A driver who gets caught with a severely overweight truck faces a misdemeanor charge in California. Even when it is not a misdemeanor, they face a fine of up to $4,500. You need to consult a traffic attorney before you decide on a course of action.
Many believe they can go to court and explain to the judge that they did not load the truck; therefore, they did not know it was overweight. Sorry, but ignorance is not a valid excuse. It’s your load. When you drive out of the shipping yard, it is your responsibility.
When you pick up a load at the Long Beach or Los Angeles port, whether it is containerized or not, you must verify its weight. Although you can’t inspect those sealed loads, you must check the axle weight and gross weight restrictions before you proceed.
There are no less than ten public weigh stations in Los Angeles and four or five in Long Beach. Depending on your route, there are nearly 50 around LA and Long Beach.
Sure, it will cost you $15 or $20, but before you head out on I-5, 10, or 15, you better know how much your truck weighs to avoid an overweight truck. You will typically get a fine of $1.00 per pound for every pound over the limit.
Using an App to Avoid an Overweight Truck
Many drivers use an app like Trucker Path, ScaleBuddy, or Drivewyze to plan their trip. The strategy is to go around weigh stations or wait until the station is closed. However, these strategies might not be of much assistance since you are limited by the Hours of Service (HOS) rules and what if there are other weigh stations on the route you choose? You might be wasting more time to avoid the unavoidable.
It could be helpful if you arrive at a rest area shortly before the “chicken coop” closes. You could take a break, check your load, and keep rolling after it closes. There’s even a Rest Area Finder App for that.
However, you are running at increased risks of tire, brake, and steering failures with severely overweight trucks. You’ll use more fuel going up steep grades and pick up speed quicker coming down. Inclement weather can enhance these issues. What’s more, you are limited by the weight on each axle or tire, as well as the total weight. CA drivers should consult the 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook published by the DMV.
Caught with an Overweight Truck?
When none of these strategies work and you get a ticket, you could be forced to offload some of the weight to keep going. This could further delay your delivery and even put you beyond the deadline, which could damage your reputation with your clients. Chances are fleet management will need to send out another truck to offload some of the cargo. That will get more complicated if it is a containerized load.
When you get that sorted out, you will still have the problem of the overweight truck ticket. Fleet managers and independent owners should consult a CA traffic attorney.
Consult an Overweight Truck Attorney Who Handles Barstow Traffic Court
Call the Bigger & Harman legal team, (661) 349-9300, when you need assistance with an overweight truck ticket. Se habla Español 661.349.9755.
We can handle traffic violations and DMV Hearings for CDL holders in the Barstow and across CA.
Send us an email, today email@example.com.
The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The CDFA Public Scales site