One of the last acts of Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey was to sign into law, SB 3616. The measure includes a 2,000-pound weight allowance for trucks powered by natural gas. New Jersey joins a long list of states, 24 now, that have adopted changes to state law that allow the added weight on natural gas trucks.
The weight allowance, also codified in federal law because of the FAST Act of 2015, is intended to address the fact that the fuel systems on natural gas trucks can add several thousand pounds to the weight of a truck.
The allowance ensures that trucking companies that run on cleaner-burning natural gas can continue to pull a full load without having to reduce the weight of cargo. Thus, a fully loaded natural gas-powered truck can weigh up to 82,000 pounds under federal law and now increasingly in many states.
NGVAmerica has made adoption of the weight provision a major priority of its state legislative effort the past couple of years. In 2017, ten states adopted similar weight measures for natural gas trucks. More states are expected to follow in 2018.