Jun 16, 2023

Truck Speed Limiters 101

Truck speed limiters have been a topic of debate in the trucking industry for many years. A speed limiter is a device that restricts the maximum speed of a commercial vehicle. The main reason for using speed limiters is to ensure safety on the roads. It is said that limiting the speed of trucks can reduce accidents caused by speeding and save lives.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed a speed limiter rule in 2016, which requires all new heavy vehicles or heavy-duty vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds to be equipped with speed limiters. The proposed rule would require these vehicles to be equipped with electronic devices that would cap their maximum speeds at 60, 65, or 68 miles per hour.

Many people support this proposal as they believe it will increase safety on the roads and reduce fuel consumption, which ultimately benefits everyone. However, some opponents argue that speed limiters could cause more accidents due to increased congestion and slow-moving traffic.

These are just some of the questions being raised about this truck speed limiter mandate:

Will it really result in unnecessary congestion?

Will it really affect the reaction time of truckers?1 OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO 64029Web

Will it really require additional time to speed up to the required speed on defense highways?

Is there really a uniform speed limit to follow?

What do you mean by Variable Speed limits?

Nonetheless, whether it gets implemented or not remains an ongoing issue within the industry as regulators weigh its pros and cons before making any final decisions that might impact truck drivers' livelihoods significantly.

In this article, let's talk about how this federal government rule is impacting the trucking industry and how the Department of Transportation is responding to the industry's concerns. 

Reasons for Implementing Truck Speed Limiters

Trucking speed limiters are electronic devices that restrict the maximum speed at which a commercial truck can operate. There are several reasons why trucking companies and regulatory bodies have implemented these limiters. Firstly, speeding is a major cause of accidents involving commercial trucks on highways. By limiting their speeds, the risk of accidents is significantly reduced, making roads safer for all users.

Secondly, trucking speed limiters help to reduce fuel consumption and emissions from commercial vehicles. By restricting the maximum speed at which they can operate, trucks consume less fuel and emit fewer pollutants into the environment. This not only helps to protect the environment but also helps trucking companies save money on fuel costs.

Moreover, implementing speed limiters has helped to promote compliance with government regulations regarding road safety and environmental protection in the transportation industry. Trucking companies that do not comply with these regulations face hefty fines and penalties that can affect their bottom line significantly. Therefore, installing speed limiters has become a standard practice among responsible trucking firms aiming to avoid such consequences while promoting safe driving practices among their drivers on public roads.

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Safety Concerns and Controversy with Trucking Speed Limiters

Trucking speed limiters have been a topic of controversy in the trucking industry for several years. While some argue that they improve safety on highways and reduce fuel consumption, others believe that they pose risks to drivers and other motorists. One of the primary concerns with trucking speed limiters is that they can cause traffic congestion and increase the risk of accidents.

Another major issue with trucking speed limiters is that they can lead to dangerous driving conditions, particularly during inclement weather or when navigating steep downhill grades. Limited speeds may result in slower braking times and longer stopping distances, creating hazards for both drivers and other vehicles on the road. Additionally, proponents of liftgate-equipped trucks argue that limiting their speeds could compromise their functionality and create more problems than solutions.

In one press release, The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) announced its strong support for the Deregulating Restrictions on Interstate Vehicles and Eighteen-Wheelers (DRIVE) Act (HR 3039 Speed limiting devices on large trucks have been proven to create unnecessary congestion and dangerous speed differentials among vehicles.

Commercial Motor Vehicles are also expected to be affected as they are part of interstate commerce with a gross vehicle weight of 11,794 kilograms (26,000 pounds) or more. The maximum speed limit will be monitored and compliance with speed limits is a must. 

With that, while there are potential benefits associated with trucking speed limiters, including improved safety and reduced environmental impact, it's important to consider all aspects of their use before implementing them across fleets nationwide. It's essential to evaluate each vehicle's unique needs and limitations before determining whether or not speed limiters would be appropriate. Ultimately, effective fleet management involves balancing safety considerations with operational requirements to ensure optimal performance at all times.

Conclusion: Future of Trucking Speed Limiters

The future of trucking speed limiters is one that holds a lot of promise for the industry. With the implementation of these devices, there is a greater focus on safety and efficiency within the trucking world. As technology advances and becomes more widely available, it is likely that we will see even more sophisticated speed limiters being used in commercial trucks. (1)

However, there are also concerns about how speed limiters could impact the trucking industry as a whole. Since there are also commercial truck speed limits by state, it would affect smooth driving. Truck speed limits by state are usually overlooked.

Some worry that lower speeds could result in longer delivery times and increased costs for shippers and carriers alike. Additionally, there may be concerns about how to enforce speed limits effectively and uniformly across different states and regions.

Despite these potential challenges, it seems clear that speed limiters are here to stay in the world of commercial trucking.

Even there are a lot of truckers are learning how to bypass speed limiters on trucks, still, it is all about compliance. Intentional truck speed limiter removal will have corresponding penalties.

Ultimately, their success will depend on finding a balance between safety concerns and logistical realities – but with continued innovation and collaboration among stakeholders in the industry, it is possible to achieve this goal over time.

We at Labworks USA always advocate for the safety and compliance of every trucking company that we partner with. If you need support with DOT Compliance, feel free to reach out to us today.



1.  Speed Limiters Notice of Intent, FMCSA, https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/speed-limiters

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