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Issue Brief: Twin Trailers
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Background & Update

Studies show significant safety benefits as well as increased productivity and environmental advantages to lengthening twin trailers from 28’ to 33’ in length.

Because investments in infrastructure haven’t kept up with population growth, 42% of major urban highways in the U.S. are congested. Modernizing freight transportation regulations to allow for 33-ft. doubles will result in 6.6 million fewer truck trips per year, preventing 912 crashes per year.

Academic studies have found that, because they have a longer wheelbase, 33-ft. double trailer configurations are inherently more stable than twin 28-ft. double trailers. Added stability makes them safer, not only in straight line driving, but also in cornering. In addition, twin 33s for years have been tested under a variety of conditions in Canada and select markets within the United States without adverse safety outcomes. Extending 28-ft. trailers by just five feet will save 6.6 million truck trips per year — a 1.3 billion-mile reduction in truck traffic. The reduction in traffic will economize 204 million gallons of fuel annually, and it will reduce carbon emissions by 4.4 billion pounds per year. A potential added benefit would also be relief from the current driver shortage with the reduction of truck trips per year.


Under current regulations, 28-ft. trucks routinely “cube out before they gross out,” meaning they fill all their available volume long before the 80,000 lbs. gross weight limit is reached. This inefficiency saddles American businesses with $27 billion per year in avoidable costs that could be eliminated by congressional authorization of 33-ft. doubles operating within the current weight limit. The 18% increase in volume created by 33-ft. pup trailers would result in a meaningful reduction in truck traffic.


NWPCA belongs to the Coalition for Efficient and Responsible Trucking CERT and has made targeted educational visits on Capitol Hill in both the House and Senate.

The CERT coalition is comprised of some of America’s leading freight companies, including: AAA Cooper Transportation, ABF Freight System, Con-way Freight, Estes Express Lines, FedEx, Old Dominion Freight Line, Southeastern Freight Lines, UPS, YRC Worldwide.

Twin 33 Supporters: Amazon, American Highway Users Alliance, American Trucking Association, Carbon War Room, Competitive Enterprise Institute, International Food Service Distributors Association, International Warehouse Logistics Association, Manufacture Alabama, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Wholesale Distributors, The National Industrial Transportation League, National Retail Federation, National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council, North American Council for Freight Efficiency, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Securing America’s Future Energy, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Society of Plastics Industry, Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association, Inc., ULINE, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


NWPCA supports the lengthening of twin trailers from 28’ to 33’ without increasing current weight restrictions. NWPCA opposes the Feinstein-Wicker Amendment which calls for a study to be done that would delay implementation of 28’ to 33’ trailer lengths – effectively stopping any chance for passage of future legislation to increase trailer lengths.


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