Trucking comes with a variety of loads. Sometimes you don’t even have a full load, and other times whether you’re aware of it or not, you could receive an overweight load, which comes with its own set of issues. The authorities are doing all they can to stop illegal loads from happening, so carry them at your own risk.
The Issues With Overweight Loads
Not all trucks are the same. They have different shapes and sizes, which allow some trucks to carry more weight than others depending on the amount of axles they have and the space between them. However, each truck is only legally certified to carry a certain amount of weight, and when that amount is passed then problems arise.
First of all, carrying extra weight is dangerous for yourself and other drivers around you. More weight makes it harder to stop in time. Plus, it makes it a lot easier to tip over. Any accidents that happen while you’re hauling extra weight will fall back on you. Even if you try to drive safe and keep extra distance between yourself and other cars, you never know what will happen.
Roads, bridges, ramps, and other infrastructure can only hold a certain amount of weight. Exceeding the limit could cause major damage. Heck, we already pay the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax for the damage that our legal loads cause to public highways! More weight does even more destruction!
Sometimes you could pick up a load from a shipper without a scale. That’s dangerous because you won’t know if you’re overweight til you hit the scale, and could get pulled over on the way to one. Any fine you get is your responsibility, and trust us, you don’t want an expensive overweight ticket. As a result of ignoring your ticket, the state could revoke your license.
Sure, you could try to avoid the scales, but the DOT has caught onto that little trick. That’s why they’ve set up traps to catch drivers who seem to be evading them.
If your carrier tells you that they’ll handle any possible fines, then you’ll still be driving at your own risk because truckers are responsible for what they haul. Plus, they won’t be able to help you if an accident occurs. If your carrier persuades you to do illegal things then it’s probably time to find a new one.
You can actually get permits for carrying overweight loads but they vary from state to state, and you’ll need one for each state you’ll be traveling through. To make matters worse each permit has its own set of rules and regulations. For example, you may not be allowed to travel with your overweight load on Sundays or after 12 PM. Contact a DMV in each state to learn about their regulations.
You’ll also have to amend your route to avoid any areas that can’t handle your structural load. While the government actually helps out by providing routes for overweight loads to protect the roads, it’s still time-consuming to do those extra steps for planning. Also, don’t forget to hire a lead car if your oversized load requires one!
Avoid Overweight Loads
Loads happen, we all know that. We also know that sometimes you may not know what you’re gonna get. In the event of an overweight load, drive it at your own risk. You’ll be held accountable for anything that happens during your trip.
For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about overweight loads in the comment section below.
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