Alabama’s new steel coil hauling law is toughest in nation

Alabama’s new law regulating the hauling of steel coils on highways is the toughest one in the nation, state trucking association officials say.

Beginning Monday, steel-haulers in Alabama had 60 days to be trained and certified in properly securing the huge coils or face tougher penalties.

The new law will not affect the 50 mph speed limit through Malfunction Junction, which the governor set in 2007 to slow the coil-haulers.

“We will keep the speed limit the way it is now,” said Jeff Emerson, spokesman for Gov. Bob Riley. “The bill will make sure the coils stay on the trucks, but we need to keep the trucks from turning over.”

Riley signed the bill into law Monday at the U.S. Steel headquarters in Fairfield. On hand were representatives from U.S. Steel, Nucor and O’Neal steel companies.

Since 1987, about 30 coils have fallen from the backs of flatbed trucks along Birmingham-area interstates, mostly at the Interstate 65 and I-20/59 interchange. State transportation officials estimate the damage to highways at approximately $7.5 million.

“When you think of the massive destructive force that’s unleashed when a 46,000-pound steel coil tears loose and starts rolling down the highway, it’s amazing no one was ever killed by one. We thank God for that,” Riley said.

The new law requires truck drivers hauling steel coils in the state to be certified by the Alabama Department of Public Safety, and it increases penalties for improper securement of the coils.

With Riley’s inking the bill, the state now has “the toughest load securement legislation in the nation,” said Alabama Trucking Association board Chairman T.J. Willings.

“It targets those within the trucking industry who refuse to make safety a priority. Now commercial drivers are required to seek training and certification to haul steel coils in Alabama,” Willings said.

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8 Responses to Alabama’s new steel coil hauling law is toughest in nation

  1. mark says:

    I would have respect for the “lawmaker” if they held the offending driver responcible, and left the other thousands of safe drivers unburdened by useless and expensive chestbeating legislation.

    • Daryl says:

      Judge Shelly Watkins in Birmingham socked it to them , He gave the drivers the Maximum fine for dropping 12 coils in one day. And for some reason They always dropped on right between the Birmingham civic center and city hall.
      I halled a few all over the country and the Alabama law should be standard all over the country.

  2. john says:

    This is nothing but a moneymaking scheme.Im a flatbed truckdriver,and I haul coils down there in Alabama all the time. I took this test and it’s a joke.its a two part test. 9 questions total i think, 4of them about securing a steel coil and you can get one of those 4 wrong and still pass. yeah real tough law there, just one more way to make money off the driver.Fact is, 80.000 lbs (and often a lot more)of steel and whatever else the truck is made of, going down the road at 60 to 70 mph will NEVER be safe, no matter how many tests or whatever they make the driver take.

  3. michael donoghue says:

    raise the rates get the inexperienced steel hauler out of the bussiness you will then bring back the real steel haulers and your highways in alabama as well nationwide will be a whole safer check out how many big single coils were dumped before deregulation when you had truck drivers and not cut rate fly by night brokers who care only about how cheap they get things moved so they can pocket the money that thats needed to gain back safe and dependable owner operators and drivers thirty plus years in the bussiness still trying to hang on

    • k kole says:

      I have been hauling steel in Michigan for 25 years, and I can’t believe all the truckdrivers that can’t speak english let alone drive.I see alot of short cuts being made.These drivers will cut rates to get the work,but it really hurts the whole industry.

  4. mark tn says:

    does any one no the bama coil test and what they want to know

  5. RichardAZ says:

    IMO, this law is illegal. It can only be applied to drivers who reside in the state, or the companies within the state. No law can make it mandatory on ALL drivers who enter the state. If you haven’t read the actual law, it’s basically a cash cow thing. A $5000 fine for not having a piece of paper. Horsehockey!

  6. mike says:

    We need a union!

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