Earlier this month we showed you what it was like to drive 85 mph on Texas' State Highway 130 toll road, which will have the highest speed limits in the Western Hemisphere when that section opens up later this year.
But while plenty of motorists are excited to do 85 legally, one group apparently isn't very enthusiastic about it: trucking companies. According to this report in the Texas Tribune, 18-wheeler trucks may not use that highway because they are typically barred from driving anywhere near that speed by their companies. Why? Two reasons: safety and fuel consumption. From the Trib:
"We know it's common industry practice to do that, particularly as fuel prices continue to rise," said Sean McNally with the American Trucking Association. "A truck going 75 [mph] uses 27 percent more fuel than one going 65."
In fact, many companies install equipment on their big trucks to keep them from driving too fast. But as other folks in that story note, the other parts of SH 130 (where 80 is the speed limit) have seen a rise in 18-wheeler use. Also — as I'm you guys have seen where you live — there are plenty of truckers willing to go as fast as they want.
Honestly though, one of the perils of driving on Interstate 35 in Texas is all of the 18-wheeler traffic. They don't always go as fast as cars do, and some of them aren't even cool enough to stay out of the passing lane. If the high speed limits on the SH 130 toll road keep the trucks on other highways, I'd be completely fine with that. I'd be more apt to use SH 130 if I didn't have to dodge 18-wheelers like in some giant slalom course, regardless of the toll.
But if 18-wheelers opt to use the toll road, they need to stay in the right lane so faster drivers can pass them easily.
What do you guys think? Should 18-wheelers have to stay off ultra-high speed highways like SH 130?
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