Photos: Timber trucks rumble through downtown Duluth in protestby Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio
DULUTH, Minn. — More than 50 logging trucks, most loaded with timber, caravaned through downtown Duluth this morning.
The loggers are trying to draw attention to their effort to change federal law to allow them to carry heavier loads on interstate highways. Currently they can weigh 90,000 pounds on state roads, but only 80,000 pounds on the freeway.
Steve Lindberg from Ray, Minn., near International Falls, drove 150 miles to join the protest.
"I want some common sense. And I want to get on that freeway," Lindberg said. "That's where the flow of traffic should be. We shouldn't be diverted into areas that threaten kids and other families, I don't want that on my conscience."
But Jennifer Tierney, a volunteer with the Truck Safety Coalition whose father was killed by a semi trailer, said bigger trucks on freeways cause more accidents and deaths.
"We've all driven beside these trucks, they're large enough, they're big enough. When is big, big enough?" Tierney said.
Opponents also argue that heavier trucks more quickly damage infrastructure. But the Minnesota Department of Transportation says large loads spread out over six axles can actually reduce wear and tear on roads.
More from MPRLoggers protest interstate truck weight limits
September 27, 2012
Loggers plan convoy demonstration through Duluth
September 25, 2012