Speed Limits: Some Trucks Can’t Go Faster

A recent article by the Associated Press says that “Big Rigs Often Go Faster Than Tires Can Handle.” According to Tire Review, the average speed a tire can operate without a blow-out varies on the brand. 75mph is considered to be the average speed a tire can go before it becomes a hazard. Depending on tire, actual speed could vary from 55-82 mph.

Speed limiting devices have been a point of debate due to the number of incidents involving high speeds, such as tire blow-outs and accidents.

“Setting speed limits has traditionally been the responsibility of states, except for the period of 1973-1994. During that time, the federal government enacted mandatory speed limit ceilings on interstate highways and similar limited access roads through a National Maximum Speed Limit.” According to the 2015 Governors Highway Safety Association, “Congress repealed the National Maximum Speed Limit in 1995. Since then, 34 states have raised speed limits to 70 mph or higher on some portion of their roadway systems.”

Not all speed limits are set by states. Rhode Island speed limits are set by the State Traffic Commission and West Virginia speed limits are set by the Commissioner of the Division of Highways.

Regardless of who establishes the speed limit, it is common to see variations on the highway. There’s usually one speed for cars. Another speed for tractor trailers. Speed limits can also vary according to the type of roadway, traveling conditions and whether or not it is day or night.

Speed limiters are mechanical instruments that operate through a series of electronic sensors that calibrate the vehicle’s speed and transmit that information to the engine’s computer. Once information is received, sensors determine whether or not a truck is moving too fast for conditions. If so, fuel and air are restricted and the engine cannot accelerate.

By 2017, according to Overdrive Magazine, speed limiting devices are expected to be mandatory for truck manufacturers. While that is limiting for some, a survey conducted in 2007 shows that 69% of trucking companies already have those kind of devices on at least some of their rigs, with an average limit of 69 mph.

Even with a growing number of speed limiting devices in place, the Associated Press cites increased speed limits in 14 states, mainly west of the Mississippi River, that now have speed limits of 75, 80 and 85 mph. For those who can accelerate to this speed, wrecks and blowouts remain a concern. It’s “a scientific fact that kinetic energy increases twice as fast as speed…” According to the website FairTrafficLaws.Com, “When motorists double their speed, they have four times as much energy to deal with and crashes are four times more severe.”

However fast you approach your deliveries, please be safe and cautious. “To assure safety on our highways, vehicle speed must be carefully considered by highway designers and traffic managers and wisely controlled by motorists.”

To view a chart of speed limits in various sectors, please visit this page: http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/speedlimit_laws.html

About Millis Transfer
Mills Transfer, Getting It There Since 1936, has an impressive service record earning the company dozens of “Carrier of the Year” awards. Headquartered in Black River Falls, Wis., Millis is also a Certified Top Pay Carrier with some of the best equipment on the road. Maintenance facilities and drop yards are strategically located throughout the company’s operating area. Its sister company, Millis Training Institute, offers five school locations that provide students with quality training in order to earn their CDL-A license. For more information, please visit www.millistransfer.com, www.mtidriving.com or call 1-800-937-0880.


One Response

  1. Jordan says:

    Some great points here. Speed limits are put in place for a reason, and pushing your tires past their limit isn’t worth the time you think you’ll save. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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