US officials say APU weight exemption not mandatory

WASHINGTON – Even though President George Bush signed into law an Energy Bill that gives a 400-pound vehicle weight allowance for APUs and anti-idling devices, truckers are still getting nabbed in some states for being overweight.

According to a report in Land Line magazine, a memo from the Federal Highway Administration’s Size and Weight Division confirms that the federal weight exemption is not a national mandate, and is up to each individual state’s vehicle enforcement officials to recognize the allowance written in the bill.

“We determined that (the exemption) does not pre-empt state regulations or compel the states to grant the increased weight tolerance,” the memo said. “Rather, (the exemption) simply increases the federal interstate maximum weight limits to compensate for the weight of the APUs installed.”

Truckers from across the U.S. have reportedly run into roadside inspectors that refuse to acknowledge the additional weight allowance for APUs.

The memo continued by stating that the EPA and proponents of APUs could lobby Congress to tighten the language in the legislation.

Two spokespeople from the administration did not return emails from seeking comment.

Interstate Carriers and owner-ops that spec APUs say that without a nation wide consensus to honor the Energy Bill, the higher weight is useless.

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