If you own a fleet of commercial trucks, you’re probably no stranger to commercial truck violations. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) issues thousands of them a year, for anything from traffic violations to overweight trucks. From the minute they leave your facility, you’re responsible for anything that happens to your fleet. This includes dealing with any weight-related violations. Violations can cost you thousands of dollars and have other surprising consequences you might not be aware of. If you’re wondering what happens if a truck is overweight, this guide will go over everything you need to know.

The Regulations Against Overweight Trucks

Trucks play a massive role in our national economy and market structure. However, larger trucks carry certain risks, and, for this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state governments have imposed a set of regulations on them. These include truck overweight allowance regulations, overloaded, or improperly loaded trucks. So, what constitutes an overweight or overloaded truck? Manufacturers are required to mark their vehicles with an accurate Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). It’s illegal for a commercial truck to carry more than its GVWR allows. To ensure truck drivers are following these regulations, they’re required to stop at weighing stations along their routes.

The Consequences of an Overweight Truck

So, what happens if a truck is overweight? If a driver is caught with an overweight or overloaded truck, they’ll face a variety of unpleasant consequences. They could be sent to the local jail, and not just for a few nights: they could be stuck there for upwards of two months. If they’re found guilty, the county’s court system can revoke their commercial driver’s license. You’ll have to pay your share, too: if you’re hauling extra, law enforcement can hit you with truck overweight fines of up to $16,000. To make things worse, an overweight truck might arrive late. Your customers’ orders will get delayed, which can damage your relationship with them. On the road, overweight trucks are dangerous. They’re more likely to experience tire blowout, break failure, and other factors that can contribute to an accident. An accident could harm your employees, your products, and other people on the roadway. To keep everyone safe, it’s best to keep your trucks under the recommended limit.

How To Avoid an Overweight Truck

Avoiding an overweight truck is easier than you might think. For starters, never purposefully overload your vehicles. Chances are, you won’t get away with it. The easiest way to avoid an overweight truck is to weigh your load correctly. Don’t worry about the time commitment of weighing, though. With the right equipment, weighing your loads is quick and easy. Most operations will wrap their products and then move the load to a separate facility for shipping. But, moving every load to a different scale is inefficient. By spending 30 to 90 seconds double handling loads, you’re wasting anywhere from $7,000 $15,000 in labor. By investing in a stretch wrapper with a scale, you can wrap and weigh in one easy step. Weighing every load will reduce the risk of your business getting an overweight truck ticket and overpaying for less-than-truck load (LTL) reweigh fees.

Looking for a quick, easy way to weigh all your loads? Robopac USA’s weighing system kit can be placed under most of our turntable stretch wrappers, which lets you wrap and weigh your loads at the same time. Moving your pallet loads to a separate scale and wrapping on a turntable stretch wrapper equals 30 to 90 seconds of double handling loads. This increase in time equals $7,000 to $15,000 in wasted labor over five years. If you’re in need of stretch or shrink-wrapping machines, including semi-automatic and portable stretch wrappers, come and shop with us today!