mejora Regulato- ria (COFEMER) (the Federal Regulatory Improve- ment Commission). The COFEMER requires that all federal agencies present a Regulatory Impact Statement (MIR) with the draft NOM. The MIR is open to the public for comments, and if it is approved and the cost-benefit analysis results are positive, the COFEMER approves the MIR, and the NOM is published. The year associated with each NOM is the year it was first initiated, in this case by the SCT, and the NOM usually keeps the same “year” name if minor updates or delays cause its subsequent imple- mentation to occur in a different year. Major changes might cause the year to be modified (e.g., NOM-012- SCT-2-1995 was initially published in 1995 and was modified several times until it was finally replaced by NOM-012-SCT-2-2008, which was approved in 2008). The first regulation that established general stan- dards for commercial vehicles was the Capitulo XI del Reglamento del Capítulo de Explotación de Caminos de la Ley de Vías Generales de Comuni- cación que Trata del Peso y otras Características de los Vehículos (the Regulation Concerning Weights and Other Vehicle Characteristics). The publication of this regulation in 1980 was the first time that the federal government had published rules for large commercial vehicles. Other related regulations that led to the current standards include the following: • Ley de Caminos, Puentes y Autotransporte Federal (LCPAF) (Law of Roads, Bridges, and Federal Motor Transportation) from October 2004. The objective of this law is to regulate the building, operation, conservation, and maintenance of roads and bridges, as well as the motor carrier services that operate on them and their ancillary services. • Reglamento sobre el Peso, Dimensiones y Capacidad de los vehículos de Autotransporte que transitan en los Caminos y Puentes de jurisdicción Federal (RPD) (Regulation Con- cerning Weights, Dimensions, and Capacity of Commercial Vehicles that Travel on the High- ways and Bridges of Federal Jurisdiction) from November 2006. This regulation aims to reg- ulate weight, size, and capacity of commercial vehicles, and includes maximum truck weight and size limits. • Reglamento de Autotransporte Federal y Ser- vicios Auxiliares (RAFSA) (Regulation of Federal Motor Transportation and Auxiliary Services). The latest update was in November of 2000. The objective of this statute is to regu- late the motor carrier passenger, tourism, and cargo services as well as their ancillary services. The SCT is responsible for its enforcement. • Reglamento del Servicio de Medicina Preven- tiva en el Transporte (RSMPT) (Regulation of Preventive Medicine Services for Transporta- tion), with the latest update in 2004. The objec- tive of this regulation is to establish and regulate preventive medicine services in transportation, through the practice of comprehensive psy- chophysical tests and medical and toxicological exams, in order to have a personal record for Mexican or foreign commercial vehicle drivers. • Reglamento de Tránsito en Carreteras Fed- erales (RTCF) (Regulation of Circulation on Federal Highways) dated April 2004. The objective is to regulate the circulation of all types of vehicles. The main standard that establishes commercial vehicle specifications is Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-012-SCT-2-1994 sobre el Peso y Dimensiones Máximas con los que Pueden Circular los Vehículos de Autotransporte que Transitan en los Caminos y Puentes de Jurisdicción Federal, the Maximum Weight and Dimensions of Motor Transport Vehicles Traveling on Federal Jurisdiction Roads and Bridges (NOM-012). The first version was published in 1994 and was NOM-012-SCT-2-1994. This regulation has been the subject of numer- ous changes and has encountered major opposition from the private transportation sector. The private 5

sector, represented by the National Association of Pri- vate Transporters, ANTP, claimed that the new regu- lation, which would reduce the gross vehicle weight (GVW) limits of some truck configurations, would compromise Mexican competitiveness. After several revisions of the 1995 version (NOM-012-SCT-2-1995) and negotiations with the private sector, the SCT developed the latest revision (NOM-012-SCT-2-2008), which is the one currently in use. Table 1 presents the commercial vehicle configu- rations with one or more trailers allowed in Mexico according to the latest NOM-012. Figure 4 shows a typical T3-S2 Mexican five-axle combination vehicle operating along the commercial zone along the U.S. side of the border. This truck is similar in dimen- 6 Table 1. Current commercial vehicle configurations allowed in Mexico. Vehicle No. of No. of Truck Type Axles Tires Configuration T2-S1 3 10 T2-S2 4 14 T2-S3 5 18 T3-S1 4 14 T3-S2 5 18 T3-S3 6 22 T2-S1-R2 5 18 T2-S2-R2 6 22 T2-S1-R3 6 22 T3-S1-R2 6 22 T3-S1-R3 7 26 T3-S2-R2 7 26 T3-S2-R3 8 30 T3-S2-R4 9 34 T2-S2-S2 6 22 T3-S2-S2 7 26 T3-S3-S2 8 30 SOURCE: NOM-012-SCT-2-2008. Figure 4 T3-S2 vehicle used in Mexico and operating in Texas. Figure 5 T3-S2-R4 LCV used in Mexico. sions to U.S. five-axle vehicles and is required to meet the weight limits allowed in the United States. Since Mexico allows higher axle and gross vehicle weights, many of the trailers have cargo offloaded before crossing the border to comply with U.S. laws. Larger vehicles, often referred to as LCVs, also operate in Mexico, but under current rules they are generally not allowed to cross the border into the United States. The United States allows LCVs on cer- tain routes, but under the Intermodal Surface Trans- portation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), these routes are not allowed to expand beyond their limits at the time of the legislation. Figure 5 and Figure 6 are examples of LCVs currently operating in Mexico. The T3-S2-R4 in Figure 5 consists of two 40-ft trail-

ers. The T3-S3-S2 in Figure 6 operates under a spe- cial permit to haul steel between Monterrey, Mexico, and the Port of Brownsville, Texas. Since recent size and weight increases in Mexico have focused largely on LCVs, this digest will cover LCVs in some detail along with weight and dimensional changes, includ- ing when these changes occurred. Mexican Highway Classification Not all commercial vehicles can operate through- out the Mexican roadway network. The first version of the RPD included a definition of the Mexican road- way network. This regulation, which was developed by the SCT, established the following highway clas- sifications: ET, A, B, C, and D. A description of each roadway classification follows: • ET, or “transportation axis” highways, are the highest category of roadways in Mexico. ET highways are those that have geometric and structural characteristics that can accommodate the operation of vehicles with the maximum dimensions, capacity, and weight. Addition- ally, the SCT authorizes other general-interest vehicles to operate on ET highways. ET high- ways can be designated ET2 (two lanes) or ET4 (four lanes). • Type A highways allow for the operation of all vehicles authorized with the maximum dimen- sions, capacity, and weight except those that by their dimensions and weight are only allowed on ET highways. Type A highways can be des- ignated as A2 (two lanes) or A4 (four lanes). • Type B highways have lower design standards than Type A highways, but they are included in the primary network. Due to their geometric and structural characteristics, they serve inter- state transportation. Type B highways can be designated as B2 (two lanes) or B4 (four lanes). • Type C highways form the secondary roadway network. Due to their design characteristics, they serve medium trip lengths within states, establishing connections and links with the primary network. • Type D highways form the feeder network and serve traffic within municipalities. They serve relatively short trip lengths, establishing con- nections with the secondary network (Type C highways). LCVs are allowed only on ET, A, and B high- ways, but single trailer combinations with 16.2-m (53-ft) semitrailers are only allowed on ET high- ways. Weight and size limits depend on the highway type and the vehicle characteristics. ASSESSMENT OF MEXICO’S TRUCK SIZE AND WEIGHT REGULATIONS Evolution of Current Size and Weight Limits LCVs have been allowed to travel on Mexican federal highways since 1980, but significant changes have occurred since then. Many of those changes were induced by economic or technical reasons, but many others were the consequence of pressure from various groups, including the private-sector shipper association, ANTP, which benefits from larger and heavier trucks. Vehicle weights and dimensions in Mexico are regulated based on highway classification, vehicle type, axle configuration, number of wheels per axle, and suspension type. NOM-012-SCT-2-2008 includes a list of highway segments that have some type of exemption. The exemption is usually an upgrade of the highway type to allow heavier or larger commercial vehicles. Exemptions are granted to facilitate highway connectivity or provide access to specific industrial or distribution centers. There is also a mechanism to obtain a special per- mit to travel on highway segments with a vehicle that does not comply with the route’s standards. These permits are granted for LCVs that need to serve dis- tribution or production centers that are inaccessible 7 Figure 6 T3-S3-S2 LCV used in Mexico.

with a high-standard road. In these cases, a special authorization has to be requested from the SCT, and the request must be accompanied with evidence that there are no alternative routes or that there is no other vehicle configuration allowed that could economi- cally travel that route segment. These permits are valid for 5 years and involve no fee. Figure 7 presents a timeline showing when the most important rules and regulations pertaining to truck size and weight in Mexico became effective. Table 2 includes a brief description of the regulations shown in Figure 7. Since 1980, the maximum allow- able GVW and dimensions have changed. Table 3 and Table 4 show some of the most important changes dur- ing the last 30 years for GVW and vehicle length, respectively. Current Weight Limits Mexican truck weight regulations specify that commercial vehicles using federal highways must comply simultaneously with requirements for max- imum weight per axle and GVW, respectively. The maximum GVW is limited by either of the following two factors—the sum of the maximum weight per axle or the bridge formula. The bridge formula is as follows: where MGW = Maximum gross weight in kilograms AD = Distance between the centers of the ex- treme axles N = Number of axles Vehicle type and roadway determine both the axle weight limit and the GVW limit. Table 5 and Table 6 present the maximum axle gross weight and the maximum GVW, respectively. These maximum weights could be even greater for trucks that travel on ET and A highways and comply with special characteristics. Table 7 presents the required characteristics for increasing the allowable weight by 1.5 metric tons for every traction axle and by 1.0 metric ton for every other axle except the steering axle. This exception granted for vehicles with pneumatic suspension will reduce the pavement damage on roads and bridges MGW AD N N N= × − + ×( ) +⎛⎝⎜ ⎞ ⎠⎟870 1 3 66 11. by reducing the impact coefficient. This is one rea- son why the resulting GVW does not comply with the bridge formula. Additionally, in order to obtain the extra axle weight allowance, commercial vehi- cles must comply with the following operating con- dition requirements: • Trucks must not exceed a speed of 80 km/h. • Trucks must travel in the right-hand lane. • Lights must be on during the entire trip. • Trucks must be separated by a 100-m gap. In order to be able to increase the maximum axle weight, the vehicle must meet the minimum require- ments shown in Table 7 and drivers must have spe- cial training and licensing and maintain a trip log with hours of service. Drivers must also carry a pri- vate contract between the carrier and the shipment owner that specifies that they share responsibility for complying with the regulations. This contract spec- ifies the truck route, the shipment description, and the vehicle gross weight. Although NOM-012-SCT-2-2008 is the current regulation, the SCT is not enforcing its provisions at this time since some details are not final. For exam- ple, to verify that the vehicle complies with all the requirements included in Table 7, the SCT plans to release a new vehicle circulation card that will include all the necessary information. Due to several delays in the release of the new circulation cards, there is also a delay in enforcement of both the circulation cards and the special driver’s license. Table 8 summa- rizes the maximum GVW allowed when the vehicle, driver, and carrier comply with all the exception requirements. Current Size Limits NOM-012-SCT-2-2008 also regulates the maxi- mum vehicle dimensions. As shown in Table 9, the maximum length of 31 m (101.71 ft) has not changed significantly in the latest version of the standard. The maximum width for commercial vehicles is 2.60 m (8.5 ft), not including mirrors. The maximum height is 4.25 m (14 ft) for all types of combination vehicles and on all road classes. The maximum length also varies with the type of road and type of combination vehicle. Addition- ally, NOM-012 establishes that trailer and semi- trailer lengths should not exceed 13.70 m (45 ft) except on ET highways where it allows 16.2-m (53-ft) semitrailers (single semitrailers, not configured as LCVs). 8

