Overweight Violations

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by MotorinMomma, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. MotorinMomma

    MotorinMomma Light Load Member

    May 5, 2010
    Sanger, TX
    that he would have had a better chance of stopping the rig had the truck not been so heavy and he could have prevented the weight issue by not accepting the load. The jury apparently agreed with the prosecutors and his appeals failed.
    scottied67 Thanks this.
  2. ronin

    ronin Road Train Member

    Jul 22, 2008
    San Antonio, Texas
    If the overweight issue is serious, most of the time the DOt will make you GET legal. I worked for a towing company in Medford, OR, near the Siskiyou scales, and we pulled many a semi from the scales, took them to our shop, and unloaded product until they were better on weight, then towed them back for re-scaling. The charges for this were UGLY.
  3. Scalemaster

    Scalemaster Heavy Load Member

    Mar 13, 2011
    I have no idea what goes on in California with their forms.

    Around here the driver legally represents the carrier at a roadside stop. All citations made out to the driver, and if they are not taken care of, the driver gets warrants issued for his arrest. Never assume the company has taken care of citations you sent them to pay, always double check with the court.

    Signing or refusing to sign the ticket has no bearing, since it is not held as an admission of guilt.

    It looks like there are 7 CSA driver points for state overweight violations listed on an inspection, according to their methodology list. If a driver just receives a citation and no inspection report completed, no CSA involved.

    What happens between drivers and LEOs is a criminal matter, misdemeanor or infraction. What happens in civil court after an accident where a driver is found to be operating an unsafe or illegal vehicle, is another matter and can put you in the poor house. If you are operating illegally, just because you "take another route" or "go around the scale" does not mean you can escape the civil liability you place upon yourself.
  4. Grouch

    Grouch Road Train Member

    Feb 3, 2009
    Between here and eternity
    I put this question to a very respected lawyer a few weeks ago and here is our short conversation about the issue of running overweight. This lawyer only handles trucking issues.

    Got a question about running "overweight". If a driver takes a load that he knows is overweight and then later down the road he is involved in an accident, can the driver be held responsible, partly or 100%, liable for the accident?
    Say a driver takes a load that is grossing around 85,000 lbs and he "creams" someone that might have pulled out in front of him and then a lawyer gets hold of the case and he contends that had this driver not been pulling an overweight load, this accident would probably never occurred. Maybe the driver is cleared of any criminal charges, but can the other party come after him in a civil suit because he was running illegal??

  5. rightlane4trucking

    rightlane4trucking Light Load Member

    Jun 5, 2010
    Mount Shasta, California
    Actually several different issues are being discussed in this thread...and each have different correct answers.

    Question #1: Will an overweight violation count against a driver with regard to CSA's Driver Safety Measurement System?

    Answer: No. Size and weight violations were included in the Cargo-Related Basic when FMCSA wrote version 1 of the CSA 2010 methodology. Size and weight violations were remove from Version 2 (summer of 2010). FMCSA still pays attention to size and weight violations. Companies with a history of size and weight violations will still be targeted for roadside inspections through the Inspection Selection System (ISS). But points will not be assessed in CSA for these violations.

    See attached excerpt from SMS Methodology Appendix B

    Question #2: Who gets the overweight ticket - the driver or the company?

    Answer: That is totally dependent upon the statutes in each state and the policies of each enforcement agency. The folks who posted from California are correct. The California Highway Patrol does allow for a company to accept responsibility for a weight violation by completing a CHP 279 form. This of course only applies in California and as been pointed out there is no such animal in Missouri.

    Question #3: Is there a civil liability issue involved when running overweight?

    Answer: Welcome to the United States of America where anybody can sue anybody for just about anything. Even if not the Primary Collision Factor, it is relatively easy for a collision reconstruction expert to prove that a significant amount of additional weight will increase the total stopping distance required. If stopping distance can be demonstrated to be associated to the cause of the collision (a contributing factor) the truck company/driver has reason for concern.

    Attached Files:

    Diesel Dave and SL3406 Thank this.
  6. ronin

    ronin Road Train Member

    Jul 22, 2008
    San Antonio, Texas
    I have lawyer friends, too..about 42 of 'em at last count, and while your lawyer is correct in the initial assessment, it has absolutely ZERO bearing once a good opposing attorney talks about that "big, bad ol truck" and how scary it is, and how that professional should have known better -

    Right, wrong or indifferent, juries are composed of normal, everyday citizens who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty and they go in to the deliberation room with their heads filled with more drama than a Jerry Springer episode, absolutely NO understanding of the law, much less how to apply it, and they act on theor own gut feelings - which we all know most citizens are biased against truckers.

    We can debate this all day - best bet is to run legally and not worry about those 12 people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.
    Scalemaster Thanks this.
  7. Prairie Boy

    Prairie Boy Road Train Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    Edmonton, AB
    In the last 20 years I have never owned a truck or trailer that never had air guages on the. I always knew what my axle weights were.
  8. 'olhand

    'olhand Cantankerous Crusty

    Jan 18, 2011
    While what you are saying is true to a point--there is a magic number in Va just like there is in Fl--I do not know what it is--BUT--at a certain point you will not be able to continue--until some of the product is removed--fla used to be much better and they do allow alot more weight on a set of tandems(still 80k)but much more slack--and brother believe me when I tell you--dating back before the Flagler scales as you call them--and even b4 the old coop there--when you had to run US1 thru there and everybody went in the Southbound coop (even if northbound--required uturn)I ahve spent many a sat night--running over there--to help out a family member etc--especially with bulk spuds!
    Also helped shovel ice out of fresh sweet corn loads at both yulee--and the bug house when the scale was still there--just to run into town in Brunswick and re-ice
    So there are limits everywhere--but never have gotten the scaleguys to say where they draw the line--kinda like knowing what the magic number is in each HP mind b4 they will pull you!
    just my$.02:biggrin_25525:
  9. scottchris71

    scottchris71 Light Load Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    I have picked up many meat loads that once scales i was over gross,Once i returned to the meat plant with the scale ticket, i have never had any issues on getting the load cut. The shipper or your company cant force you to pull a load over gross....its that simple. I have ran a feel loads that were a few hundred pounds over, that i could burn off in fuel..
  10. elliott

    elliott Light Load Member

    Overweight citations are non-moving violations, at least that is my understanding. When I received an overweight citation, the issuing officer assured me that it would not appear on my MVR, and there would not be points against my MVR because of it being a non-moving violation. However, it is on my driver record with the carrier, but that doesn't really matter, as it doesn't affect my "real" driving record with the state.
  • Draft saved Draft deleted