AASHTO OSOW-1:2009 A Synthesis of Safety Implications of Ouersize/0verweight Commercial Uehicles.
Reason for Concern
There are at least two reasons for concern about the safety of OS/OW vehicles. First, the number of large trucks has climbed rapidly for over two decades, and it is projected to continue to climb. As more American roads approach their absolute capacities, inserting additional large trucks into the vehicle mix compounds the situation. This is problematic because it restricts mobility and quality of life, and it threatens to curtail economic competitiveness.
The second major reason for concern involves the world-wide movement to new types of heavy vehicles with more axle and wheel types and groupings. These vehicles are capable of carrying larger loads, decreasing the number of trips required to deliver goods to market. Using these vehicles in America would appear to reduce congestion and underwrite economic viability. But they cannot be used on federal routes and other major roadways due to federal and state size and weight restrictions. Additionally, there is not a consensus on the safety of these vehicles.
Explosion in Growth of Large Commercial Vehicles
The number of large commercial vehicles (18-wheelers) on American highways has grown rapidly. This is due to several factors. “Just in time” delivery decreases costs associated with owning and operating large warehouses. The time value of merchandise can be considerable. For example, an inventory of $2 million that sits on store shelves for a month represents interest costs of over $10,000. In today’s tight markets, manufacturers and wholesalers can maintain their profit margin by doing away with warehouses and moving goods quickly from the manufacturer to the consumer. Since delivery by truck is normally more rapid than delivery by either train or water, trucking firms have absorbed more and more of freight delivery. Table 2-1 indicates the current truck volume and share of freight shipments, along with a projection of the future values.
Emerging international manufacturing capability is also expanding the role of truck freight. International goods saturate American ports and airports with shipments that must be delivered to retailers. Americans have changed their purchasing patterns and now prefer low-cost mega stores as their primary retailing outlet. These mega centers purchase their goods, largely overseas, at low costs and depend upon well-coordinated freight shipments from key distribution locations to move them to regional stores. It is clear that U.S. manufacturers and retailers rely on large truck freight for economic competitiveness in their specialty areas, especially in the global marketplace.AASHTO OSOW-1 pdf download.