1979 1981 1993 1994 1996 1997 1998 1999 2001 2002 2003 2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2011 No longer Valid Under review Valid - Current Version New version - not approved NOM-040-SCT-2-2008 RPD RTCF LCPAFNOM-068-SCT-2-2000 RSMPT Characteristics of the 9 axle 34 tire truck: Max gross weight = 80 ton, Max length = 31 meters. NOM-012-SCT-2-2008 Characteristics of the 9 axle 34 tire truck: Max gross weight = 81.5 ton, Max length = 31 meters. NOM-012-SCT-2-1995 RAFSA NOM-040-SCT-2-1995 Characteristics of the 9 axle 34 tire truck: Max gross weight = 76 ton, Max length = 31 meters. NOM-012-SCT-2-1994 Characteristics of the 9 axle 34 tire truck(a): Max gross weight = 77.5 ton, Max length = 22 meters. LCV's are allowed. Weight and Dimension Regulation 1980 1995 2000 2005 2010 Figure 7 Mexican transportation regulations timeline.

10 Table 2 Mexican transportation regulations. Last Abbreviation Update Title Title in English Reglamento de Peso y Dimensiones (no longer valid) NOM-012-SCT-2-1994 (no longer valid) NOM-040-SCT-2-1995 NOM-068-SCT-2-2000 NOM-012-SCT-2-1995 (no longer valid) RAFSA RSMPT RTCF LCPAF Oct. 1980 Nov. 1994 March 1998 July 2000 Oct. 2000 Nov. 2000 April 2004 Oct. 2004 Oct. 2005 Reglamento de Peso y Dimensiones Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-012-SCT-2-1994, Sobre el peso y dimensiones máximas con los que pueden circular los vehículos de autotransporte que transitan en los caminos y puentes de jurisdicción federal. Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-040-SCT-2-1995, Para el transporte de objetos indi- visibles de gran peso y/o vol- umen, peso y dimensiones de las combinaciones vehicu- lares y de las grúas industri- ales y su tránsito por caminos y puentes de jurisdicción federal Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-068-SCT-2-2000, Transporte terrestre-Servicio de autotransporte federal de pasaje, turismo, carga y transporte privado- Condiciones físico-mecánica y de seguridad para la operación en caminos y puentes de jurisdicción federal Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-012-SCT-2-1995, Sobre el peso y dimensiones máximas con los que pueden circular los vehículos de autotransporte que transitan en los caminos y puentes de jurisdicción federal. Reglamento de Autotransporte Federal y Servicios Auxiliares Reglamento del Servicio de Medicina Preventiva en el Transporte. Reglamento de Tránsito en Carreteras Federales Ley de Caminos, Puentes y Autotransporte Federal Regulation Concerning Weights and Other Vehicle Characteristics Official Mexican Standard NOM-012-SCT-2-1994, On the Maximum Weight and Dimensions of Motor Trans- port Vehicles Traveling on Federal Jurisdiction Roads and Bridges Official Mexican Standard NOM-040-SCT-2-1995, The Transport of Single-Unit Objects of Great Weight and/or Volume, Weight, and Dimensions of Vehicular Combinations and of Indus- trial Cranes That Travel on Federal Jurisdiction Roads and Bridges Official Mexican Standard NOM-068-SCT-2-2000, Land Transportation- Passenger, Tourism and Freight Motor Transport- Physical, Mechanical and Safety Vehicle Condition for Operation on Federal Roads Official Mexican Standard NOM-012-SCT-2-1995, On the Maximum Weight and Dimensions of Motor Trans- portation Vehicles Circulat- ing on Roads and Bridges of Federal Jurisdiction Regulation of Federal Motor Transportation and Auxiliary Services Regulation of Preventive Medicine Services for Transportation Regulation of Travel on Federal Highways Law of Roads, Bridges, and Federal Motor Transportation

11 Table 2 (Continued) Last Abbreviation Update Title Title in English Nov. 2006 April 2008 In process RPD NOM-012-SCT-2-2008 PROY NOM-040-SCT-2-2008 Reglamento sobre el Peso, Dimensiones y capacidad de los vehiculos de auto- transporte que transitan en los Caminos y puentes de jurisdiccion Federal Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-012-SCT-2-2008, Sobre el peso y dimensiones máximas con los que pueden circular los vehículos de autotransporte que transitan en los caminos y puentes de jurisdicción federal. Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM- 040-SCT-2-2008, Para el transporte de objetos indivisi- bles de gran peso y/o volu- men, peso y dimensiones de las combinaciones vehicu- lares y de las grúas industri- ales y su tránsito por caminos y puentes de jurisdicción federal Regulation Concerning Weights, Dimensions, and Capacity of Commercial Vehicles That Travel on Fed- eral Jurisdiction Highways and Bridges Official Mexican Standard NOM-012-SCT-2-2008, On the Maximum Weight and Dimensions of Motor Trans- port Vehicles Traveling on Federal Jurisdiction Roads and Bridges Official Mexican Standard NOM-040-SCT-2-2008, The Transport of Single-Unit Objects of Great Weight and/or Volume, Weight, and Dimensions of Vehicular Combinations and of Indus- trial Cranes Traveling on Federal Jurisdiction Roads and Bridges Table 3 Evolution of the maximum allowable GVW (metric tons).* Vehicle Type 1980 Regulation NOM-012-SCT-2-1994 NOM-012-SCT-2-1995 NOM-012-SCT-2-2008 T3-S2 NA 44.0 + 5% 44.0 + 5.0 41.5 + 5.0 T2-S1-R2 45.5 47.5 + 5% 47.5 + 4.5 47.5 + 4.5 T2-S1-R3 — — — 54.5 + 5.5 T2-S2-R2 — — — 54.5 + 5.5 T3-S1-R2 53.5 56.0 + 5% 56.0 + 6.0 54.5 + 6.0 T3-S1-R3 — — — 60.5 + 7.0 T3-S2-R2 61.5 60.5 + 5% 60.5 + 7.0 60.5 + 7.0 T3-S2-R3 69.5 — 63.0 + 8.0 63.0 + 8.0 + 4.5** T3-S2-R4 77.5 72.5 + 5% 66.5 + 9.0 66.5 + 9.0 + 4.5** T3-S2-S2 — — — 58.5 + 7.0 T2-S2-S2 — — — 51.5 + 5.5 T3-S3-S2 — — 60.0 + 8.0 60.0 + 8.0 *Maximum GVW on ET and A highways; extra weight is allowed for pneumatic suspension. NA: data not available. (—): not considered. **These two vehicle combinations are allowed an extra 4.5 tons until 2013.

12 Table 4 Evolution of the maximum allowable length (m).* Vehicle Type 1980 Regulation NOM-012-SCT-2-1994 NOM-012-SCT-2-1995 NOM-012-SCT-2-2008 T3-S2 NA 20.8 20.8 23.0 T2-S1-R2 22.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 T2-S1-R3 — — — 31.0 T2-S2-R2 — — — 31.0 T3-S1-R2 22.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 T3-S1-R3 — — — 31.0 T3-S2-R2 22.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 T3-S2-R3 22.0 — 31.0 31.0 T3-S2-R4 22.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 T3-S2-S2 — — — 31.0 T2-S2-S2 — — — 31.0 T3-S3-S2 — — 25.0 25.0 *Maximum allowable vehicle length for ET and A roadways. NA: data not available. (—): not considered. Table 5 Maximum allowable axle and group weight (metric tons). Road Type Axle Configuration ET & A B C D Single (two tires) 6.50 6.00 5.50 5.00 Single (four tires) 10.00 9.50 8.00 7.00 Single power axle (four tires) 11.00 10.50 9.00 8.00 Double power axle (six tires) 15.00 13.00 11.50 11.00 Double (eight tires) 17.00 15.00 13.50 12.00 Double power axle (eight tires) 18.00 17.00 14.50 13.50 Triple (12 tires) 23.50 22.50 20.00 NA NA: not authorized. SOURCE: NOM-012-SCT-2-2008.

