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  1. #1
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    how to determine gvwr of my dump truck

    I have a dump truck. Has 12k front axle, 19k tandemns in rear with 11r 24.5 rubber. Front tires are load range H and rears are load range G. My question is that i got pulled over for DOT inspection by a Highway patrol. I was running empty at the time but the officer told me that i had registered my truck for too much. Its registered for 50k but he said i could only haul 47k. Does anyone know how he came about that conclusion? I wanted to ask him but he was being a total A**H**E...lol. please help becouse i will make less if i only haul 47k. the tag on my door say gvwr 50k so i am lost. please help by the way i am in texas

    Last edited by 377pete; 03.10.2010 at 10.29 PM.

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    He was citing bridge law at you. From what I've heard texas is a stickler for it.

    What's your wheelbase?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrainHurtz View Post
    He was citing bridge law at you. From what I've heard texas is a stickler for it.

    What's your wheelbase?
    my wheel base is 228" or 19ft

  4. #4
    Light Load Member AgLaw's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, the officer is correct; but there's a mix of options that could help. To begin, forget the mfg's tag on the door--the maximum gross weight for your truck in Texas is limited only by Texas Transportation Code TRC 621.101, WITHOUT respect to the mfg's tag. Summarily, the maximum for a tandem in Texas is 34k, regardless of the mfg's Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). For a single axle (your steer) the maximum is 20k. However, with respect to both, you will be limited by the 'bridge law formula' and your tire weight ratings (see also FMCSR 393.75(f)). Hence, on the steers you were limited by tire ratings at 6500lbs each for a total of 13k, and the tandem was limited by the 34k statutory max.

    Now, for your options... You could go with heavier rated tires on the steers (Texas will not limit you by your GAWR--that's why he already gave you that 1k over GAWR on your steer axle since the load range H tires are rated for it). You could also add a pusher axle, but I don't think you'll gain much. Lastly, you could (and in my personal experience/opinion should) also obtain the Texas Annual Over Axle/Over Gross Weight Tolerance Permit (aka 1547 Overweight Permit, TxDOT Form 1751). For non-agricultural operators, it authorizes the vehicle to exceed the max axle weight by a tolerance of 10% and to exceed the max gross by 5%. However, it will require a bond (Form 1753). If you are an agricultural operator, you won't need the bond, and the permit changes to 12% tolerance on axle (the 12% is provided automatically to all agricultural operators under TRC 621.50 instead of the 10%. Unfortunately, the permit and any weight tolerances provided are NOT valid on the Interstate Highways.

    Please don't think that I condone exceeding the mfg's weight limits. I'm only looking at things from the weight enforcement perspective. The foregoing, while lengthy, pales in comparison to the actual code. You need to google "Texas Legislature Online" and follow the 'Statutes' link. I've provided the general chapter and section numbers. Also look to Chapter 622 (Special Provisions...) & Chapter 623 (Permits...).

    Good luck.

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    NM... just looked at the table again.

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    thanks everyone for the input, but i did the bridge formula and my truck comes out gvwr of 50250lbs. To be sure, are my tires holding me back? they are rated at 7210 lbs each for a total of 14420 lbs. If i add this and the 34000 lbs max for tandems, is my legal gvwr 48420 lbs? or 50000 lbs by the bridge law? i am new to trucking so please bear with me...thanks

  7. #7
    Light Load Member AgLaw's Avatar
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    Did the officer even read the tire ratings molded into the sidewall? If not, then he was incorrect in that regard. Your max gvwr will be the addition of the two steer tire 'SINGLE' ratings, plus 34k for the tandem...provided you are properly registered for that weight.

    Regarding the bridge law, remember that you are measuring from center of steer axle to center of rear driver. Actual wheelbase is measured from center of steer to centerline of tandems. You gave a wb of 228" = 19 ft. Most standard Pete suspensions use a 52" spread, so you would add half (26") to your actual wb to give 254" or 21'. Oh well, the calculation is moot since you are most restricted by the max tandem and tire ratings. The best you could ever achieve by my calculations would be 18k on the front (tire permitting) and 34k on the tandem for a total 52k. That is where you would bridge out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgLaw View Post
    Did the officer even read the tire ratings molded into the sidewall? If not, then he was incorrect in that regard. Your max gvwr will be the addition of the two steer tire 'SINGLE' ratings, plus 34k for the tandem...provided you are properly registered for that weight.

    Regarding the bridge law, remember that you are measuring from center of steer axle to center of rear driver. Actual wheelbase is measured from center of steer to centerline of tandems. You gave a wb of 228" = 19 ft. Most standard Pete suspensions use a 52" spread, so you would add half (26") to your actual wb to give 254" or 21'. Oh well, the calculation is moot since you are most restricted by the max tandem and tire ratings. The best you could ever achieve by my calculations would be 18k on the front (tire permitting) and 34k on the tandem for a total 52k. That is where you would bridge out.
    yes, i measured my center front to center of rear axles and came out to 19 ft. what the smallest float that i can use? dont want the real wide one. the reason is that i need to haul right at 50k.thanks for the help

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    i guess i could use 315-80-22.5 in front axle with load rating of 9090 lbs. its only a .08 tire height difference. will it hurt anything?

  10. #10
    Light Load Member AgLaw's Avatar
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    Here's the deal, I need to know how you've been axle'n out in the past to know if a larger tire will help, of even if your current tires are overkill. If you can only get in a best case 12600 on the steers with the rears at 37400, you can see that larger steer tires won't help solve an overweight tandem--you're gonna get nailed. However, if you register for 48k and obtain the annual overweight permit, your current setup would then be legal for 50k...except for the interstate. It would be cheaper too. Your tandem is probably gonna be over 34k with a dump no matter what you do with the steer axle. Use the permit to allow 37400 on the tandem, well within the truck and axle specs, and 12600+ on the steer. That should still be within the design tolerances of your truck, well within the tire ratings, and you won't have to upgrade tires, axle, springs, or the frame to achieve your goal. BTW, the incremental upgrade and maintenance costs of those beefier components will likely exceed the yearly permit acquisition cost.

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