Truck overweight fines are one of the biggest worries of every trucker. Whether you’re a truck owner, operator, or lease owner, you don’t want to impose these heavy fines on your company or yourself.
Of course, there are more reasons for you to be cautious about the weight limit. An overweight truck can bring damage to the truck’s axles, increase fuel consumption, generally speed up the wear and tear of the vehicle and pose a safety risk.
In this blog, we offer some tips that aim to help with keeping your cargo under the weight limit, with the emphasis on avoiding overweight fines.
Secure Your Loads
Before going out on the road, you should double-check if your cargo is secured and evenly distributed. Even if your freight meets the weight limit, it can still cause you some trouble when it’s loose. If it moves and shifts while you’re driving, it could damage your vehicle’s axles or even your trailer. Aside from having to service your truck, you could also face additional fines because of this, so it really pays off to put some more time into securing your load with tarps, ties, and containers. This will also prevent damages to your cargo.
Buy Your Own Truck Scales
Having your own truck scales means you can check your weight before every trip, so you can easily add or remove some of the weight as per need. This will take some pressure off the calculating of the load weight. Also, you won’t have to blindly believe your client’s word on the cargo weight, so the risk of getting in trouble will be reduced to a minimum.
Don’t Forget about the Fuel Weight
Taking the fuel into account might seem like an obvious thing, but that’s exactly why it’s often overlooked. There are two ways you can manage the extra weight that the fuel adds to your truck. The first is very simple – you can just calculate the weight of the full tank when loading the truck, so your mind will be at ease at any time. You could fill up your tank and be sure that your truck isn’t overweight. The other way would be calculating your fuel levels in advance. This would mean planning multiple fuel refills so that you always have just enough fuel to travel. This could potentially cause more stress, but it will also allow you to take more cargo on.
Get an Overweight Permit
Even if you follow all of the safety measures, you may pass the weight limit from time to time. If this is happening often, you should probably consider getting an overweight load permit. Also, you may want to get this permit if keeping your load under the weight limit is for any reason a problem for you. Of course, it’s always best to not pay additional fees, but it’s still better to pay for a permit than to deal with truck overweight fines.
Make Sure the Equipment is Well-Maintained
There are dozens of reasons for taking good care of your equipment, and avoiding truck overweight fines is one of them. First of all, if you’re using your own scales, you should have a professional calibrate them regularly. There’s not much use in weighing your load if your scales are lying to you. Of course, in addition to other road safety tips, keeping your truck in its best condition at all times is the best way to prevent any type of accident or damage.
Plan Your Route in Advance
Again, this is a step that is important for reasons other than just avoiding weight limit fines. It will help you reduce stress on the road, and generally have a smoother driving experience. Regarding the overweight fines, you can avoid them by planning out your gas refills, as we have already suggested. If you know exactly what your route is going to be, you can map out all the gas stations, and keep the fuel level at a minimum. You can also plan for scales along the way so you can check the weight regularly.
Inform the Shipper About It
There is a chance that the shipper knows that your load is surpassing the weight limit. When you suspect that you might be overweight, you could contact them to see if they are willing to pay the fine and take care of the situation. They could also agree to get the overweight permit if possible.
Have a nice trip!