For auto carriers, the rear overhang on the trailer or semitrailer can extend past the end of the trailer up to 1 m (3.28 ft). When the truck is transporting pipe, poles, or iron rods, the load can extend past the end of the semitrailer by as much as 2.50 m (8.2 ft) if the total length of the semitrailer is less than 14.63 m (48 ft) and the total length of the combination is less than the maximum allowed. General Motor Carrier Operating Environment As noted earlier, trucks and trailers used in Mex- ico are similar in many ways to trucks currently oper- ating on U.S. highways. However, there are significant differences in size and weight limits between the two countries, so vehicles in Mexico are typically heavier than their counterparts in the United States. The largest—and in some cases heaviest—trucks in both countries are LCVs. The most common type of combination vehicle used in Mexico (as in the United States) is the tractor- semitrailer (3-S2, or T3-S2 in Mexico). The most commonly used semitrailer length in the United States is 53 ft, and it is not surprising that vehicles of this length are widely used in Mexico on the highest classes of roadways (ET, A, and B). Special Provisions for Non-Divisible Loads In Mexico, NOM-040-SCT-2-1995 regulates non-divisible loads. Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM- 040-SCT-2-1995, Para el transporte de objetos indi- visibles de gran peso y/o volumen, peso y dimensiones de las combinaciones vehiculares y de las grúas indus- triales y su tránsito por caminos y puentes de jurisdic- ción federal (Transportation of Indivisible Objects of Great Weight and/or Volume, Weight, and Dimen- sions of Vehicular Combinations and of Industrial Cranes Traveling on Federal Jurisdiction Roads and Bridges) was published in March 1998. A new ver- sion of this standard is under development as a proj- ect (PROY NOM-040-SCT-2-2008), but it has to go through the approval process. Table 10 shows the current standard for maximum axle load for non- divisible load trips. For special loads, the maximum GVW is the sum of the maximum axle weights. Cargo must be posi- tioned in the truck so that the axle weight does not exceed the maximum allowed. The maximum allowed speed on bridges is 30 km/hr (19 mph) for loads weighing less than 70 metric tons, 20 km/hr (12 mph) for loads weigh- ing between 70 and 90 metric tons, and 10 km/hr 13 Table 6 Maximum allowable GVW. Maximum Gross Weight LCV (Metric Tons) Configuration Axles Tires ET & A B C D T2-S1 3 10 27.5 26.0 22.5 NA T2-S2 4 14 34.5 31.5 28.0 NA T3-S2 5 18 41.5 38.0 33.5 NA T3-S3 6 22 48.0 45.5 40.0 NA T2-S3 5 18 41.0 39.0 34.5 NA T3-S1 4 14 34.5 32.5 28.0 NA T2-S1-R2 5 18 47.5 45.0 NA NA T2-S1-R3 6 22 54.5 50.5 NA NA T2-S2-R2 6 22 54.5 50.5 NA NA T3-S1-R2 6 22 54.5 51.5 NA NA T3-S1-R3 7 26 60.5 57.5 NA NA T3-S2-R2 7 26 60.5 57.5 NA NA T3-S2-R4 9 34 66.5 66.0 NA NA T3-S2-R3 8 30 63.0 62.5 NA NA T3-S3-S2 8 30 60.0 60.0 NA NA T2-S2-S2 6 22 51.5 46.5 NA NA T3-S2-S2 7 26 58.5 53.0 NA NA NA: not authorized. SOURCE: NOM-012-SCT-2-2008.

Table 7 Minimum requirements to increase maximum axle weight. Minimum Low Emission Electronic Minimum and Physical- Engine Power Minimum Capacity Auxiliary Dolly Converter Anti-lock Truck Mechanical Requirements in Torque of Traction Brake with Double Brake System Pneumatic Configuration Certification Horse Power (HP) (lb-ft) Axles (lb) System Security Chains (ABS) Suspension T2-S1 ✓ 260 660 — ✓ — ✓ ✓ T2-S2 ✓ 300 800 — ✓ — ✓ ✓ T3-S2 ✓ 350 1,050 — ✓ — ✓ ✓ T3-S3 ✓ 350 1,050 — ✓ — ✓ ✓ T2-S3 ✓ 350 1,050 — ✓ — ✓ ✓ T3-S1 ✓ 300 800 — ✓ — ✓ ✓ T2-S1-R2 ✓ 350 1,250 30,000 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ T2-S2-R2 ✓ 350 1,250 30,000 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ T2-S1-R3 ✓ 370 1,250 30,000 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ T3-S1-R2 ✓ 370 1,250 40,000 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ T3-S1-R3 ✓ 400 1,650 44,000 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ T3-S2-R2 ✓ 400 1,650 44,000 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ T3-S2-R4 ✓ 450 1,850 46,000 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ T3-S2-R3 ✓ 450 1,850 44,000 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ T3-S3-S2 ✓ 400 1,650 44,000 ✓ — ✓ ✓ T2-S2-S2 ✓ 370 1,250 30,000 ✓ — ✓ ✓ T3-S2-S2 ✓ 400 1,650 44,000 ✓ — ✓ ✓ (—): Not applicable for this vehicle. SOURCE: NOM-012-SCT-2-2008.

15 Table 8 Maximum allowable GVW. Maximum Gross Weight Truck (Metric Tons) Configuration ET & A Highways T2-S1 30.0 T2-S2 38.0 T3-S2 46.5 T3-S3 54.0 T2-S3 45.5 T3-S1 38.5 T2-S1-R2 52.0 T2-S1-R3 60.0 T2-S2-R2 60.0 T3-S1-R2 60.5 T3-S1-R3 67.5 T3-S2-R2 67.5 T3-S2-R4 80.0* T3-S2-R3 75.5* T3-S3-S2 68.0 T2-S2-S2 57.0 T3-S2-S2 65.5 *These figures include an additional 4.5 tons allowed by law until 2013. SOURCE: NOM-012-SCT-2-2008. Table 9 Maximum truck lengths in Mexico. Maximum Length (m) Truck by Road Type Configuration ET & A B C D T2-S1 23.0 20.8 18.5 NA T2-S2 23.0 20.8 18.5 NA T3-S2 23.0 20.8 18.5 NA T3-S3 23.0 20.8 18.5 NA T2-S3 23.0 20.0 18.0 NA T3-S1 23.0 20.0 18.0 NA T2-S1-R2 31.0 28.5 NA NA T2-S1-R3 31.0 28.5 NA NA T2-S2-R2 31.0 28.5 NA NA T3-S1-R2 31.0 28.5 NA NA T3-S1-R3 31.0 28.5 NA NA T3-S2-R2 31.0 28.5 NA NA T3-S2-R4 31.0 28.5 NA NA T3-S2-R3 31.0 28.5 NA NA T3-S3-S2 25.0 25.0 NA NA T2-S2-S2 31.0 28.5 NA NA T3-S2-S2 31.0 28.5 NA NA NA: not authorized. SOURCE: NOM-012-SCT-2-2008. Table 10 Maximum axle load weight for non-divisible loads. Load/Axle Type (Metric Tons) Maximum Load per Axle Type Tires Weight/Tire Load per Axle or Group per Axle (Metric Tons) Axle Group Single 2 3.3 6.6 6.6 Single 4 2.75 11.0 11.0 Single 8 2.75 22.0 22.0 Double 8 2.75 11.0 22.0 Double 16 2.75 22.0 44.0 Triple 12 2.75 11.0 33.0 Triple 24 2.75 22.0 66.0 Quadruple 8 per axle 2.25 18.0 Variable Quadruple 12 per axle 2.25 27.0 Variable SOURCE: NOM-040-SCT-2-1995. (6 mph) for loads greater than 90 metric tons. The truck must also travel along the center of the bridge. If the load capacity of the configuration does not exceed 90 metric tons, the maximum speed allowed varies between 20 km/hr and 70 km/hr (12 mph and 44 mph, respectively) depending on the vehicle con- figuration and road type. Pneumatic suspension is usually required. The carrier must prove that the load and axle configuration complies with the max- imum allowed. If the load capacity of the configuration exceeds 90 metric tons, the carrier must comply with a specific technical permission issued by the SCT. The carrier must inform the SCT and the Federal Highway Police

of the route and schedule of the trip at least 24 hours in advance of the trip. Table 11 shows the maximum dimensions allowed by this standard. Depending on the special vehicle configuration type, escort vehicles (or pilot cars) with warning lights are required to improve safety and facilitate trans- portation of the oversize vehicle. Oversize config- uration Types 1 through 3 require no escort vehicles; Type 4 requires one escort vehicle; and Types 5 and 6 require two escort vehicles. These special vehicle configurations are not allowed to travel on federal highways between sunset and midnight. Truck Size and Weight Enforcement Procedures In Mexico, the SCT is responsible for the enforce- ment and regulation of commercial vehicles. First developed in the early 1990s, Mexico’s commercial vehicle enforcement and inspection program includes roadside inspections and on-site compliance reviews. To achieve compliance with the standards regulat- ing the use of highways at the federal level, Mexico uses various methods to check aspects of commer- cial vehicles. The purpose of the inspections conducted by the SCT is to verify that carriers, drivers, equipment, installations, and operating service comply with all the requirements imposed by federal standards. SCT inspections are done with the cooperation of the Federal Highway Police, and, generally, they are performed during regular work days and hours, although they could be carried out at any day or time if necessary. The SCT has built fixed-location facilities where trucks are inspected using techniques similar to those used in the United States. When the stations are in operation and lights are flashing to signal drivers to pull in, enforcement representatives direct drivers to cross a weigh-in-motion (WIM) system to estimate the weight. If the WIM detects that the truck is over- weight, trucks have to be weighed on a static scale. The SCT and the police also perform random checks at non-fixed locations of the roadway network utilizing portable equipment. These inspections are not very frequent because the federal police who perform the inspections have other duties assigned to them. Security issues along the roadway network have become more frequent in recent years, reducing the priority of vehicle safety inspections. During a road- side inspection at either fixed or portable locations, the SCT also requires drivers to undergo medical exami- nations. The purpose is to determine whether drivers are medically fit to operate large vehicles safely. NOM-012-SCT-2-2008 empowers the SCT to limit the size and weight of commercial vehicles using size and weight enforcement stations (currently there are 7 fixed enforcement stations and more than 30 portable stations in Mexico) and an auto- regulation process whereby eligible shippers and car- riers that have certified weighing scales and measuring systems can auto-regulate size and weight limits (this provision has not been enforced yet). Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-068-SCT-2-2000, Transporte terrestre-Servicio de autotransporte fed- eral de pasaje, turismo, carga y transporte privado— Condiciones físico-mecánica y de seguridad para la operación en caminos y puentes de jurisdicción fed- eral (NOM-068-SCT-2-2000) establishes the criteria and authority for roadside commercial vehicle inspec- tions. This regulation also establishes the procedures used for inspecting commercial vehicles and placing them out of service and also a timeframe for inspect- ing these vehicles, ranging from 20 minutes for buses and commercial vehicles carrying hazardous materi- als to 30 minutes for commercial vehicles carrying general cargo. Table 12 shows current enforcement actions taken for various noncompliant equipment conditions under NOM-068-SCT-2-2000. Vehicle Characteristics, Licensing, and Training Provisions NOM-068-SCT-2-2000 defines the physical and mechanical requirements of vehicles on federal high- ways and inspection and verification procedures for determining whether vehicles comply with such specifications. This standard was published in 2000, but has not been enforced. However, now that the latest version of NOM-012 has been published, the 16 Table 11 Maximum axle load dimensions for non-divisible loads. Configuration Maximum Dimensions (m) Type Length Width Height 1 20.8 2.6 4.25 2 20.8 Up to 3.1 Any 3 18.0 Up to 3.3 Any 4 30.0 Up to 3.6 Any 5 Over 30.0 Up to 3.6 Any 6 Any Over 3.6 Any SOURCE: NOM-040-SCT-2-1995.

