Business and Commerce Growth,  South Dakota

Commercial Vehicle Operation Innovations

The South Dakota Department of Transportation implemented several regulatory and technological changes that improved freight hauling efficiency and brought economic benefits to the state.

The trucking industry is vitally important to a rural state like South Dakota. Nearly everything produced or consumed in the state depends on trucking for at least part of its trip. To make trucking as safe and efficient as possible, SDDOT adopted the following regulatory and technological changes:

  1. Enabled by federal legislation advocated by South Dakota’s congressional delegation, SDDOT expanded the state’s longer combination vehicle network (LCV) to give trucks carrying double or triple trailers direct access to more cities in South Dakota—saving miles, time, fuel, and costs for shippers and customers.
  2. In cooperation with the SD Highway Patrol’s Motor Carrier Services unit, SDDOT provides a statewide automated permitting system that allows carriers to apply for and obtain permits online and automatically find suitable routes for oversized/overweight loads.
  3. Electronic screening systems at six weigh stations identify approaching trucks and check their weight and registration, fuel tax, and safety status. “Good” trucks can proceed past weigh stations without stopping, saving delay and operational costs. At the I-90 Valley Springs and I-29 Jefferson ports of entry, SDDOT installed in-pavement sensors that detect uninflated and underinflated tires and thermal brake sensors that check brakes on moving trucks—advanced technologies that help ensure truck safety.

“On behalf of the South Dakota Trucking Association membership, I want to thank all parties involved in this change to the list of South Dakota’s LCV approved routes.  This cooperative effort took nearly two decades to accomplish but the result was a monumental change that brought greater efficiency and economic benefits to the state.” Myron Rau, Executive Director, SD Trucking Association.

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