When it comes to transporting goods, every truck driver worries about overloading the truck. Overweight trucks can lead to heavy fines, which can be detrimental for your bottom line as an owner-operator. Also, they can create a bad public image for your company and leave a bad reputation in the industry. Companies need to implement strict policies to avoid overweight truck fines and invest in a sound truck scale to weigh your freight before loading it. It’s always easier to prevent a loss than deal with the consequences afterward.
Steps To Avoid Overweight Truck Fines:
Let’s take a look at some precautions you can take to avoid overweight truck fines.
Maintain Your Equipment:
Whether it’s your commercial truck or your weighing scale, you need to always keep them in A-1 condition to prevent errors, accidents, and damage. Follow a maintenance routine that you follow religiously. This routine should include safety checks before you head out for delivery. It is also recommended to get your equipment calibrated by professionals regularly. Your trucks should comply with all the safety requirements according to size, weight, and other regulations.
Secure Your Loads:
Before a truck leaves for a shipment, it should be double-checked to ensure that the weight is evenly distributed and the container is secured. We recommend using tarps, ties, and containers to prevent your cargo from coming loose and causing problems on the road. If the load gets loose, it can damage your vehicle’s axles even though you are within the weight limit. Loose axles can mean unbalancing your vehicle.
Plan The Given Route:
A well-planned route not only saves you time and money but also helps you avoid problems on the way. A well-planned route means that you know all the refueling and weighing stations on the way. You will also have information about the road conditions you’ll have to drive through and if they’re legal for heavy trucks. Sometimes, operators avoid routes with permanent scales even though they have to travel longer, but this technique is a bit too tricky. Officials sometimes carry portable scales, so you can’t avoid them whichever route you may choose.
Account For Fuel Weight:
Although it is common to account for the weight of the fuel in addition to the load, we can stress this point enough. If you have a long route to travel, you can calculate how much fuel you’ll burn on the way and how much you need to load on the truck. It is always better to avoid overloading and refueling smaller quantities between stops.
On-Board Scales For A Second Security Level:
Truck operators use on-board weight scales, so they are not dependent on fixed scales. If you invest in a second scale, it will eventually pay off in the long run. You will undoubtedly prevent overweight fines by investing time and money in weighing your loads religiously. However, you will need to maintain these scales as well.
Get A Permit For Your Overweight Vehicles:
Although you have many precautions in place, still your vehicles are overweight, then you can obtain an overweight load permit. Generally, a load exceeding 80,000 pounds is deemed heavy, but you can check if the license covers the weight you’re transporting mainly.
Make Drivers And Operators Aware:
When trying to avoid overweight fines, you need to educate your drivers and operators regarding all the regulations and standards for truck weights. Drivers should learn how to distribute loads and maintain effective communication with authorities in any situation.