The CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Sections 35550-35796, Size, Weight, and Load discusses some of the scale issues commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders face whenever they’re out there on the highways. These traffic codes make driving a grossly overweight vehicle on California’s roadways or highways a criminal offense. For specific weights per axle see CVC 35551, Axle Limits.
Most of California’s vehicle codes or traffic laws were designed for public safety. Many would argue these weight limit laws are purely economic. The heavier the truck, the more damage to the roads, and if you’re over the legal limit, the higher the fine. You could pay as much as $1.00 per pound. Others would say it’s a safety issue to have too much weight on the tires because they could blow out. But, if that were the only reason, why would they allow exceptions with special permits if you pay more for them?
Whatever the reasoning, overweight trucks and scale issues can be expensive for the operator, the trucking company, or both. The best method to deal with scale issues and overweight trucks is to prevent them from happening but when they do occur, consult a traffic ticket attorney.
Overloaded trucks make the operator and the company look unprofessional and could cause you to lose future loads. Always ensure the vehicle is loaded correctly and weighed before sending it out on the highway. Especially if someone else loads the truck, make sure to weigh it before you hit the road.
5 No-Nonsense Steps to Prevent Scale Issues
- Get a Permit – When you know or estimate that your load is going to be over the 80,000-pound maximum, get a permit. It may be a little extra trouble getting a one-time special permit, but it’s like they say, “An ounce of prevention…”
- Purchase an On-Board Scale – More and more trucking companies are using these to keep track of cargo, particularly those hauling agricultural and construction material. If you maintain it, do the calibration when necessary, and use the On-Board Scale so you can avoid scale issues and overweight fines.
- Check and Re-Check your Equipment – Overweight trucks are not the only scale issues at the “chicken coop.” Ensuring the maintenance of all equipment and that it’s in good working order can save you from bad equipment tickets.
- Secure the Load – Ensure even distribution of your load, and then, tie it down to make sure it stays that way. Containers, tie-downs, and tarps can save you time and trouble at the inspection points.
- Stay Calm, Admit Nothing – When you’re caught short with bad equipment, or you are overweight, stay calm, and never say anything to incriminate yourself. Statements like, “Well, I thought I might be a little over, but I thought the fuel I used on the trip would lighten it up enough.” are the same as saying, “I’m guilty.” Always make the state prove their case, just be courteous and consult a traffic ticket attorney. Admitting guilt or being rude to inspectors/CHPs will only make things worse.
Consult with a Traffic Attorney for Fresno County
Bigger & Harman represent truckers with overweight truck tickets and other scale issues in Fresno County Traffic Courts. Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, with your free phone consultation to discuss the specifics concerning your scale issues or problems at the chicken coop. Se habla Español 661.349.9755.
Bigger & Harman charges a flat fee so you will always know beforehand how much you will have to pay. Regardless of the number of hours they must spend on your case, there are no additional fees or surprises.
Send Bigger & Harman, APC an email today, firstname.lastname@example.org. They will reply with a summary of the options available in your case.
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The 2017-2018 CA Commercial Driver Handbook .pdfCA Vehicle Code Sections 35550-35796, Size, Weight, and Load