Cobb Board of Commissioners opposes proposed increase in allowable weights of trucks and their loads

In a unanimous vote at its February 14 meeting, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution opposing a bill that would increase the weight allowed for trucks and their loads by 10,000 pounds.

HB-189, submitted by Republican Representative Steven Meeks (HD 178), would increase the allowable weight from 80,000 to 90,000 pounds, and allow for even heavier weights “when the tractor and trailer of the vehicle is certified  to meet or exceed the weight allowable by such variance.”

The bill is supported by the logging industry and other commodity haulers.

A report on the bill published in the Georgia Recorder states that the bill is opposed by safety advocates and the chief engineer at the Georgia Department of Transportation.

On February 16 the bill was taken off the House general calendar and “recommitted to Transportation by Rules Committee.”

Cobb County contends that the increased weight would result in damage to roads and bridges that would increase maintenance costs to city and county taxpayers.

Cobb Deputy County Manager Jimmy Gisi advised the BOC to support the resolution opposing the bill.

“This is a bill that would increase truck weights permanently from 80,000 pounds to 90,000 pounds with a 5000-pound variance,” Gisi said. “It is currently being pushed through the forestry lobby, and now that it has shown some success other commodities are attaching themselves to the bills such as concrete, other farming and agricultural industries as well as various other commodities.”

“Increasing truck weights will result in a shorter lifecycle for county roads and bridges, costing County taxpayers more money to maintain repair,” he said. “

“City and county governments own and maintain 85% of the roads in Cobb County,” said Gisi. “Counties are responsible for maintaining approximately 8000 bridge structures in the state of Georgia.”

Text of the Resolution


WHEREAS, the Constitution of the State of Georgia, approved by the voters of the State
in November 1982, and effective July 1, 1983, provides in Article IX, Section 2, Paragraph 1
thereof, that the governing authority of the County may adopt clearly reasonable ordinances,
resolutions, and regulations; and

WHEREAS, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners is concerned with the welfare of
residents, pedestrians and motorists and the cost, quality, and reliability of our county’s
infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, for instance, during the 2021-2022 legislative session, Senate Bill 118 and
House Bill 496 were introduced that, if passed, would have authorized trucks weighing as much
as 100,000 pounds or with as many as six axles to be operated on Georgia roads;

WHEREAS, during the 2022-2023 legislative session, House Bill 189 has been
introduced seeking to authorize heavier/larger trucks on Georgia roads;

WHEREAS, Cobb County opposed both previous proposed bills – and continues in its
opposition to any legislation increasing the weight or size of trucks operating on Georgia roads;

WHEREAS, heavier truck loads would further endanger motorists;

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has concluded that trucks
over the existing 80,000-pound standard had higher crash rates;

WHEREAS, in the States USDOT reviewed, such larger trucks had between a 44% and
300% increase in crash incidence; and

WHEREAS, allowing heavier or longer trucks on the National Highway System would
threaten the safety of the traveling public because heavier and longer trucks would be more
difficult to control, increase wear and tear on truck safety systems such as brakes, steering and
tires, and increase crash severity; and

WHEREAS, of the 15,034 bridges in Georgia, there are 3,795 bridges that are in fair/poor
condition – that is over 25 percent of bridges statewide, according to the Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA); and

WHEREAS, many local and municipal governments, like Cobb County, are
experiencing difficulty maintaining public works budgets due to inflation; and

WHEREAS, the introduction of additional heavy trucks on State and county roads leads
to accelerated degradation of the public roadway system, thereby resulting in unsafe driving
conditions, greater costs for roadway repair and maintenance, greater traffic gridlock and
ultimately a diminished qualify of life for the residents and citizens of Georgia.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Cobb County by and through its Board
of Commissioners opposes any increases in truck size or weight at the federal or state levels and
encourages our elected delegations to oppose related legislation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Cobb County staff are authorized to deliver this
Resolution to the County’s local delegation to the General Assembly as well as any other necessary
parties – consistent with the objectives set forth herein.

So RESOLVED this day of February, 2023.