Driver fines, penalties and gross overload at scales

by Stretch
(Oneonta NY off I-88)

Love this site... ..I'm too old to drive( 70) but have always loved the big rigs and have always had tons of respect for all you good knights of the open road.. I wanted to drive but family ties etc have made it impossible unless economy changes and I could get an easy local or regional run, no touch, be home every couple or three days..and some company would hire a grandpa.....

Anyhow, my question, ...a driver pulls onto a state inspection scale at a weigh station and he's over on gross weight.. He's fined..Suppose his dispatcher told him to take the entire load which put him over the limit.. Does the company pay the fine or does it come out of the drivers pocket.,... Once the fine is paid, is the driver allowed to continue on the state highway system, or must the extra weight over 80,000 lbs be removed from the truck and put on another company truck when it comes through...???

Thanks for your time....
God Bless and keep all safe on our roads...

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Sep 23, 2018
overweight NEW
by: Jacqueline

overweight is the drivers responsibility! No questions about it.
I was wondering about the trouble your in if you pass a scale?

Does anyone know?

Mar 30, 2009
Stretch likes them Truckers
by: Jimmy

Hi Stretch, glad you have a good opinion of truckers.There's so much more to it, than just runnin' down the highway.

A short story about New York, if you don't mind. When I first got into trucks (1976) I was hauling furniture and had a pick-up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. I had a lumper with me that I was paying and when I called the shipper to verify the start time for the next day, they confirmed and invited us to come now and they would feed us dinner and we could stay the night in their home in extra bedrooms they had. I thought that was really kind of them and have always remembered those friendly New Yorkers. Like truckers, many New Yorkers get a bad rap. But, we're just regular hard workin' folks who enjoy the lifestyle. Hey Stretch, wanna have some fun? Buy a C/B radio and install in your vehicle and chitty-chat with the drivers as you travel on the "Big Road". Jimmy

Mar 30, 2009
Over at the scales
by: Stretch

Thank you Hervy and Jimmy for answering my question. It was my wife who originally asked me the question and I was not sure of the answer, so thanks for helping me/us out..... We travel I-88 here in the western Catskill mountains going back and forth to Albany NY, and we run with the big boys all the time while on the interstate.

You professionals make it all look so easy, but to us who can only imagine what it must be like does not look like an easy job, by far..

Thanks Again, and stay safe..

Mar 28, 2009
Stretch wants to know.
by: Jimmy

Hey Stretch, thanks for the compliments. Weight is the drivers responsibility. It can be a headache sometimes, because the shipper may not have a scale, or, there may not be a truck stop/scale nearby. Occasionally, a driver will pick-up a loaded trailer at a drop lot that is over gross and 150 miles from the shipper. Dispatch might say run with it and the company will pay any fines. That's fine if the state scale lets you continue on with your overweight, after giving YOU a ticket. The ticket is given to the driver, not the company.

In Ca, your company can give the driver an "owner's responsibility" form for any mechanical/overweight ticket, and the cops will make the ticket out to the company. But that's only for "Intra-state", not OTR trucks.

Depending on the state you are in, you may have to "get it legal" before you can continue on. That would mean waiting on another truck to come and take your overload.

One more thing. Even if the company pays for the ticket, it's still on YOUR record. Secure the load and weigh it. Save yourself a lot of grief. Jimmy

Mar 28, 2009
fines and penalties for being overweight
by: Hervy

Hello Stretch,
Most companies will not make you haul in violation in the ways that you ask about (contrary to popular belief). They would rather pay for a permit to haul overweight legally or not haul overweight at all. But it does happen. (I wouldn't drive for a company like that and never had that problem in 11 years.)

Being overweight on an axle is more common than gross. In these cases it is often that you can just shift the weight by sliding the tandems to get the axle weight legal (this is something you learn in trucking school). Most DOT will let you shift without giving you a ticket unless you are grossly over or can't get it legal.

The fines and penalties are written to the company. The company will not like it because we are supposed to get weight straight before crossing the scales unless there is no way to scale it out before crossing the scales.

If you are over gross I think most DOT probably fine the company and make them buy a permit. Or they will have to get another truck out there to take weight off. If you are overweight on axle and you can not get it shifted to be legal, they will issue a fine and may let you continue or make you park.

Some drivers

As far as I know these fines go to the company. If I am wrong I am sure someone will chime in Stretch. Make sure you come back after reading my response to see someone else has corrected any misinformation I may have given because this is something that I have never dealt with.

(I have been overweight on an axle but shifted to correct and off I went.)


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