Federal Trucking Regulations Part 3: Overweight Violations

How Heavy is a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

Even the lightest commercial motor vehicle (CMV) weighs around 10,000 pounds. As many CMVs are designed to transport cargo across vast distances, they tend to get weighed down. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates how heavy a CMV can get.

Why Does a CMV’s Weight Matter?

Weight is significant because of the potential for tipping over and highway maintenance issues. The federal government passed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 19536, which authorized the Interstate and Defense Highway System. Overweight and overloaded trucks tend to damage the nation’s highways and streets and could cause problems on bridges that can’t bear too much weight.

What’s the Maximum a CMV Can Weigh?

On the federal level and in most states, most CMVs can’t weigh more than 80,000 pounds with all cargo included. Only some natural gas vehicles can exceed this limit up to 82,000 pounds because these tend to be lighter than the average diesel tank and fueling system.

Likewise, Congress passed a Bridge Formula in 1975 to limit the weight-to-length ratio of any CMV crossing a bridge. Measuring appropriate weight is usually done by spreading the burden over additional axles or by increasing the distance between axles.

What Happens if You Get Caught?

If a driver or his or her employer is found to be over the sanctioned weight limit, the U.S. Department of Transportation will issue a violation. Violations can cost thousands of dollars and can reduce a company’s safety rating, which can affect business. Likewise, in some states, law enforcement can arrest and jail a driver for an overweight truck violation. Some states might also revoke his or her commercial driver’s license.

What Should You do if You’re Injured by an Overweight Truck?

Additionally, if you or a loved one were harmed by a truck with weight violations, you will likely be able to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Let our skilled Wichita truck accident attorneys look at your case and offer experienced recommendations about your best legal course of action.

Contact us at (316) 688-1166 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.

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