17 Table 12 Mexican roadside commercial vehicle noncompliant equipment conditions and enforcement actions. Enforcement NOM-068-SCT-2-2000 Noncompliant Equipment Conditions Actions 4.1 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7/4.8 4.9 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 *A When these defects are evident, the driver is allowed to correct deficiencies immediately. Once the correction has been verified, he or she may continue his or her trip, exempt from corresponding sanctions. †B For these defects, a sanction will be issued, but the driver/vehicle will be allowed to continue on to the destination with the aim of repair- ing the defects found. Once the defects are corrected and verified, the driver/vehicle will be allowed to resume normal operations. A written advisory will be issued that notes the defects discovered and allows a maximum of 20 calendar days to be corrected. ‡C For these defects, a sanction will be issued, and the driver/vehicle will be put out of service. The vehicle must be towed to a location determined by the owner for repair. Once the defects are repaired and inspected/verified, the driver/vehicle may resume normal operations. The driver must maintain the vehicle evaluation form in the vehicle. Lighting Systems Windshield Wipers Windshield Tires, Inner Tubes, Belts Wheels, Rims Frames, Rails, Chassis Fuel System Exhaust System Steering System Suspension System Pneumatic Brake System Hydraulic Brake System Electric Brake System Missing fuses, bridged with wire, aluminum, or other Worn, exposed, twisted wires, missing insulation Missing or inoperable headlights (if needed) Missing or inoperable brake lights No windshield wipers and spray jets Shattered or missing windshield Cut/damaged tire walls, exposed structural material, tread separation, abrasion from adjacent surfaces, exposed radial belts, wheel separation, not designed for highway use Bent, broken, or cracked wheel rims Cracked, loose, bent, or broken frame rails Twists, bends, weaknesses from cracked chassis Missing gas cap, fuel spillage in filling pipe, leaking fuel lines Unsafe mounting of exhaust pipes Broken or damaged exhaust pipes Loose steering wheel, detached joints, missing steering column U-bolts Detached steering gear box from chassis mounting, ruptured gear box or mounting brackets No springs on mechanical suspension Cracked suspension frame or loose U-bolts Curled, obstructed, or broken hoses or pipes Cracked brake drums Detached or loosely mounted brake chambers Out of adjustment (>20%) push rods Inoperative brake linings and/or oil contamination of drums Missing brake lining segments Missing, ruptured, or defective brake on vehicle wheel A* A B† B B B B B B B C‡ B B SCT will begin enforcing verification that the LCVs that are allowed extra axle and gross weight actually have the requisite pneumatic suspensions. Licensing Requirements NOM-012-SCT-2-2008 specifies that LCV driv- ers must have a special driver’s license and training when the truck is using the extra axle weight. As previously noted, this special license requirement is not being enforced since the license renewal mech- anism has not been created. Nonetheless, it is impor- tant to review the basics of the current Mexican licensing, training, and testing processes. According to the current legislation, all commer- cial vehicle drivers, including Mexican and foreign drivers, are required to have a valid driver’s license.

To obtain a federal driver’s license, drivers must file a written application with the SCT. Depending on the license category, the application must be accom- panied with the following materials: • In all cases, drivers must provide a medical (psychological and physical) fitness certifi- cate, two identification cards with full-front color photos, proof of address, and a training certificate. • For License Categories A (bus), B (tractor- trailer combination, excluding hazardous materials), C (two- or three-axle trucks, ex- cluding hazardous materials), D (automobiles and small buses), and F (taxis to/from Mexi- can airports and seaports), drivers must also provide legal documentation that certifies their legal age and, in the case of Category D, a tourist guide credential. • For Category E (any truck including hazardous materials), drivers must have a Category B or C federal driver’s license or a hazardous materials and waste carrier certificate that indi- cates 2 years of experience operating vehicles that haul this type of product. Drivers operating across international borders must also provide legal documentation that certifies their legal age as 21 years old or older and a certifi- cate proving knowledge of the English language. License Renewals The effective term of a federal driver’s license is 10 years with renewals every 2 years. License renewals require drivers to complete additional train- ing and a physical exam. The following section pre- sents the details of the physical exam and training requirements. When the driver is requesting a change in the license category, the applicant must file the appropriate training certificate and/or his/her current license with the SCT. The renewal term is currently under review by the SCT. Training Requirements and Physical Exam Prior to license issuance and renewal, drivers are required to obtain a training certificate. Training requirements for new drivers are 63 hours of roadway safety theory and defensive driving, vehicle opera- tion and maintenance, customer service, security and hygiene, and human development and 57 hours of practical roadway safety and defensive driving, vehicle operations, and maintenance content. Training requirements for renewing drivers are 40 hours of roadway safety and defensive driving, vehicle opera- tion and maintenance, and customer service; 28 hours of road safety, vehicle operation and maintenance, and customer attention and service; and 16 hours of tech- nical update, service quality culture, family values, and integrity. Drivers can obtain the required training from the SCT’s officially certified schools and educa- tional or licensee training centers. In addition to meeting training requirements, drivers must take a psychological and physical exam by a certified medical professional. A medical exam is required prior to license issuance and every 2 years thereafter. The exam considers each of the following physical features in the context of potential interfer- ence with the safe and efficient performance of driver activities: • Eyes, nose, and throat • Respiratory system • Cardiovascular system • Digestive system/abdominal wall • Musculoskeletal system • Plasma • Organ transplants • Nervous system • Endocrinal system • Hematopoietic system • Genitourinary apparatus • Skin • Psychological • Psychiatric In the United States, individual states develop their own knowledge and skill tests that must meet the minimum federal standards provided for in Subpart G and H of 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 383 (2). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has prepared and distrib- uted model driver and examiner manuals and tests to the states to use if they wish. Some of the require- ments associated with the tests include the following: • Each basic knowledge test (i.e., the test cov- ering the areas referred to in 49 CFR 383.111 for the applicable vehicle group) shall contain at least 30 items, exclusive of the number of items testing air brake knowledge. • Applicants must correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions to pass the knowl- edge tests (general and endorsement). 18

• Applicants must successfully perform all the required skills (listed in 49 CFR 383.113 through 49 CFR 383.123) to pass the skills test. The skills test must use a vehicle representative of the type of vehicle that the applicant operates or expects to operate. Depending on the type of passenger vehicle used in the skills test, the following restrictions must be added to the license: except Class A bus or except Class A and Class B bus. • The driver/applicant must surrender his/her driver’s license issued by another state if he/ she has moved from another state. FMCSA requires all commercial drivers to meet specific testing and licensing standards. Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) driver training, however, is not a mandate unless the driver will be transporting hazardous materials (3). Drug and Alcohol Testing In order to detect the use of drugs or alcohol, a tox- icological exam is required for all drivers in Mexico under the following circumstances: • Every 3 months for 1 year after the physical exam • Every 6 months thereafter • As part of the psychophysical exam performed when a driver applies for a federal driver’s license, any psychophysical event has tran- spired, an accident has occurred, or a carrier or driver asks for reevaluation • During the 24 hours following a vehicular accident • If there is evidence of substance abuse • During any period determined by the Staff Security Monitoring Program • When established by any international treaty or convention For drivers who have successfully completed the drug and alcohol rehabilitation safety program, a toxicological exam is required every 3 months for 1 year after the physical exam and every 6 months thereafter. Hours of Service Commercial drivers must comply with the Fed- eral Labor Law. The Mexican labor law limits daily hours of service for drivers to 8 hours for the day shift (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.), 7 hours for the night shift (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.), and 7.5 hours for a mixed shift. During a continuous work day, drivers must rest for at least 30 minutes. If the driver cannot leave the workplace for rest or meal breaks, he/she must count the corresponding time as hours of service. Drivers may accumulate daily overtime of up to 3 hours in three instances during a week (maximum 9 hours per week total). The carrier must pay drivers double their hourly rate for overtime. Drivers are required to report their work and break activities in a logbook and maintain records for a minimum of 60 days. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ON U.S. BORDER STATES Cross-Border Transportation The FMCSA and the state departments of trans- portation inspect all commercial vehicles entering the United States from Mexico. In most land ports of entry, FMCSA inspectors operate within the federal compound; in other locations, FMCSA performs inspections at the state inspection facilities. Under the North American Free Trade Agree- ment (NAFTA), the plan was to open the border for Mexican-domiciled trucks. The plan has not been implemented, and the majority of truck crossings from Mexico into the United States are drayage or transfer trucks. The original NAFTA provisions were designed to improve transportation efficiency by enabling more seamless cross-border trucking operations. However, Mexican truck operations are restricted to a narrow commercial zone extending 3 to 25 miles into the United States (up to 75 miles in Arizona). Given that Mexican tractors are not allowed to travel beyond the commercial zone, northbound truck shipments into the United States must use a drayage or transfer tractor. These drayage tractors connect to a trailer on the Mexican side of the border and move the trailer into the U.S. commercial zone for coupling to a U.S. long-haul tractor to continue the trip to its destination. In 2007, the U.S. and Mexican governments announced that they had reached a resolution on the cross-border trucking impasse. The agreement called for a 1-year pilot project involving up to 100 Mexican and 100 U.S. trucking firms that wished to engage in direct long-haul movements across the border and beyond the commercial zone. To qualify, Mexican 19

carriers had to undergo safety audits by U.S. inspec- tors in Mexico; meet all safety, environmental, insur- ance, homeland security, and other regulations imposed on U.S. trucking firms; and pay all applica- ble U.S., state, and federal taxes and registration fees. The pilot project was discontinued in March of 2009 when Congress eliminated funding for the demon- stration program that had allowed Mexican trucks access to U.S. roads, citing safety concerns. In July 2011, the FMCSA announced a new cross-border long-haul trucking pilot program to test and demonstrate the ability of Mexico-based motor carriers to operate safely in the United States beyond commercial zones. This pilot program would allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate through- out the United States for up to 3 years. Participating Mexican carriers and drivers would be required to comply with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including those concerned with motor carrier safety, customs, immigration, vehicle registration and taxa- tion, and fuel taxation. As with the previous pilot program, it is expected that very few Mexican carriers will participate. Point- to-point transportation (cabotage) is prohibited, and other commercial aspects and fees will prevent a large number of Mexican carriers from participating in the new program; therefore, drayage will continue to dominate cross-border trucking along the U.S./ Mexico border. Another common scenario for northbound trucks is to load a long-haul U.S. tractor-semitrailer combi- nation at plants called maquiladoras, located near the border in Mexico. In this case, the U.S. tractor trans- ports the trailer from the origin to its U.S. destination without being decoupled. As noted earlier, truck weight limits in Mexico are higher than truck weight limits in the United States; therefore, northbound loads are usually adjusted to meet U.S. regulations before crossing into the United States. The drayage process is also used to consolidate loads so that they meet each country’s truck size and weight regulations. A considerable proportion of the freight that comes to the port of entry at Laredo, Texas, arrives by LCV, using the T3-S2-R4 configuration with two 40-ft trailers. This configuration is legal at the Mex- ico border city of Nuevo Laredo via the toll-road system. Once the shipment reaches the border, the driver disassembles the LCV into two separate tractor- semitrailer combinations. Drayage tractors cross each trailer separately in the United States, and the load is cross-docked into a 48- or 53-ft trailer or remains in the 40-ft trailer, depending on the destination. South- bound movements are usually unloaded or rearranged on the U.S. side of the border into a 40-ft trailer if the trip involves a T3-S2-R4 vehicle in Mexico for that shipment. Given the extensive federal and state vehicle safety inspection process for every truck that enters the United States from Mexico and given that most of the existing commercial crossings have already built state inspection facilities, the U.S. border states have no concerns regarding Mexican trucks entering their territory with overweight or non-complying vehicles. However, safety and security inspections that take place at the border have a negative impact on border communities. These inspections create congestion at border crossings, and trucks waiting in long lines for inspection contribute excessively to greenhouse gases, unproductive driver time, and noise. Some state agencies have developed strategies to reduce the impact of cross-border trucking. The following section describes two strategies that states are beginning to implement at the U.S./Mexico bor- der to reduce congestion at the border. Alternatives for U.S. Border States Some of the states that border with Mexico are implementing or are in the process of analyzing vari- ous strategies to allow overweight or oversize vehicles to operate near the U.S./Mexico border. This section presents two projects that have been implemented and one that is being analyzed. Port of Brownsville Overweight Corridor Program The overweight corridor program allows trucks to transport overweight freight between the Port of Brownsville, Texas, and Monterrey, Mexico. This route between the port and the Veteran’s International Bridge, SH 4 (International Boulevard), and SH 48 (Padre Island Highway) constitutes Brownsville’s overweight truck corridor. The corridor allows trucks carrying primarily break bulk steel but also other cargoes to be loaded to Mexican truck weights. The gross weight of cargo and equipment is not allowed to exceed the allowable axle load, the Mexican legal weight limit, or 125,000 lb, whichever is less, and the dimensions of the load and vehicle shall not exceed 12 ft wide, 15 ft 6 in. high, or 110 ft long. Overweight trucks must remain on the over- weight corridor and pay a fee collected at the port to help cover damages caused by these loads. In 2009, 20

due to its success over a period of several years, Texas made this program permanent. Arizona Overweight Permit Pilot Program The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has implemented a Single Trip Overweight Permit, which allows a motor carrier transporting fresh produce within the Mexico/Arizona com- mercial zone to lawfully operate a vehicle with an overall GVW of up to 90,800 lb on a five-axle tractor- semitrailer. The program began on May 17, 2010, and will allow ADOT to evaluate the effectiveness of allowing overweight trucks from Mexico and thereby determine whether to continue or expand the service to other Mexico/Arizona commercial zones. In order to qualify for this program, carriers must meet the following requirements: • The cargo must arrive in a sealed container originating from Mexico. • The vehicle configuration must have at least five axles. • The axle group weight configuration cannot exceed the maximum weight allowed in the Arizona Administrative Code. • Trucks can only follow specific routes desig- nated on the permit by ADOT. ADOT already issues overweight permits for ship- ments crossing the state from other states. The pilot program brings shipments crossing an international border into this permitting process and recognizes the importance of maintaining the security of shipments coming from Mexico, which allows for a higher GVW than the United States. Currently, produce shipments from the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Sonora destined for the United States utilize staging areas across the border in Nogales Sonora to remove the portion of a shipment that is allowable in Mexico but that would be over- weight in the United States. The overweight portions from several trucks are consolidated in a new truck, creating an additional shipment that must cross the border. Under the new program, growers will be able to ship produce at the allowed Arizona permitted weight of 90,800 lb without the need to break the cold chain and cross-dock produce to another truck. Oversize Trucks Crossing into the United States As noted previously, the T3-S2-R4 combination is popular in Mexico along the ET corridors, and 21 most of these roadway types serve the U.S./Mexico border. The current scenario for those combination vehicles is to travel to the border and utilize staging areas on the Mexican side of the border where the tandem configuration is uncoupled. From that point, a drayage truck tows the load in two trips, usually a 40-ft trailer on each trip. To reduce the number of crossings at the U.S./ Mexico border, two states—Texas and Arizona— are proposing initiatives to allow tandem trucks to cross into the United States. The proposed operation would allow trucks to cross into the United States from Mexico, go through Customs and Border Pro- tection and state safety inspections as a combination vehicle with two trailers, and then travel to a staging yard where trailers are decoupled. From there, two power units would pull the two single trailers to their destinations on U.S. roadways. The main benefit of this proposal is the reduction in the number of drayage trips that are required to move the same number of trailers at international bor- der crossings where current operations are congested. This scheme would allow for reducing the number of tractors crossing, thereby reducing emissions and con- gestion. This proposal would require a large plot of land next to the state inspection facility, and this close proximity would prevent tandem trucks (T3-S2-R4) from traveling on U.S. roadways. North American Truck Size and Weight Limit Comparison The following comparison concentrates on LCVs due to the emphasis on these vehicles in recent Mexi- can size and weight legislation. (Despite this empha- sis on LCVs, it is important to note that most of the U.S./Mexico trade uses 53-ft semitrailers due to the ability to cross the border with these trailers.) Vehicle lengths are similar in both Mexico and the United States, but legal weights are quite different. The maximum GVW allowed in Mexico for the most common configuration (T3-S2) is 46.5 metric tons (102,515 lb); the maximum allowed in the United States is 80,000 lb (e.g., on Interstate highways). Trucks traveling to the United States from Mexico avoid going over the 80,000-lb limit established in the United States to avoid fines. Table 13 presents some current U.S. state size and weight limits for common LCVs. FMCSA defines LCVs in the United States as a combination of a tractor and two or more trailers that operates on the

Interstate Highway System at a gross weight greater than 80,000 lb. The FMCSA definition excludes the so-called “western double” from this group since its legal weight is capped at 80,000 lb. ISTEA prohibits any further expansion of LCV routes or increases in LCV sizes and weights where LCVs were allowed in 1991 when the law was passed. The three common types of LCV on U.S. road- ways are turnpike doubles (TPDs), Rocky Mountain doubles (RMDs), and triples. Descriptions of these types of LCV are the following: • TPDs typically consist of a three-axle power unit pulling a tandem-axle semitrailer followed 22 Table 13 General weight and dimension limits on U.S. LCVs. Truck Tractor and Truck Tractor and Two Trailing Three Trailing Units Allowed Units Allowed Length Max. Gross Length Max. Gross State (ft)a Wt. (lb) (ft) Wt. (lb) Other Alaska 95 NAf 110 NA 83 ft Arizona 95 129,000 95 129,000 b Colorado 111 110,000 115.5 110,000 78 ft Florida 106c NA NA NA NA Hawaii 65c NA NA NA NA Idaho 95 105,500 95 105,500 b Indiana 106 127,400 104.5 127,400 58 ft Iowa 100 129,000 100 129,000 78 ft Kansas 109 120,000 109 120,000 NA Massachusetts 104 127,400 NA NA NA Michigan 58 164,000 NA NA NA Missouri 110 120,000e 109 120,000 NA Montana 93 137,800 100 131,060c b Nebraska 95 95,000 95 c 68 ft Nevada 95 129,000 95 129,000 98 ft New Mexico NA 86,400d NA NA NA New York 102 143,000 NA NA NA North Dakota 103 105,500 100 105,500 103 ft Ohio 102 127,400 95 115,000 NA Oklahoma 110 90,000 95 90,000 NA Oregon 68 105,500 96 105,500 70.5 ft South Dakota 100 129,000 100 129,000 b Utah 95 129,000 95 129,000 b Washington 68 105,500 NA NA 68 ft Wyoming 81 117,000 NA NA b aCargo-carrying length is measured from the front of the first cargo unit to the rear of the last cargo unit. bState submission includes multiple vehicles in this category. cNo maximum weight is established because this vehicle combination is not considered an LCV per the ISTEA definition. dNo maximum cargo-carrying length is established for this combination. eThese dimensions do not apply to the same combinations. The 110-ft length is limited to vehicles entering from Oklahoma and is also limited to a 90,000-lb gross weight. The 120,000-lb gross weight is limited to vehicles entering from Kansas and also limited to a cargo-carrying length of 109 ft. fNA: Not applicable. SOURCE: Longer Combination Vehicle (LCV) Regulations Training (4).

