Recently, Walmart announced its desire to utilize a truck and trailer combination of their own design that exceeds legal trailer length laws by about 7′.
What is the Proposed Change?
The overall length of the unit doesn’t exceed regulations, but the increased freight capacity is significant. The configuration also uses a drone box set up mounted on the tractor frame behind the cab, similar to those pioneered by Manitoulin Transport.
I’m sure this type of setup has been on the drawing boards of a few carriers for more than a few years, but Walmart is the first to my knowledge, to try to introduce it to the public.
Is the Plan a Good Idea?
I have mixed feelings on Walmart’s plan. I believe this setup is much safer and more roadworthy than the current LCV configuration now allowed. Truck drivers wouldn’t have the sway pulling the truck around from a second trailer. Crosswind sway would also be reduced, due to the use of a spread axle on the 60′ trailer.
I’m sure as well, that it will corner better once off the highway and headed down city streets to the terminal.
You won’t need a lot the length of a football field to land one and the truck won’t plug up the service area plazas the way LCV’s do.
It’s only a matter of time until companies will want MORE!
But… where does it end? Remember when a 40″, 96″ wide trailer was the biggest trailer on the road?
The more the trailers grew over the years, the more the shippers benefited, but very little of that trickled down to the trucking industry.
Yes, for LTL haulers, there were periods of short lived financial gain, but that didn’t last.
A 53′ load to the coast pays less now, than a 42′ load paid in 1975.
Bigger loads have meant more profit for manufacturers, but the trucking industry has not enjoyed greater profit.
Yet, the costs have grown exponentially for equipment, fuel, insurance and maintenance.
There’s no doubt Walmart would benefit financially from this deal. That’s why they want it. They can only gain from it.
Will Canada and the U.S. Allow These Trucks?
Here in Canada, where they wish to introduce the truck, Walmart isn’t even risking their insurance or operating authority on the deal. They want third party carriers to license and operate these trucks.
Ontario as a province will allow these units, as no one in authority for making such a decision, has ever driven a truck and knows nothing of the risks involved. It’s interesting that the American based Walmart, is not trying to convince the American motoring public to accept these vehicles.
Should Walmart be allowed to run these monster trucks?
I think Walmart is doing well enough financially that they can abide by the same rules and regs as everyone else.
Increased productivity is only good when it benefits everyone, not just a select few who take advantage of others.
Yes, Walmart, it’s a good idea. But the truck driver needs to be paid $35.00 per hour to operate the truck, for every hour, he is on duty with your freight.