As a former trucker, I'd like to see any truck get through any road ("Straightening the Hairpins," July 11). But, as a responsible citizen, I have to take into account opposing factors.
They say that the bigger trucks with 52-foot trailers weigh more and wear out the road. I think that they must conform to standard per axle weight limits, so they cannot. The extra length allows more cubic feet of cargo which would not take a 40-48 foot trailer to the weight limit. To take extra weight, they would need more axles.
They say that 101 would become a throughway for interstate trucks going north and south. Highway 101 is not desirable for trucking. It's mountainous, and in Oregon it becomes two-lane. It is a longer trip mileage-wise than Interstate 5, between many points.
They say that 5 is congested and trucks would take 101. North of Sacramento, 5 is quite free of traffic congestion. South of Sacramento, it's 100 miles shorter from Los Angeles than 101.
I think that trucking companies, which would have a choice between 101 and 5 if the 52-foot trailers could get through, could be asked by concerned parties which they would take, to see if there really is a congestion danger.
Finally, 52-foot trailers could mean less trucks on the road supplying Humboldt, as it takes more runs in shorter trailers to transport the same cubic feet of load.
This is not to say that opponents of 52-foot trailers in our county are misguided. Just to point out some possible misconceptions, which could be investigated.
Maybe the only real concern from Caltrans' plans is environmental.
Edmund Light, Eureka