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What can you do when you are overweight and placed out-of-service until you offload six or ten thousand pounds?

Many novice drivers believe that because they weren’t overweight in Nevada, they couldn’t be overweight on I-80 in Truckee, CA. However, that’s where they’re wrong. Even a Certified Automatic Truck Scale (CATS) weight in one state doesn’t mean you are legal in another.

Unfortunately, the FMCSA and the National DOT do not control maximum truck weights everywhere. It is still up to the state and in some cases, even municipalities and certain bridges. Of course, the part about the bridge makes sense. If the bridge can’t handle 80,000 pounds or more, why would you want to cross it?

However, why are fines for overweight trucks in many states, such as California, so much? You could pay around $1.00 per pound after a specific weight point.

An Overweight Truck Could Be a Misdemeanor Crime

In California, up to 4,500 pounds over is an infraction, but at 4,501 pounds over, you are subject to a misdemeanor designation and possible jail time. The driver of a truck, bus, or motor home that is more than 4,501 pounds overweight without a permit is subject to up to six months in jail or probation and fine if convicted.

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 35551, Axle Limits prescribes the maximum weights per truck axle, and CVC Sections 35550 – 35796 dictate legal vehicle lengths, widths, and weights. Vehicles which do not meet these standards must have a permit.

You Could Pay an Enormous Fine

Although the fine for an overweight truck infraction starts at $230 - $250, it will escalate quickly. Typically, a truck 4,501 pounds or more overweight will pay about $1.00 per pound overweight with state and county surcharges, penalties, and assessments.

Your Load Could Be Late

When you pull into the Truckee weigh station and the scale shows your truck is overweight, not only will you be ticketed, but when you’re 5,000 or more overweight, you might get placed out-of-service until you remove the excess weight.

That will require some assistance. Fleet management might need to put someone on the road to come out to Truckee and offload some of that weight. They might be able to get a local company to off-load some cargo and move it down to Oakland or Long Beach, but chances are your load might be late. If your freight can’t be broken down, you might be able to get a special one-time-use permit.

Bigger & Harman Can Handle Your Overweight Truck Tickets in Truckee

When you have an overweight truck ticket in the Truckee area, call Bigger & Harman at (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We assist CDL holders around the Sacramento area with traffic tickets and DMV hearings. We practice only traffic law and charge a flat fee for our legal services so that you always know how much it will cost to resolve your ticket. Plus, we offer all CDL holders a free initial consultation.

Send us an email,


The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf

The Caltrans Legal Truck Weights site

CVC 35551, Axle Limits

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