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From the Port to Phoenix in an Overweight Truck

undefinedSo, you're out on Interstate 5 or 10, driving a semi with a loaded trailer. You're just cruising along, minding your own business on the way to the next weigh station. What will happen when you get to the “chicken coop?” Will your truck get waved on through, or will you receive a ticket for an overweight truck?

A ticket for an overweight truck can be one of the most expensive traffic tickets you will ever receive. If you don’t know how much your truck weighs, it could be thousands of pounds overweight. At nearly $1.00 per pound, you could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars for a single ticket.

The responsibility for that fine lies squarely on the shoulders of the trucker. Although fleet management could pay the fine, that usually won’t happen. And, what about the owner-operator? A substantial fine like this could put them out of business. You must know the weight of your truck, the weight resting on each axle, and not push the limit because states have different requirements.

Weight Standards

Take CA, for instance, the CHP who operate the weigh stations and enforce vehicle weight regulations, both state and federal, round the distance between axles up or down. CVC 35551 states, ”The distance between axles shall be measured to the nearest whole foot.” The difference of two inches could make your vehicle overweight by ten thousand pounds. Eight feet, four inches would get rounded down to eight feet; whereas, eight feet, six inches would get rounded up to nine feet.

Picking Up a Cargo Load at Long Beach or LA Port

When you head down I-5, you are traveling one of the most frequent truck routes in America, and probably the busiest in CA. Long Beach is the 7th most populated city in CA, so this isn't a small town. It should not be surprising that this city is the second-busiest container port in the United States. The biggest in CA is undoubtedly the Port of Los Angeles. Most of the goods you see that say, "Made in China" or "Made in Bangladesh" on them originally came to America through this location.

Trucking on I-10 or I-5 in Riverside, CA

CA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have some strict trucking regulations. Part of this is political, and part of it is practical. On the one hand, the lawmakers are answering to big city voters who are worried about the environmental impact of this vast industry. On the other hand, part of it is practical because CA does have a lot more truck traffic than most other states, which wear down the roads, especially an overweight truck. Getting from the port in Long Beach or Los Angeles to Phoenix, AZ, requires traveling I-5 and I-10 through Riverside County, CA. CHP has many weigh stations from these ports to the border with AZ, and throughout Riverside County, CA.

To avoid getting ticketed by CHP, you need always to ensure your truck is within designated weight limits to avoid a ticket for an overweight truck. The first step is always to know the weight of your truck no matter who loads it. And, avoid common mistakes when calculating your vehicle's weight. Don't forget to account for the weight of your fuel, as this mistake is easy to make and very costly. You can also help the situation by making sure that the weight of your cargo is distributed across its axles and know the distance between axles. CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 35551, Axle Limits prescribes the total “curbside” weight “imposed on the highway by any group of two or more consecutive axles.” The gross vehicle weight or curbside weight includes everything and everyone in the truck.

Overweight Truck Ticket?

As in most areas of life, a little prevention can prevent a lot of hassle. When you get a ticket for an overweight truck, it can be a big deal. This is a ticket that can ruin your career, depending on the size of the violation or the patience of your company with loading mistakes. No intelligent company is going to continue employing someone who gets their company in trouble.

And make no mistake, an overweight truck will cause trouble. The severity of the fine gets determined by the amount of the excess weight. For small discrepancies, a conviction could lead to a small fine. However, you are hauling a lot of weight, so it is likely that you will incur a significant fine, about $1.00 per pound (imagine if you are thousands of pounds overweight?), Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points, CSA points, and possible termination from your job. Many fleet management personnel and employers have a zero-defect mentality.

Therefore, any infraction, no matter how small, should be fought in court. You aren't just trying to avoid a fine, small or large; you are trying to keep your job and reputation intact. Don't hesitate to consult with a traffic ticket attorney to determine if you need to hire one.

With the services of a competent professional, you will be much better able to handle this issue in a way that will enable you to move on with life and “Keep on Trucking.” So, call a qualified attorney today...the career you save may be your own!

Traffic Ticket Attorneys Who Regularly Assist with Overweight Truck Tickets

Bigger & Harman have a reputation as staunch defenders of traffic tickets for all CA residents. They regularly assist truckers and other CDL holders in Riverside County Traffic Courts. When you get a ticket for an overweight truck, you need a defense team who will get you the best possible result possible at a reasonable price.

We only accept traffic ticket cases and do so using a flat fee. You will always know how much a dismissal or reduced charge will cost regardless of how many hours we devote to your situation. Not all tickets are winnable, but we will give you a straightforward analysis of your situation before we accept your fee.

Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, the traffic lawyers with a reliable reputation in Riverside County Traffic Courts.

Se habla Español 661.349.9755.

Send an email to attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

References:

CVC 35551, Axle Limits

Riverside County Superior Court Bail Schedule