Overweight And Punished

Topic 29983 | Page 2

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Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

Definitely not run. Don't let dispatchers bully you. It's your license.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Hayden D.'s Comment
member avatar

Sliding the fifth wheel forward one notch and sliding the tandems forward one hole would put you real close. Then burning off 8 gallons or so of fuel would get you legal.

How far away is the weigh station?

Being that close, I'd run it after shifting some weight as described above. But that's me, and no one would force me to. No one should force you to run illegal either.

Not a driver, currently applying to student programs, leaning towards Maverick. Just wanted to say, Turtle, it's awesome that you know that kind of information to solve the problem and share it with other drivers. I love how knowledgeable and helpful trucking truth forums are.

question : I understand burning fuel to reduce weight, but what is the benefit of moving the 5th wheel and tandems ? ( I"m guessing : to gain better control ( distribution ) of the weight on the truck to reduce a chance of accident )

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Hayden asks

I understand burning fuel to reduce weight, but what is the benefit of moving the 5th wheel and tandems ? ( I"m guessing : to gain better control ( distribution ) of the weight on the truck to reduce a chance of accident )

You want to move tandems or 5th wheel for weight distribution. Ideally you want around 12k on steers and you tandems and drives to be equal, or as equal as possible while factoring in kingpin and bridge laws dictating the spacing needed. If you have more weight on your tandems than your drives you'll notice the back end moving around more frequently, a bumper ride and it seems harder to pull hills. Have you used the High Road CDL Training Program? There is a section towards weight distribution that you may find helpful.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
question : I understand burning fuel to reduce weight, but what is the benefit of moving the 5th wheel and tandems ? ( I"m guessing : to gain better control ( distribution ) of the weight on the truck to reduce a chance of accident )

To keep it simple, the legal weight rating of a typical steer axle is 12,000 lbs. Some are rated for more, but let's stick with 12K as being standard.

Sliding the fifth wheel forward is equal to a weight shift of approximately 500lbs from the drive axles to the steer axle. This would put the steer axle right at 11,960 lbs, which is legal. Shipping that weight forward will also take that 500 lbs off of the drives, leaving them at approximately 34,340. That's still overweight, but...

Sliding the trailer tandems forward one or two notches will, depending on the trailer hole spacing, shift approximately 200-400 lb from the drives to the trailer. The end result would be somewhere in the neighborhood of...

Steers 11,960.

Drives 34,000

Tandems 34,140

Again, these are approximate numbers. Experimenting with trailer tandem position may actually put a little more weight on the drives, which would be advantageous since you can burn that weight off in fuel. Of course, that would mean only being able to put in a quarter tank at a time for the 700 miles to the receiver. Not ideal.

So hypothetically it's possible to get it real close to legal as I said. But no dispatcher should ever try to coerce or shame you into running illegal. It's not your fault they overloaded the dern thing.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Bird-One's Comment
member avatar

I had a shipper who would constantly load me heavy. I got a overweight ticket at one point. You may or may not know how to calculate fuel. A gallon of diesel if I remember right weighs 7 pounds. I was getting roughly 5 miles a gallon to my Detroit 60 series. So if for example I was 50 miles away from a scale. I know I would be burning 10 gallons of fuel so I would be 70 pounds lighter. I’ve gone through a scale with under a quarter tank of fuel but I knew there was a oasis that I could fuel up at immediately after. I’m not saying that’s the right way of doing things. But thats how I did it. In the end I was legal. And had no more scales after that to worry about.

I’ve also heard the scale will give a few hundred pounds of leeway. But I have no idea on how much truth there is too that. You do only what your comfortable with. And document conversations on that Qualcomm.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

I’ve also heard the scale will give a few hundred pounds of leeway. But I have no idea on how much truth there is too that. You do only what your comfortable with. And document conversations on that Qualcomm.

Depends on the State and scale. There is grace on axle weight but not gross in Idaho (Boise & Burley), UT (Echo and NB Willard) WY (Evanston) and NE (N. Platte). My brother or I have had issues at those scales. Now I'm always legal.

Laura

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bird-One's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for clearing that up Laura. Makes sense it would be axle if anything. I also stopped taking chances but hey a 2200 dollar ticket will do that to you.

double-quotes-start.png

I’ve also heard the scale will give a few hundred pounds of leeway. But I have no idea on how much truth there is too that. You do only what your comfortable with. And document conversations on that Qualcomm.

double-quotes-end.png

Depends on the State and scale. There is grace on axle weight but not gross in Idaho (Boise & Burley), UT (Echo and NB Willard) WY (Evanston) and NE (N. Platte). My brother or I have had issues at those scales. Now I'm always legal.

Laura

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

This is a situation only the driver can make the call on. Turtle outlined the best possible solution in this situation already. Once a driver accepts the load and rolls, it becomes your responsibility. Dispatchers come in many shapes and forms. Some good, some not. A call to the safety dept can often cure dispatch problems.

When I pulled a box I had that happen once. Long story short the shipper put an extra pallet on and expected it to fly. It was 2200 lbs over gross and they tried everything to justify it. It came down to they would not remove one and gave me the choice to run it or not get the load. I backed into the door and promptly told them to get their stuff off my trailer. They were shocked. So their attitude made that load very late to the customer because they had to find another truck.

I don’t know what your experience level is, but never feel bad about staying legal. If your company does business this way, maybe it is time to find one that values excellent drivers that run legally.

Wishing you the best.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Not asking for your company name but is this one of the mom and pop “treats you like family” companies? Lol

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Lots of good advice on here and I waited a bit before deciding to respond. As a new driver, you absolutely did the right thing by refusing to go over gross. That being said, you mention having a half tank of fuel and we’re only over by 100#. Me personally, I’ll take it and use the fuel burn to get myself down to legal weight but it also depends on just how close that nearest scale is and whether or not I can get around it if I need to until I’m legal. As Turtle mentioned on moving your axles and 5th wheel to adjust the axle weights, he’s absolutely dead on.

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