One of the objectives of commercial trucking companies is to maximize loads and profits. However, one of the biggest worries every truck owner or operator faces is ensuring that their vehicle is not overloaded. Overweight trucks can incur hefty fines that will impact your driving record and negatively reflect on your company. As a truck driver, you’ll need to be careful to avoid overweight truck fines.
Six tips to help prevent overweight truck fines are:
1. Plan Your Routes
One of the most effective ways to avoid overweight truck fines is to plan each trip in detail. If you know what route you are taking, you can map out all the fuel stations along the way to keep your fuel level at a minimum. You can also plan to stop at weighing stations to check the weight of your semi-truck frequently. Trip planning helps reduce stress on the road, resulting in a smoother driving experience.
2. Verify Your Truck’s Weight
Even if the shipper says your truck’s load is a certain weight, remember that you will ultimately be responsible if the load comes in as overweight at a weigh station. Be sure to stop and weigh your truck as soon as possible after being loaded. If the shipper doesn’t have a scale on site, many trucking trip planning apps will show you the nearest scales.
3. Secure Your Loads
Before you head out on the road, double-check that your cargo is secured and evenly distributed. If your load is close to its weight limit, it can damage your vehicle’s axles if it shifts while you’re driving. You can also face fines for being over the axle weight limit, even if the overall weight of the truck is within regulations. Use tarps, ties, and containers to help prevent items from coming loose and causing hazards.
4. Factor in Fuel Weight
Drivers must account for how much fuel they consume between stops and the weight of fuel added along the route. It is better to take a few more refueling stops to stay under your weight limit than to carry excess fuel that could earn you a fine.
5. Maintain Your Equipment
There are several reasons to maintain your equipment, and avoiding overweight truck fines is one of them. You should conduct routine safety and maintenance checks on your rig and have your weighing equipment professionally calibrated. This practice will ensure your truck meets all the current safety, size, and weight regulations.
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