by a second semitrailer converted to a trailer by an A-dolly. Each trailing unit is typically 13.7 to 14.6 m (45 to 48 ft) in length, and the total number of axles is nine. It is legal on at least some roads in 13 states (4). • RMDs typically consist of a three-axle power unit, a tandem-axle semitrailer (typically 13.7 to 14.6 m [45 to 48 ft] in length), followed by an 8.5-m (28.5-ft) semitrailer converted to a trailer using a single-axle A-dolly, bringing the total number of axles to seven. RMDs are legal in 16 states. • Triples typically consist of a two-axle tractor pulling three 8.5-m (28.5-ft) semitrailers, with the trailer and two semitrailers converted to trailers by using A-dollies. Triples can oper- ate in 14 states, but in some cases only on des- ignated turnpikes. In Canada, LCVs usually operate on a special per- mit basis using vehicle configurations consisting of a tractor and two or three van trailers or containers. These vehicles exceed basic vehicle length limita- tions but operate within basic weight limits. Canadian provinces have the authority to regulate size and weight, so the limits under which commercial vehicles operate vary significantly among provinces. Canadian LCVs are not directly comparable with U.S. or Mex- ican LCVs due to differences in regulatory regimes and the operating environment. For example, the prairie region of Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) requires trucks longer than 25 m (82 ft) to operate under a special permit. The three routinely permitted LCVs in this region are TPDs, RMDs, and triples. Even though the configurations have the same names as those allowed in the United States, they operate under different size and weight limits. Their configurations and size and weight limits are as follows: • TPDs consist of a tractor with one 16.2-m (53-ft) van trailer and one 16.2-m (53-ft) van trailer converted from a semitrailer to a trailer by using an A- or C-dolly operating at max- imum GVWs between 60.5 and 63.5 metric tons (133,000 and 140,000 lb). • RMDs consist of a tractor with one 16.2-m (53-ft) van trailer and one 8.5-m (28-ft) van trailer converted from a semitrailer to a trailer by using an A- or C-dolly operating at maxi- mum GVWs between 53.5 and 63.5 metric tons (117,700 and 140,000 lb). • Triples consist of one 8.5-m (28.5-ft) van semi- trailer followed by two 8.5-m (28.5-ft) van trail- ers converted from semitrailers to trailers by A- or C-dollies and operating at a maximum GVW of 53.5 metric tons (117,700 lb). Table 14 compares LCVs allowed in Mexico with LCVs allowed in the United States and Canada and the corresponding weight and dimension limits in each country by vehicle type. This list includes the “western double” even though it is not consid- ered an LCV in the United States according to the FMCSA’s definition (GVW cap at 80,000 lb). Allowable GVWs for similar vehicles in Mexico and Canada are 114,000 lb and 92,200 lb, respec- tively. The other three comparable vehicles in the table are RMDs, TPDs, and B-trains. Differences among U.S. states and jurisdictions and between provincial limits in Canada create challenges for such comparisons, so this comparison simply uses some typical values in the United States and the maximums allowed by the Canadian memorandum of understanding (MOU). Two of the vehicle types that do not have as much in common in the three countries are triples and B-trains. The United States and Canada allow triples, but they are not included in the table since their numbers are small. Carriers in the United States do not use B-trains extensively, but they are particularly well suited for high-density com- modity movements. The GVW comparison for the remaining vehicles indicates that the U.S. GVW limits are typically lower than those of Mexico or Canada. Both the United States and Mexico use bridge for- mulas to set GVW limits for the protection of bridges. The bridge formula used in the United States is more restrictive than the bridge formula shown below for Mexico. The Mexico Bridge Formula is the following: where GVWMX = maximum gross vehicle weight (kg), L = distance between extreme axles (m), and N = number of axles. GVW L N N NMX = − + + ⎡ ⎣⎢ ⎤ ⎦⎥870 1 3 66 11  . 23

U.S. Federal Bridge Formula B is the following: where GVWUS = maximum overall gross weight of the group (lb), L = distance between extreme axles of the group (ft), and N = number of axles in the group. Figure 8 shows that the bridge formula used in the United States is more restrictive than the bridge formula used in Mexico to establish maximum GVW limits. One of the reasons why the Mexican Bridge For- mula is less restrictive than the U.S. formula is that GVW L N N NUS = − + + ⎡ ⎣⎢ ⎤ ⎦⎥500 1 12 36   the design live loads used in Mexico are larger than the U.S. live loads. The Normativa para la Infraestructura del Transporte (Transportation Infrastructure Regula- tion) published by the SCT regulates bridge design loads in Mexico. Section N-PRY-CAR-6-01-003/01 of this regulation establishes two live load configu- rations. The first one is applied to ET, A, B, and C highways, while the second one is applied to D high- ways. Figure 9 shows the corresponding live load configuration for bridges designed for ET, A, B, and C highway networks with a span length of less than 98 ft. Canada, Mexico, and the United States also have different allowable axle weights. The six-axle tractor- semitrailer is a good choice of vehicle to illustrate the differences in axle weights and corresponding GVW because it contains both tandem and tridem axle groups. Table 15 shows that U.S. axle weights are 24 Table 14 Comparison of dimensional and weight limits for similar vehicles in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. U.S. Canadian Vehicle Limit NOM-012-SCT-2-2008a Comparable Vehicle Comparable Vehicleb T2-S1-R2 Weight T (lb) 52.0 (114,000) 36.4 (80,000) 41.9 (92,200) Length m (ft) 31.0 (102) 18.7 (61.5) 25.0 (82.0) T2-S1-R3 Weight 60.0 (132,000) NAe NA Length 31.0 (102) NA NA T2-S2-R2 Weight 60.0 (132,000) NA NA Length 31.0 (102) NA NA T3-S1-R2 Weight 60.5 (133,100) NA NA Length 31.0 (102) NA NA T3-S1-R3 Weight 67.5 (148,500) NA NA Length 31.0 (102) NA NA T3-S2-R2 Weight 67.5 (148,500) 48.0 (105,500) [RMD] 53.5 (117,700) [RMD] Length 31.0 (102) 29.0 (95) 31.0 (101.7) T3-S2-R3 Weight 75.5 (166,100)c NA NA Length 31.0 (102) NA NA T3-S2-R4 Weight 80.0 (176,000)c 58.6 (129,000) [TPD] 53.5 (117,700) [TPD] Length 31.0 (102) 32.3 (106) 41.0 (134.5) T3-S2-S2 Weight 65.5 (144,100) NA NA Length 31.0 (102) NA NA T2-S2-S2 Weight 58.5 (128,700) NA NA Length 31.0 (102) NA NA T3-S3-S2 Weight 68.0 (149,600) 56.8 (125,000) [B-train]d 62.5 (137,500) [B-train] Length 25.0 (82) 33.5 (110) 25.0 (82.0) aThese Mexican GVW figures correspond to ET and A highway classification limits. The extra weight applies to trucks with pneumatic suspension. bLimits according to MOE among provinces. Actual provincial limits vary. cThese two types of combinations are allowed an extra 4.5 tons gross weight until 2013. dUsually operates under permit. eNA: not applicable.

25 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 52 56 60 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 G ro ss W ei gh t ( lb) Outer Bridge Measurement (ft) U.S. 4 axles MX 4 axles U.S. 5 axles MX 5 axles Figure 8 Comparison of U.S. Federal Bridge Formula B and the Mexico Bridge Formula. P1 P2/2 P2/2 3.9 ft 3.9 ft P3/3 P3/3 P3/3 3.9 ft P1 = 11,023 lb P2 = 52,911 lb P3 = 82,673 lb Total = 146,607lb 23.6 ft14.4 ft Figure 9 Mexican live load configuration. Table 15 Comparison of allowable axle weights by country. Axle Weights and GVWs (lb) Country Steer Drive Tridem GVW Canada 12,100 37,400 52,800 102,300 Mexico 14,300 42,900 49,500 106,700 U.S. 12,000 34,000 42,000 88,000 consistently lower than those of Canada and Mex- ico, resulting in a GVW that is 16 percent lower than that of Canada and 21 percent lower than that of Mexico, assuming removal of the 80,000-lb cap. Basing the comparison on the current 80,000-lb cap indicates that the U.S. GVW is 28 percent lower than that of Canada and 33 percent lower than that of Mexico. Clearly the allowable tandem and tridem axle weights in the United States are substantially less than those in Canada and Mexico. A recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study on safety, productiv- ity, infrastructure wear, fuel use, and emissions assess- ment of the international truck fleet found that U.S. axle weights were the lowest of all countries examined including Australia, Canada, the European Union, Mexico, and the United Kingdom (5). Coefficients within U.S. Federal Bridge Formula B are tied to cur- rent axle weights, so increasing these weights would require revising the bridge formula accordingly. Bridge formula revisions could create an environment of opportunity for vehicle designers to create more productive configurations.

Implications of LCV Size and Weight Limits Pavement and bridge damage caused by commer- cial vehicles has been discussed in Mexico for several years and was a major topic of discussion during the development of the last version of NOM-012. The effect of any particular vehicle on the infrastruc- ture depends on the maximum allowable axle weight as well as the axle spatial distribution. The maximum allowable GVW in Mexico depends on the lesser of two values: (1) the sum of the allowances for each axle or axle group or (2) the maximum weight according to the bridge formula. The lesser value should be the one that dictates the maximum GVW. Table 16 shows the limit based on the axle configuration for the heaviest LCV allowed in Mexico (T3-S2-R4). The result of applying the bridge formula to this same vehicle configuration results in a maximum allowable gross weight of 66.5 metric tons. According to the criteria for determining maxi- mum allowable GVW in Mexico presented above, the maximum GVW for the T3-S2-R4 combination should have been 66.5 metric tons because this is the lesser value. However, during the development of the last version of NOM-012, pressure from certain ship- pers and carriers pushed the maximum GVW weight to be the higher value. On top of that, the SCT suc- cumbed to similar pressure and allowed an additional 4.5 metric tons until 2013, for a total GVW of 80 met- ric tons. The SCT plans to rescind the additional 4.5 metric tons for T3-S2-R4 in 2013. MEXICO/U.S. ANALYSIS The elements of the Mexican experience that may have relevance for U.S. regulators are summarized herein. The discussion identifies areas where the Mexican truck size and weight limits have resulted in particular successes or problems, and it identifies constraints that might limit applicability of Mexican practices in the United States. It also examines the guidance of recent U.S. studies, such as TRB’s Spe- cial Report 227: New Trucks for Greater Productiv- ity and Less Road Wear: An Evaluation of the Turner Proposal (the Turner Study) and the Federal High- way Administration’s (FHWA’s) Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study (CTS&W Study), with respect to the objectives of this task (6, 7 ). One of the obvious differences between Mexico and the United States that has been a major contribu- tor to the adoption of heavier trucks in Mexico is the Mexican Bridge Formula. There has been much dis- cussion in the United States over the past 30-plus years of adopting a more liberal bridge formula than U.S Federal Bridge Formula B, but all proposals have thus far been rejected. An example of a vehicle-specific increase that appears to have some momentum involves allowing a six-axle, 97,000-GVW combina- tion vehicle (single semitrailer). In Mexico, axle weight limits, gross vehicle weights, and overall length vary as a function of road- way type. LCVs in Mexico are restricted to specific roadway types and also are required to meet higher vehicle performance requirements (see Table 7). Driver requirements include a special driver’s license and additional training. Other requirements include staying within maximum speed limits, keeping head- lights on for the entire trip, and maintaining a mini- mum distance between trucks. These prerequisites are only required for vehicles (LCVs or others) that want to take advantage of the extra axle weight allowance. However, LCVs or “full trailers” gain the most from these benefits to increase the gross vehicle weight. In Mexico, LCVs are restricted by roadway type, but in the United States, they are restricted to a desig- nated network. However, the United States does not currently impose some of the other restrictions. The research team believes that the United States may benefit from investigating the merits of each stipula- tion for potential operation of larger/heavier trucks on an expanded LCV network in the United States. Special permits could be considered for the oper- ation of these vehicles and could include stringent driver qualifications and perhaps safety equipment beyond that required for current vehicles. Requiring a nominal fee for the permit would help offset the administrative costs. Even though tolls are unpopu- lar among motor carriers, innovative scenarios could be investigated to make them more acceptable. For 26 Table 16 Maximum allowable GVW for heaviest Mexican LCV (T3-S2-R4). Maximum Allowable GVW Axle Configuration (Metric Tons) One single steering axle 6.5 One tandem power axle 18 Three tandem (non-powered) axles 17 × 3 = 51 Total 75.5

