Covered Loads Bill to Be Heard in Senate Committee

Tomorrow (Wed Feb. 25) the Senate Transportation Committee is expected to hold a hearing on recently-introduced legislation regarding covered loads and AGC seeks the input of members.

The elements of the bill (SB 5846) are:

• Retains the 6 freeboard exemption until January 1 2014. After that date all loads must be covered.

• Requires that all trucks with a GVW rating of 10000 pounds or greater manufactured for model year 2011 and newer to be equipped with covering devices (if designed primarily to carry dirt sand or gravel).

• Drivers are still required to cover loads as in current law and are still subject only to an infraction if no injury or damage occurs. If a driver is an employee the employer is subject to a $1000 penalty. The employer is exempted from the penalty if the truck has been equipped with a cover device and the driver has not used it.

• The standard exemptions (emergencies closed highway operation and snow control) are retained in this draft.

The net effect of the bill is to place a requirement on owners to cover loads and to train drivers in the importance of this requirement. The phase-in period is about 4½ years.

If you have questions or comments about how this legislation would affect your operations contact Rick Slunaker AGCs Director of Government Affairs at 360-352-5000.