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Who Is Responsible for an Overweight Truck?

undefinedTypically, the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver is responsible for an overweight truck and all fines for traffic tickets unless they have a written contract that states otherwise.

Before the driver leaves the shipping yard, the shippers are required to weigh the vehicle, but it becomes their responsibility to have correct weight or permit once the drivers go out the gate.

The Most Common Problem in California with Overweight Trucks  

Caltrans requires trucks entering the state to have a valid permit for an oversized or overweight vehicle before entry. However, the overweight or distance between axle standards in Nevada, Oregon, or Arizona could be different from California.

For instance, CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 35784Permits and Agreements, provides that when the vehicle or combination vehicle is overweight without a permit, the driver is liable to a misdemeanor charge of failure to secure a permit. The base fine is $500, the driver could be sentenced to not more than six months, and the DMV will assess 1.5 negligent operator points.

However, that’s only for not having a permit—the driver could also be fined up to $1.00 per pound for the overweight truck in accordance with CVC Section 35550 Axle Limits, which requires that the weight on any axle shall not exceed 20,000 pounds,” and any wheel shall not bear more than 10,500. 

CVC Section 35551Axle Limits, prescribes the distance between axle and how much weight they can bear. Many drivers, particularly rookie and out-of-state drivers, do not consider that “The distance between axles shall be measured to the nearest whole foot. When a fraction is exactly six inches, the next larger whole foot shall be used.”

Therefore, if the distance between two axles on your truck is 8’6”, it can bear up to 39,000 pounds. However, if the distance is 8’5”, it can only bear 34,000 pounds. The difference of 5,000 could cost you up to $5,000, and it is a misdemeanor in CA to drive an overweight truck by more than 4,501 pounds.  

Read our blog, How Does an Overweight Truck Ticket Affect My MVR & PSP? to understand better why you need a CA traffic attorney on your side to handle a challenge to an overweight truck violation and why those attorneys should be Bigger & Harman, APC.

Ask Bigger & Harman, APC, about Challenging an Overweight Truck Ticket in Truckee 

When you are tagged with a citation for an overweight truck violation at the Truckee weigh station in Nevada County, CA, contact the professionals at Bigger & Harman, APC. Call (661) 349-9300, use our contact form, or email attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

We are here when you need advice. We are experienced and knowledgeable about the traffic court in Truckee, CA, in Nevada County. We offer a free initial consultation by phone or email and a flat-rate ticket resolution with no obligation.

References:

The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook Copyright 2022.

CVC Section 35550 & 35551Axle Limits and CVC Section 35784Permits and Agreements.

The FMCSA Roadside Inspection Fact Sheet.