example, there is technology available that could allow program administrators to determine the mile- age of a particular operator on toll roads. This mileage would be treated differently than non-toll mileage by providing reductions in fuel or other taxes to carriers using toll roads. This reduction could serve to mini- mize the burden of “double taxation” that carriers object to (paying tolls plus fuel and other taxes). Successes and Problems This section considers the successes and problems associated with the Mexican truck size and weight limits. One of the benefits that comes with allowing heavier trucks is that one driver and one vehicle haul more freight per trip, reducing the number of trucks on the highways, assuming maximum load factors. This benefit can contribute to reducing congestion and fuel use, improving air quality, and reducing the safety risk incurred by exposure to other vehicles. Finally, larger payloads would reduce the unit cost of shipping, which influences international competitiveness and reduces the cost of goods/services to consumers. On the subject of problems associated with heav- ier and longer trucks, a cost to the infrastructure is likely to be associated with heavier axle loads, but this may be partially offset by a reduction in truck travel. For longer vehicles, the impact on the infrastructure is often positive, given that the axle loads are distrib- uted over a longer distance and the reduction in truck travel is usually greater with LCVs than with heavier vehicles. Pavement condition in Mexico for non- tolled facilities is generally worse than in the United States; however, this may be due to issues of mainte- nance or failure to control axle overloading. The same is not true of Mexican toll roads since they are newer and have not sustained the magnitude of heavy vehicle overloading that non-toll roads in Mexico have. Longer trucks present an operational challenge with respect to infrastructure geometry, which limits the roads on which they can travel. The SCT requires minimum weight-to-horsepower values for trucks, so their acceleration characteristics in traffic are reason- able. Underpowered trucks would accelerate from intersections more slowly and impede other traffic on grades. Resulting speed differentials would be unde- sirable, raising the risk of rear-end crashes. Overtak- ing longer trucks on two-lane undivided roadways is also a potential problem due to increased exposure to opposing traffic during passing maneuvers. Limitations in Comparing Mexico to the United States The research team was unable to verify many of the factors that need to be considered to draw conclu- sions and to confidently transfer findings to a U.S. set- ting for comparative purposes. For example, accurate data on the number of trucks using the various high- ways in Mexico and their axle loads and wheelbases were not available. The cost and other information relevant to determining the wear rate of bridge com- ponents and pavements were not freely available. Information on enforcement activities targeting large trucks was not well documented; therefore, informa- tion regarding enforcement came entirely from SCT personnel during meetings with researchers. Even though the SCT has installed WIM systems at a few locations, WIM data would be of limited use in determining the weight characteristics of the vehicles passing over these systems. Primarily on the basis of interview information, the research team believes that the WIM systems are not given the necessary attention to provide useful data. Other important factors that are critical to collecting accu- rate WIM data include smooth pavement upstream and downstream of the WIM and adequate mainte- nance of the WIM, including frequent calibration. WIM systems in remote areas are subject to vandal- ism. Enforcement personnel have other responsibil- ities besides enforcement relevant to commercial vehicles, so their presence on the roadways appears to be relatively sparse. An argument against proliferation of LCVs in the United States has been that larger and more produc- tive trucks might attract freight that is currently hauled by rail to the highway mode. If this were to happen, the net benefit of larger and heavier trucks might be diminished in certain areas. In Mexico, pri- vate railroad concessionaires provide rail intermodal service, which is more competitive than trucking for long-distance freight. Therefore, there is reason not to compare the United States to Mexico on the issue of freight diversion. Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study FHWA’s Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study (CTS&W Study) (7) provides some pertinent information with regard to the issues discussed in this digest. The CTS&W Study was similar in many ways to previous truck size and weight studies but unique in 27

Table 17 Theoretical load equivalency factors per 100,000 lb of payload. Load Equivalency Factorsc No. of Rigid Vehicles Pavement per Fatigue GVW Empty Payload 100,000-lb (10 in Configuration (lb) Wt. (lb) Wt. (lb) Payload Thick) Fatigue Rutting 5-Axle Semitrailer 80,000 30,500 49,500 2.02 5.7 9.3 10.3 6-Axle Semitrailer 90,000 31,500 58,500 1.71 3.8 7.5 9.6 97,000 31,500 65,500 1.53 4.1 8.4 9.2 B-Train (8 Axles) 124,000 38,700 85,300 1.17 3.9 7.0 7.6 131,000 38,700 92,300 1.08 4.1 7.7 7.5 RMD (9 Axles) 120,000 43,000 77,000 1.30 7.8 9.9 9.5 TPD (9 Axles) 148,000 46,700 101,300 0.99 5.0 7.7 7.2 Triple (7 Axles) 114,000a 44,500 69,500 1.44 8.6 9.8 9.6 132,000b 44,500 87,500 1.14 11.6 11.8 9.0 aLess than truckload. bTruckload. cBased on 18,000-lb single axle with dual tires. SOURCE: Adapted from Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study (7 ). Flexible Pavement (5-in Wearing Surface) its development of an analytical framework for future evaluations of new and different scenarios. It devel- oped five scenarios to assess the impacts of changes in truck size and weight. The following describes the basics of each scenario (7): • Uniformity Scenario. This scenario required all states to adopt federal weight limits on all National Network (NN) highways. States that exercised grandfather rights to allow heav- ier vehicles on the Interstate system would have to roll them back to the current federal limits. This would force LCVs to operate at an 80,000-lb GVW, making them impractical for all but the lightest loads. • North American Trade Scenario. This scenario would allow a heavier GVW on cer- tain configurations by increasing tridem-axle loads to make them more consistent with loads allowed for tridems in Canada and Mexico. Two alternatives were tested—the first at 44,000 lb and the second at 51,000 lb. At the higher limit, six-axle tractor-semitrailers would be allowed a GVW of 97,000 lb, which would allow transporting international containers loaded to the International Standards Organiza- tion (ISO) limit. • LCVs Nationwide Scenario. LCVs were operating in 16 states west of the Mississippi River and on turnpikes in five states east of the Mississippi at the time the study was published. This scenario assumes that LCVs would oper- ate on a nationwide network of highways. TPDs would consist of two 53-ft trailers weigh- ing up to 148,000 lb; RMDs would consist of one 53-ft trailer followed by a 28.5-ft trailer with a GVW of up to 120,000 lb; and triple- trailer combinations would consist of three 28.5-ft trailers with GVWs of up to 132,000 lb. A fourth LCV would have two 33-ft trailers, a total of eight axles, and would weigh up to 124,000 lb. • HR 551 Scenario. The Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (HR 551) had three provisions related to truck size and weight limits. It would phase out trailers longer than 53 ft, freeze state grandfather rights, and freeze weight limits on non-Interstate portions of the National Highway System. • Triples Nationwide Scenario. This scenario assumed the operation of triple-trailer combina- tions across the country at the same weights and dimensions as the LCVs Nationwide Scenario. Table 17 provides an insightful comparison from the CTS&W Study indicating productivity by vehicle type by using load equivalency factors per weight of payload (7). The measure of pavement damage is 28

that caused by each vehicle at the maximum weight at which it can operate. As the values indicate, the pave- ment damage varies by type of pavement, specific vehicle type, and the weight at which trucks are allowed to operate. Comparing proposed vehicles against the five-axle tractor-semitrailer indicates gains or losses related to pavement damage for the assumed pavement types and thicknesses. The following vehicles result in less pavement wear than the baseline five-axle tractor-semitrailer (shaded row in Table 17): six-axle tractor-semitrailer, B-train, and TPD. The CTS&W Study also evaluated bridges and the effects of allowing longer and heavier vehicles (7). The two most typical bridge designs are HS-20, which is common for higher-class roadways, and H-15, which is typical of bridges on lower-class roadways. The bridge formula is intended to maintain stress levels on bridges designed for HS-20 loadings to no more than 5 percent above the design stress. Simi- larly, the bridge formula should maintain stress levels on bridges designed with H-15 loadings to no more than 30 percent over the design stress. The CTS&W study assumed that when the proposed vehicles met or exceeded these stress levels, new bridges would be required. In reality, some of these bridges could be strengthened and forego replacement. A significant cost with some of the LCVs was associated with road geometric improvements needed to accommodate these proposed vehicles. Geometric deficiencies were primarily interchanges and intersec- tions that could not accommodate the longer vehicles with their increased off-tracking characteristics. The analysis assumed no encroachment on shoulders or adjacent lanes except for at-grade intersections where vehicles could encroach on one lane in the same direc- tion of travel. The costs also included staging areas for certain LCVs at key points along the roadway. In real- ity, the number of staging areas needed would proba- bly be significantly lower than that estimated by the analysis. The safety of larger and heavier vehicles has been perhaps the most contentious issue due to the difficul- ties involved in conducting an analysis of the proposed vehicles. The safety analysis in the CTS&W Study included several caveats indicating the uncertainties in attempting to establish safety performance (7). Reasons for this difficulty are that the weights and dimensions of vehicles involved in crashes are usu- ally not known, the vehicle miles traveled (VMTs) of specific vehicle types are not well documented, and crash rates for LCVs currently operating are not necessarily transferrable to other geographic areas or roadway types. For these reasons, the U.S. Department of Trans- portation elected not to predict changes in crash rates in the CTS&W Study (7). The study did, however, recommend evaluation of the stability and control properties of different configurations, along with per- ceptions of drivers. Special Report 227: New Trucks for Greater Productivity and Less Road Wear: An Evaluation of the Turner Proposal Special Report 227: New Trucks for Greater Pro- ductivity and Less Road Wear: An Evaluation of the Turner Proposal (the Turner study) is another study that is relevant to the issues discussed herein (6). In 1984, Francis Turner, a former FHWA admin- istrator, made an address to the American Associa- tion of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in which he advocated a new approach to truck size and weight regulation. This approach, involving trucks with lower axle weights but higher gross weights than allowed for the current vehi- cles, came to be known as the “Turner Proposal.” AASHTO requested that the Transportation Research Board (TRB) convene an oversight committee to undertake a comprehensive study of the approach and advise the states on the results. Of the many new truck configurations that were possible to investigate, the Turner approach evalua- tion chose the following four prototypes (6): • A seven-axle tractor-semitrailer combination with a GVW of 91,000 lb and length of 60 ft • A nine-axle double trailer combination with two 33-ft trailers, a 114,000-lb GVW, and 81 ft overall length • A nine-axle B-train double with similar dimen- sions as the preceding prototype but with dif- ferent coupling between the trailers • An 11-axle double trailer combination with a GVW of up to 141,000 lb The axle and axle group weight limits for the Turner approach vehicles would be as follows: single-axle maximum 15,000 lb (compared to the current maximum of 20,000 lb) and tandem axle maximum of 25,000 lb (compared to 34,000 lb). These axle loads are extremely low by international standards and are impractical. The TRB oversight committee recommended some modifications includ- ing eliminating the 11-axle prototype. 29

Evaluation of the Turner trucks occurred in the following categories: safety and traffic, bridges, and pavements. On the safety issue, the evaluation sug- gested that adoption of Turner trucks would result in a modest reduction in truck crashes and a small reduc- tion in truck interference with traffic flow. These reductions were the result of a decrease in total annual miles of combination truck travel with use of the Turner trucks. For bridges, the Turner trucks would require replacement of some 7,000 bridges on Inter- state and primary highways (4 percent of the total). This finding represents the major cost to adopting the proposed vehicles. The cost of the bridge replace- ments at the time (1995) would have amounted to $2.8 billion. The additional cost to replace bridges on non-primary highways would have been $4.1 billion. Other bridge costs associated with this proposal were estimated at $138 million per year once the number of Turner trucks had ramped up to a steady state. If the amount of freight currently hauled by trucks had been diverted in the expected proportions to Turner trucks, a reduction in pavement wear of 33 per- cent would have resulted. On a truck-mile basis, there would have been a 40-percent reduction in pavement wear. Considering the greater capacity of Turner trucks, the net effect would have been a 19-percent reduction in the rate of pavement wear. Savings to departments of transportation would have amounted to $729 million annually once the steady-state period for Turner trucks had been reached. Considering the pavement savings together with the bridge costs, adopting this proposal would have reduced annual highway agency costs by $326 million, again, once the Turner trucks reached full utilization. The Turner study encouraged states to adopt its proposal in its entirety so that the states could real- ize the full benefits. Some of the restrictions recom- mended in order to ensure a high level of safety included minimum and maximum trailer lengths and kingpin-to-rear-axle dimensions, antilock brakes on power units, the ability to maintain speed on all grades, and use of the B-train configuration for tank trailers. Some route restrictions were also included such as avoiding bridges deemed too weak for the expected loading. Requirements for drivers included a mini- mum of 5 years of employment experience in operat- ing combination trucks and encouragement for drivers to complete an accredited training program for the specific truck to be operated. Among other recommendations, adjustments to highway user fees were proposed to reflect the differ- ences in highway maintenance caused by the vehicle type. Fees might be designed to provide incentives to choose the most efficient trucks considering both highway and truck operating costs. The Turner Study admitted that adjusting taxes by vehicle type would be difficult under the current taxing structure, but went on to suggest truck tax reform as well as changes in rates. In the final analysis, while the Turner proposal had merit from the perspective of highway agencies, it did not offer sufficient incentives to carriers and shippers to make it attractive. Even though with the Turner proposal there would be increases in payload and perhaps increased profits due to operating larger and heavier vehicles, the increases in vehicle weight (due to more axles) were not sufficiently offset by the additional payload (6). CONCLUSIONS This research examined the Mexican truck size and weight experience with a view to assessing what may have application within the U.S. context. The research effort was impeded by a lack of accu- rate data on the number of trucks using the various highways in Mexico and on their axle loads and wheelbases. Actually, a similar situation exists in the United States when trying to rigorously document the effects of LCV use. Past efforts at comparing the effects of LCVs on safety and infrastructure damage have resulted in inconsistent findings. Furthermore, the costs and other information relevant to determin- ing the replacement rate of bridge components and pavements in Mexico were not available. Information on enforcement activities targeting large trucks in Mexico was also not well documented, so informa- tion regarding enforcement came entirely from SCT personnel during meetings with researchers. This information indicates that enforcement presence on roadways is relatively sparse. Even though the SCT has installed WIM systems at a few locations, WIM data would be of limited use in determining the weight characteristics of the vehicles passing over them. Based mostly on inter- view information, the authors believe that the WIM systems are not given the necessary attention to pro- vide useful data. Critical factors to collecting accurate WIM data include smooth pavement, adequate main- tenance of the WIM system, and frequent calibration. Allowing larger and heavier trucks in Mexico has not caused significant diversion of freight from rail to truck. Rail intermodal service in Mexico is provided by private railroad concessionaires, and the 30

rail intermodal markets in Mexico are well defined for longer haul distances in which rail intermodal ser- vice is more competitive than trucking, even with the use of LCVs. Mexico has been regulating large commercial vehicles since 1980 when general standards for com- mercial vehicles were first published. Since then, sig- nificant changes have occurred including maximum size and weight limits. Many of those changes are caused by economic or technical changes, but many others are the consequence of pressure from various groups that benefit from larger and heavier trucks. The following is a summary of the findings related to truck size and weight rules and regulations in Mexico: • Current Mexican truck size and weight lim- its vary depending on highway classification, vehicle configuration, and axle configuration. Mexico only allows the longest and heaviest trucks on designated routes. • Mexican size and weight regulations also include exceptions and special permits based on highway connectivity facilitation or access to specific industrial or distribution centers. • Maximum gross weight can be increased by 1.5 metric tons for every traction axle and by 1.0 metric ton for every other axle except the steering axle if the vehicle, driver, and carrier comply with a number of requisites. • There is a special regulation for non-divisible loads (NOM-040-SCT-2-1995). For these loads, the maximum GVW is set by the sum of the maximum axle weights. Depending on the GVW, the carrier might need to request a special permit to use federal highways. • Axle weights and the bridge formula used in the United States are more restrictive than the ones used in Mexico. Mexico uses heavier live loads to design bridges than the United States. • No data were found to indicate whether or not adherence to the Mexican bridge formula dur- ing construction was monitored or enforced. The United States has a long history of research and debate pertaining to vehicle size and weight. This project reinvestigated two prominent research efforts dedicated to investigating this issue in years past. One such effort was the U.S. DOT Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study (CTS&W Study), a landmark research effort that thoroughly investigated various aspects of adopting proposed scenarios and devel- oped an analytical framework that could be used for future analysis (7). Findings of the CTS&W indicated that longer, heavier vehicles would be more produc- tive. According to the CTS&W Study, the following vehicles result in less pavement wear than the base- line five-axle tractor-semitrailer: six-axle tractor- semitrailers, B-trains, and TPDs. Triple trailer LCVs were found to be the least desirable from a pavement wear perspective. The other research effort reinvestigated in this digest is Special Report 227: New Trucks for Greater Productivity and Less Road Wear: An Evaluation of the Turner Proposal (the Turner Study), which also predicted productivity gains from adopting the spe- cific proposed vehicle changes, as well as a modest reduction in truck crashes and a small reduction in truck interference with traffic flow due to a reduction in total annual miles of combination truck travel (6). However, the Turner trucks utilize low axle weights, which means that more axles are required to carry a cargo of given mass than if the axle weights were higher. The Turner study recommended adjustments to highway user fees to reflect differences in highway maintenance caused by the vehicle type. Fees might be designed to provide incentives to use the most efficient trucks, considering both highway and truck operating costs. The report admitted that adjusting taxes by vehicle type would be difficult under the current taxing structure, but went on to suggest truck tax reform as well as changes in rates (6). The idea of dedicating heavy-vehicle corridors in Mexico has parallels in the United States, but might require dedicated funding for improving pavements and bridges on key routes to accommodate LCVs on a limited nationwide network. Representatives of U.S. border states expressed no significant concerns regarding Mexican trucks entering their territory with weight issues or non- complying vehicles mainly because they have installed vehicle safety inspection facilities at most of the border crossings. Some state agencies have already developed strategies to reduce the impact of congestion, air quality, and delay due to cross-border trucking. Some examples are the Port of Brownsville Overweight Corridor Program and the Arizona Over- weight Permit Pilot Program. Currently, there is a proposal to allow tandem trucks (T3-S2-R4) to cross into the United States. A major contributor to the adoption of heavier trucks in Mexico is the Mexican Bridge Formula. It is difficult to evaluate this formula in relation to U.S. Federal Bridge Formula B as there is little or no 31

documentation on compliance with Mexico’s bridge construction standards, monitoring of bridge con- struction, or bridge maintenance. Nonetheless, inter- national research shows that U.S. axle weights and corresponding GVWs are significantly lower than those of other countries. On the subject of designating specific routes for heavier vehicles as is done in Mexico, the United States has begun the process in a limited way with LCVs. If the United States should decide to lift the moratorium on LCV route mileage, there would be increased administrative costs in terms of permitting, monitoring, and enforcement. These costs could be offset by permitting and other fees. REFERENCES 1. North American Transborder Freight Data (database). Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Depart- ment of Transportation. http://www.bts.gov/programs/ international/transborder/. Accessed 8/22/2010. 2. Commercial Driver’s License Program (CDL/ CDLIS). Federal Motor Carrier Administration, U.S Department of Transportation, www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ registration-licensing/cdl/cdl.htm, accessed August 20, 2010. 3. “Is professional CDL driver training or drivers education required to obtain a commercial license?” DMV Answers, dmvanswers.com/questions/1949/ Is-professional-CDL-driver-training-or-drivers- education-required-to-obtain-a-commercial-license, accessed August 20, 2010. 4. Daniels, D. Longer Combination Vehicle (LCV) Regu- lations Training. Thomson Delmar Learning, Clifton Park, NY, 2006. 5. Woodrooffe, J., Glaeser, K. P., Nordengen, P., Bereni, M., Germanchev, A., Eady, P., and Jacob, B. “Safety, Productivity, Infrastructure Wear, Fuel Use and Emissions Assessment of the International Truck Fleet—A Comparative Analysis,” OECD International Transport Forum, Paris, 2010. 6. Special Report 227: New Trucks for Greater Pro- ductivity and Less Road Wear, An Evaluation of the Turner Proposal. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1990. 7. Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study— Volume I: Summary Report. U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C., 2000. 32

Transportation Research Board 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 These digests are issued in order to increase awareness of research results emanating from projects in the Cooperative Research Programs (CRP). Persons wanting to pursue the project subject matter in greater depth should contact the CRP Staff, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. Subscriber Categories: Highways • Freight Transportation • Law • Policy • Vehicles and Equipment ISBN 978-0-309-21358-5 9 780309 213585 9 0 0 0 0

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TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Results Digest 362: Review of Mexican Experience with the Regulation of Large Commercial Motor Vehicles reviews and summarizes the Mexican experience with changes in truck size and weight limits. The report also evaluates the potential applicability to size and weight limits in the United States.

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