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Owner-Operators Cannot Afford an Overweight Truck

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Owner-operators cannot afford an overweight truck ticket because these tickets can cost thousands of dollars. What’s more, when their truck is overweight by 4,501 pounds or more, they face a misdemeanor criminal charge, which will remain on their record for life if convicted. That is a very steep price to pay for not checking the weight before leaving the shipping yard.

With all the things you must do and check, you might overlook driving your truck over the scales before you drive off. That could be a costly oversight. The only saving grace for an overweight truck ticket for all drivers is that it is not a moving violation, so it won’t affect your motor vehicle driving record (MVR).

Usually, you won’t get any Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) points for an overweight truck either; however, you could get points for other violations if there’s an inspection.

You Have No Choice, Owner-Operators Must Fight an Overweight Truck Ticket

Some firms have a clause in their employment contract for what is called “owner’s responsibility.” That means they will pay the fine for an overweight truck. If there is no employment clause, the driver is responsible for the fine. Owner-operators are stuck with the fine because they are the owner.

Many experienced truckers say if they get a ticket, they immediately go to a private weigh station, like CATS, get weighed, and get a readout. It’s kind of like checking the latch after the fox got in the chicken coop. However, when there is a significant difference, an attorney has something substantial to argue.

Many OTR truckers know to be careful to let their truck sit for a few seconds on a Pittman scale. These scales weigh each axle as you pull on and display the gross weight after you pull off. CA law allows a ticket for overweight if there is too much weight on one wheel, one axle, or the overall gross weight is too much.

A traffic attorney can subpoena the calibration records from the Donner Pass weigh station. Typically, when you’re over 4,501, we can negotiate with the judge to get an infraction rather than a misdemeanor. Many judges do not want to send a trucker to jail for doing their job. It still could cost you a significant fine, but it’s better than jail or more likely, a criminal record, and it likely won’t be enough to bankrupt you.

We’ve talked with many OTR truckers, and many say the state of CA typically issues fewer permits than other states and more tickets with higher fines. All we know is we assist many truckers with tickets for overweight trucks.

“Be careful out there; the coops are open.” If you do get an overweight truck ticket, consult a traffic lawyer.

Owner-Operators & Overweight Trucks Near Truckee, CA

Use our free initial consultation to contact Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, about your overweight truck. Se habla Español 661.349.9755.

We are proud to offer every commercial driver a free consultation. We handle only traffic issues. Therefore, we can provide our clients with more knowledge and more experience in traffic court. Give us a call or send us an email.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

References:

The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf