Klicker legislation to increase safety for truck and trailer combinations heard in committee

Washington state truck drivers who pull truck and trailer combinations could get more trailer space for their loads if a bill from Rep. Mark Klicker becomes law.

House Bill 1072, which received a public hearing on Wednesday in the House Transportation Committee, would extend the overall truck and trailer combination length from 75 to 85 feet, allowing a more balanced approach to load distribution on these trailers.

Truck trailer combinations consist of a truck with an attached bed and a connected trailer.

Currently, truck drivers cannot operate any combination, with or without a load, consisting of a truck and trailer more than 75 feet on state public highways. However, the overall length limit does not apply to a combination of a truck and trailer connected by a fifth wheel hitch.

“This bill is really a matter of safety,” said Klicker, R-Walla Walla. “It's already legal to attach a shorter trailer to the end of a truck with a bed to extend the load. However, these smaller, secondary trailers tend to fishtail, which can be dangerous for other drivers.”

The legislation would allow drivers of truck and trailer combinations, particularly in the agricultural industry, to extend the overall length of their combination truck and trailer to as much as 85 feet. The additional length would allow for a longer, secondary trailer to be connected to the truck with a bed.

“This change would improve safety for everyone on the road because it would greatly reduce the risk of fishtailing by small, connected trailers,” said Klicker. “It would also allow better load distribution which would help reduce road damage.”

If passed, the bill would not increase the maximum amount of weight allowed on a load, but it would enable the load to be more evenly distributed.

The 2023 session began on Jan. 9 and is scheduled to run 105 consecutive days.


Washington State House Republican Communications