At least 71% of the freight moved around in the US happens on trucks. The federal government regulates the amount of weight that a semi-truck can carry. There are two types of semi-trucks: single axle and double axle semi-trucks. When talking about the truck, the weight adds up to about 80,000 pounds including the trailer’s weight. A semi-truck can haul between 42000 and 48000 pounds.
The amount of load that a semi-truck can carry depends on the weight of the trailer. A semi-truck can have a flatbed trailer made of aluminum attached to it. Since aluminum is light, it allows heavy load as long as the whole system stays within the 80000-pound limit. The number of axles in a truck determines the direction that a weight limit will take in some states. This exception especially applies to intrastate commerce. It is essential for owners and managers to ensure that their tricks stay within the weight limit when hauling.
What Happens If A Semi Is Overweight?
The offense of overweighing a semi-truck is neither considered a criminal charge nor requires withdrawal of a driving license. That does not mean the offender gets to go scot-free. As a fleet owner, you have to take responsibility for any misconduct your truck gets involved in while on transit. Any violation of the weight limits falls on you. You lose time, waste monetary resources, and damage your reputation with customers due to your semi-truck being in the wrong. We have put together a few things that will happen when a semi is overweight.
1 It can result in fines
Different states have different amounts of fines meant for trucks that violate the weight limit. The authorities in these places take fining seriously and go up to or beyond $16000. It is worse for you if your truck is a repeat offender in some states.
Sometimes, the fine can combine to pay for the offense and equal the amount of weight over the limit. This way, instead of profiting from your trade, you end up spending resources in a way that puts you behind on your target.
2 The driver risks going to jail
One of the worst things that can happen is putting your driver at the risk of serving a few hours in jail. The experience can be quite traumatizing. In states like Delaware and Alabama, when a truck exceeds the 80000-pound limit, the driver has to spend some weeks in jail. The amount of time that the driver spends in jail can even go as far as a month. The possibility of the driver spending that amount of time in jail comes from the fact that the court has to deliberate if they should revoke the driver’s license.
Even if things go well for the employee and get out of jail without license revocation, that driver is still likely to raise the issue with you and perhaps even resign. You could end up losing a resourceful employee. Therefore, a fleet manager should double-check the amount of weight a truck is hauling before the driver leaves the station to avoid inconveniences.
3 It can create a gap in customer relationship
After getting in trouble with authorities, you may have to reduce your load. It will then mean that your client will receive a product that has been tampered with. Such an event could lead to the customer terminating their relationship with you. If the product you were hauling is perishable, you may have to dispose it of in case of a delay by the authorities.
It will, in turn, mean that your client will not get what they requested. In the end, your reputation with the client gets damaged when negative reviews about you get around. Due to the risks that overweight trucks pose when on highways, it is better to know the exact amount of load you plan to haul.
4 Delayed deliveries
When your driver grist stops with an overweight load, the police require the driver to shut down. The driver then has to wait for another truck from your fleet to unload the excess weight. Also, they have to put in the amount that certifies the set weight and sign documents so that your driver can get released; it all ends up wasting a lot of time. You can take the initiative to prevent all this from occurring by just ensuring that your trucks have the amount of weight before leaving the stations. Getting the weight of your vehicle before it leaves the station is easy, thanks to the existence of modern technology.
How are Semi- Trucks Classified?
Truck classification is based on the vehicles’ Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is a label that indicates the weight of the load plus the amount of load that the truck can carry. Classification is vital for safety and vehicle registration. It ranges from classes from 1-9. Class 1-3 describes light-duty vehicles like minivans, SUVs, and cargo vans.
The second-class is for medium trucks and ranges from class 4-6. Noncommercial full-size trucks belong to this class. The vehicles in this calcification weigh between 14001 and 26000 pounds. Here is the information we have gathered about cars in every category. The third classification, 7 and 8, features heavy-duty trucks weighing above 33001 but not beyond 80000 pounds. The trucks on the heavier end of this class are strictly by the authorities, especially when they have to use designated routes.
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