Monday, December 19, 2011

32 Inches

I received a fine the other day: $25 for 32 inches.

We picked up the HEAVY load in Dallas, TX and grossed out at 79,900 (max is 80,000). Regulations state that we can have no more than 34,000 pounds on the trailer axles and the drive axles, and no more than 12,000 on the steer axle. Being as heavy as we were, we had to make sure each axle weight was appropriate so as not to receive an over-weight fine. We have the option of sliding our fifth wheel or sliding the trailer tandems to change the amount of weight on each axle, but not the weight over all. 79,900 pounds is 79,900 pounds, no matter how you move the freight.

Without having the list in front of me, I would wager to say that most states do not have regulations for length; length in this case being defined as the distance between the kingpin and the center of the rear axle on the trailer. California will slap you with a $100 fine if you measure over 40 feet. California in general will try to slap you with any fine they can, and an over-length violation seems to be common.

Since we weren't going through California, and we weighed out our axles to be accurate though we were "longer" than usual, we didn't bother to check if any other states on our route had over-length fines. Turns out Virginia did.

Their maximum length is 41 feet, and we measured out to be 43'8". Because they had pulled me in for weight, they knew I was close on my axles but still legal, they were able to measure the kingpin to rear axle length. Since I couldn't "scoot" any weight to abide by the length regulation, I got a $25 fine (and $50 processing fee and $10 for taxes, or something like that). They sent me on my way with paperwork proving I was already cited, lest I get pulled into another Virginia weigh station (I didn't).

Thankfully, in cases like this, our company will pay the fine, as we would have been overweight otherwise. And, thankfully, this violation will have no weight on my CSA score (the federal government assigns a point value to any violations received; my speeding ticket earned me 9 points. Once you hit a certain amount of points, they revoke your CDL).

Current location: the Freightliner shop in Salt Lake City, UT
Direction headed: the Northwest!
Mileage total this month: 18,000ish

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