The final word on allowable axle weights.

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by telcobilly, May 24, 2010.

  1. telcobilly

    telcobilly Medium Load Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    Laying Low
    I'm getting to know my new to me KW 900 and am having a hard time
    keeping the drive/steer axles legal with much more than half full tanks.
    I heard you could go over the 12/34/34k weights as long as your gross is below 80k? Is this true? If so, how much over, esp the steer axle in CA?

    thanks, Bill
  2. hunts2much

    hunts2much Medium Load Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    From everything I've read... as long as you don't exceed the weight printed on the sidewall of your steer tire you are ok. For instance the tires on my Volvo (Yokahamas I think) read 6175 on each one. So to be legal I cannot exceed 12350 on my steers but I can load up to 12350 so long as I'm still under 80K gross. I believe most states will allow you up to 20k on your steers if your front axle and tires are rated for it.
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
    Injun and Saddle Tramp Thank this.
  3. Injun

    Injun Road Train Member

    May 15, 2010
    West o' the Big Crick
    The other exception is if you have an APU, you are allowed an extra 400 lb on the drives. I very rarely test this and double checked it with an Idaho bear, but last week, rolled onto a Tennessee scale at 79,500 with 34,320 on my drives. They made me sit there for a minute, but let me go. I stopped at the next rest area and moved my trailer tandem back a notch.

    If you have a 5th wheel that moves, you can shift weight off your steers and onto your depends on notch spacing how much weight will move per notch. It sounds like your 5th wheel is set too far forward.
  4. telcobilly

    telcobilly Medium Load Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    Laying Low
    I had to move my 5th wheel forward as my drives were at 34300. I was at 11900 on the steers before I moved the 5th wheel. I heard you could go to 36k on the drives/tandems as long as you are under the 80k. My friend # Marten came the opposite way the same day with 12300 on his steers on his Cascadia. I got my tandems to move one more hole the next day after removing a stop bar from the slides.
  5. jamin22

    jamin22 Light Load Member

    Dec 24, 2009
    this is a good thread if you guys are right. I drive a propane bottle and I can only load up to 78600 gross if I want to keep my drivers under. At that weight, my steers are around 11900 and my trailer axles are around 32700. my trailer axles are fixed

    so you guys are saying I can load more and have my drivers over as long as Im under the 80k?
  6. diesel_weasel

    diesel_weasel Medium Load Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Rochester, MN
    You can only have your drives over 34,000 if you have an APU. I believe if you have an APU you be be 400 pounds over, so 34,400 max with an APU, 34,000 max on the drives without an APU. I'm not sure if having an APu allows you to be 80,400 gross or if you still have to maintain 80,000.

    Anywho What they were trying to tell you is most states are flexible about your steer axle weights, so you can be over 12,000 on your steers. As long as you don't exceed total 80,000 gross weight. I've never heard of any driver being ticketed for over axle on steers, unless they get caught on a 3 ton or 5 ton axle weight road, or if it is maybe something outrageous like 13,000+ pounds.

    Look at the Max weight posted on the sidewall of your steers. If it 6200 for example the Max you can technically be on the steer axle is 12,400 (6200 x 2). I drive a KW T600 studio with a reefer. Friday I knew I was going to be picking up a 45,400 lb load of bottled water, so I left truck and reefer fuel tanks low before reloading. I got into a pi$$ing match with my dispatcher the day before because I was positive I would be overweight.

    With 1/2 tank of fuel in the truck and reefer my original scale ticket was steer:11600 drive: 36200 trailer: 32000 for a gross of 79800. Lucked out this time.

    After two re-weighs, sliding my 5th wheel about 5 notches forward and the trailer about 8 notches forward, I managed to get steer: 12300 drive: 33810 trailer: 33690. I ran from Dallas to Minneapolis just like this, crossed scales in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, and none of them messed with me. After I had re-fueled, One of the scales I saw their readout had my steers showing about 12450 , and they still green-lighted me.

    Keep in mind also that adding fuel usually affects the steers more so than the drives, depending on where the fuel tanks are placed.
  7. jtrnr1951

    jtrnr1951 Road Train Member

    36K on Drives ????

    Not that I know of................................
  8. phroziac

    phroziac Road Train Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Gary, IN
    You guys are forgetting something here..


    For example, in michigan, they dont care if you're over 80k, cause the limit is *160k*! But they'll bust you for being over on an axle....
  9. Hardlyevr

    Hardlyevr Road Train Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    you can load heavier on the steer axle, up to the weight limit of the tires, ONLY if the axle is rated for more than 12,000 lbs! My Volvo axle is 13,000 and some, and I went to 11R tires to gain a few hundred more pounds of capacity, as the low pros were too close to what I actually weighed at times.
    North Carolina will let you have 38,000 on the trailer tandems.
  10. Jfaulk99

    Jfaulk99 Road Train Member

    May 16, 2009
    Aww another thread as to why you should always buy a spread axle trailer.:biggrin_25523:
    Saddle Tramp Thanks this.
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