Overweight Load Question

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Gary E.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey guys, I am in my 3rd week of TNT with Prime and I have a concern. I hate to complain about things but this issue seems to be a little much in my opinion through the eyes of a Rookie so I thought I would seek the experience on the board. My trainer does a number of things I look at through doubtful eyes but they harm no-one and cost nothing (so far) . However 2 days ago (for the second time) he picked up an overweight load whilst I was in the sleeper, (we drive team 12hr shifts from day 1). He could do nothing about the weight with tandem shifts etc and ran with it. Well the first time he did this I put it down to bad judgement on his part but he seemed to think that we would be ok in Virginia with it, (I was driving, not him). Now this time, same scenario, picked up whilst I was in sleeper and ran with it. This load is too heavy for California in the 6th hole by 800lb but yesterday I worked out we had 2 weigh stations to pass into Sacremento from Reno and by coincidence it turned out that I was driving again. I feel like a nervous nelly as I approach these weigh stations and he disappears into the sleeper as we approach them.

What are the consequences of this load?

Am I being taken advantage of in these situations?

Do the experienced drivers run overweight this often?

Thanks in advance for any responses.

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".

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey guys, I am in my 3rd week of TNT with Prime and I have a concern. I hate to complain about things but this issue seems to be a little much in my opinion through the eyes of a Rookie so I thought I would seek the experience on the board. My trainer does a number of things I look at through doubtful eyes but they harm no-one and cost nothing (so far) . However 2 days ago (for the second time) he picked up an overweight load whilst I was in the sleeper, (we drive team 12hr shifts from day 1). He could do nothing about the weight with tandem shifts etc and ran with it. Well the first time he did this I put it down to bad judgement on his part but he seemed to think that we would be ok in Virginia with it, (I was driving, not him). Now this time, same scenario, picked up whilst I was in sleeper and ran with it. This load is too heavy for California in the 6th hole by 800lb but yesterday I worked out we had 2 weigh stations to pass into Sacremento from Reno and by coincidence it turned out that I was driving again. I feel like a nervous nelly as I approach these weigh stations and he disappears into the sleeper as we approach them.

What are the consequences of this load?

Am I being taken advantage of in these situations?

Do the experienced drivers run overweight this often?

Thanks in advance for any responses.

My trainer with Roehl would not run with an overweight load. We had a load of scrap paper we were taking to Augusta, GA which we weren't sure about the accuracy of the weight given by the shipper. We went to a CAT scale and while we were OK on gross weight, our tandems were not balanced correctly. It was a good thing we balanced them because we found more open weigh stations than you can imagine. We have prepass in our trucks, but we got pulled in on that one. We even got pulled in on an empty trailer once, so go figure! I don't know what the solution is for you since you are with Prime, but IMHO he is putting you at risk of a hefty fine. Hopefully Daniel or one of the other Prime drivers can help you figure out how to rectify this.

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.

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".

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Alright, here's whats going on. I can put money that your trainer is a lease operator.

He's thinking about his revenue and that's it. He doesn't care about your record or anything else besides money. When he gets loaded and goes to a CAT Scale and finds out he's overweight. Going back for him means losing money because of fuel and time.

So what does he do? He puts you as the driver. That way if you're caught the Overweight Citation won't be on his record - it will be on yours. He doesn't care, and if he did then he would go back instead of risking getting a mark on your record. The fact is that you're the driver, and because of this the citation will be under your name.

What are the consequences of this load?

For him, its nothing but a profit. He doesn't have to go back, and should anything happen or he get caught - you're there to absorb the damage. The consequences are that you'll have a citation on your record before you even go solo. An Overweight Ticket isn't a huge deal, it happens, but the fines are nothing to laugh about - especially in CA.

Am I being taken advantage of in these situations?

That's exactly what he is doing. He is taking advantage of a student who doesn't know any better.

Do the experienced drivers run overweight this often?

I've done a few that I don't care to talk about. But I would never in my life do what this trainer is doing.

What you need to do is resolve this without getting anyone else involved. Have a heart to heart with him and talk to him about it. Be straight forward and let him know how you feel. Ask him why he is doing this. Tell him you're afraid for your license. Lastly, tell him you will not run illegal.

Listen, I'm an Instructor/Trainer at Prime. I know all the nasty details. The truth is, there isn't enough PSD Instructors and way too many TNT Trainers. Going into PSD, you're lucky if you don't have to wait for a trainer. However, as a TNT student, there's not enough of you and too much trainers. I heard that the wait for a student for the TNT Trainers can be months! You're his bread and butter, you're his paycheck, and unfortunately, you're also his punching bag. Trust me, there's a million TNT Trainers right now that would love to have you and have been waiting for a long time for a student. You need to tell him straight up that you won't run illegal and risk damaging your license, if he cannot accept that then you'll find a trainer who won't do that.

But this guy is a complete dirt bag for doing this and you absolutely cannot continue. You may not have gotten caught yet, but you sure will. And it will hurt.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

Ive ran over on an axle every now and again but over gross no freaking way! Although weights and measurements dont count on your CSA they can and will likely inspect you because of it and that will go on your CSA. Its your license. You need to protect it. I would never force my students to do anything that would make them uncomfortable. Put your foot down. And if its an issue then call safety.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Jimbo's Comment
member avatar

Alright, here's whats going on. I can put money that your trainer is a lease operator.

He's thinking about his revenue and that's it. He doesn't care about your record or anything else besides money. When he gets loaded and goes to a CAT Scale and finds out he's overweight. Going back for him means losing money because of fuel and time.

So what does he do? He puts you as the driver. That way if you're caught the Overweight Citation won't be on his record - it will be on yours. He doesn't care, and if he did then he would go back instead of risking getting a mark on your record. The fact is that you're the driver, and because of this the citation will be under your name.

What are the consequences of this load?

For him, its nothing but a profit. He doesn't have to go back, and should anything happen or he get caught - you're there to absorb the damage. The consequences are that you'll have a citation on your record before you even go solo. An Overweight Ticket isn't a huge deal, it happens, but the fines are nothing to laugh about - especially in CA.

Am I being taken advantage of in these situations?

That's exactly what he is doing. He is taking advantage of a student who doesn't know any better.

Do the experienced drivers run overweight this often?

I've done a few that I don't care to talk about. But I would never in my life do what this trainer is doing.

What you need to do is resolve this without getting anyone else involved. Have a heart to heart with him and talk to him about it. Be straight forward and let him know how you feel. Ask him why he is doing this. Tell him you're afraid for your license. Lastly, tell him you will not run illegal.

Listen, I'm an Instructor/Trainer at Prime. I know all the nasty details. The truth is, there isn't enough PSD Instructors and way too many TNT Trainers. Going into PSD, you're lucky if you don't have to wait for a trainer. However, as a TNT student, there's not enough of you and too much trainers. I heard that the wait for a student for the TNT Trainers can be months! You're his bread and butter, you're his paycheck, and unfortunately, you're also his punching bag. Trust me, there's a million TNT Trainers right now that would love to have you and have been waiting for a long time for a student. You need to tell him straight up that you won't run illegal and risk damaging your license, if he cannot accept that then you'll find a trainer who won't do that.

But this guy is a complete dirt bag for doing this and you absolutely cannot continue. You may not have gotten caught yet, but you sure will. And it will hurt.

Daniel....stupid question coming your way. Why should he not get anyone else involved? I'm curious. If it were my license I'd be inclined to want to let someone at a higher level know what was going on to cover my a**.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Alright, here's whats going on. I can put money that your trainer is a lease operator.

He's thinking about his revenue and that's it. He doesn't care about your record or anything else besides money. When he gets loaded and goes to a CAT Scale and finds out he's overweight. Going back for him means losing money because of fuel and time.

So what does he do? He puts you as the driver. That way if you're caught the Overweight Citation won't be on his record - it will be on yours. He doesn't care, and if he did then he would go back instead of risking getting a mark on your record. The fact is that you're the driver, and because of this the citation will be under your name.

What are the consequences of this load?

For him, its nothing but a profit. He doesn't have to go back, and should anything happen or he get caught - you're there to absorb the damage. The consequences are that you'll have a citation on your record before you even go solo. An Overweight Ticket isn't a huge deal, it happens, but the fines are nothing to laugh about - especially in CA.

Am I being taken advantage of in these situations?

That's exactly what he is doing. He is taking advantage of a student who doesn't know any better.

Do the experienced drivers run overweight this often?

I've done a few that I don't care to talk about. But I would never in my life do what this trainer is doing.

What you need to do is resolve this without getting anyone else involved. Have a heart to heart with him and talk to him about it. Be straight forward and let him know how you feel. Ask him why he is doing this. Tell him you're afraid for your license. Lastly, tell him you will not run illegal.

Listen, I'm an Instructor/Trainer at Prime. I know all the nasty details. The truth is, there isn't enough PSD Instructors and way too many TNT Trainers. Going into PSD, you're lucky if you don't have to wait for a trainer. However, as a TNT student, there's not enough of you and too much trainers. I heard that the wait for a student for the TNT Trainers can be months! You're his bread and butter, you're his paycheck, and unfortunately, you're also his punching bag. Trust me, there's a million TNT Trainers right now that would love to have you and have been waiting for a long time for a student. You need to tell him straight up that you won't run illegal and risk damaging your license, if he cannot accept that then you'll find a trainer who won't do that.

But this guy is a complete dirt bag for doing this and you absolutely cannot continue. You may not have gotten caught yet, but you sure will. And it will hurt.

double-quotes-end.png

Daniel....stupid question coming your way. Why should he not get anyone else involved? I'm curious. If it were my license I'd be inclined to want to let someone at a higher level know what was going on to cover my a**.

Not at first because this is something that should easily be fixed between them two. No need to get a dozen other people involved.

If however his trainer resists then he needs to get others involved.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Gary E.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for all the responses guys n gals. We had a long wait in San Franciso downtown earlier and it gave me a chance to have the conversation as to my concerns over the issue. He has agreed to be more vigilant on weights and run inside the law even if it means returning to the shipper for adjustments. Thanks to all once again.

Gary E.

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

See told you this can be resolved without getting anyone else involved! Glad it worked out.

smile.gif

Chiefmac's Comment
member avatar

If the shipper puts you over and you have to run back to them from the scale, who pays for it?

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Daniel's conclusion and advice and it looks like it may work.

That trainer is definitely taking advantage of you and putting you in a position to take the fall for an overweight ticket. Sad and shameful, no question about it. It's unbelievable the lack of integrity some people have. I don't care about running with an axle overweight or being over gross or whatever. It happens and sometimes you'll do it. But you do not ever make a conscious decision to knowingly break the law but put someone else behind the wheel to take the fall for you.

I'd love to be in the offices of that company with the safety director when that trainer returns so we can grill him on his unethical and shameful practices. I'd love to see the look on his face and listen to the cr*p that's gonna come out of his mouth when experienced drivers that know exactly what he's doing confront him on it. That's disgusting to me. If you want to take a risk then take one yourself. You don't ever F with someone's license, career, and pocketbook like that.

To me it's 1000 times worse in this scenario because you're supposed to be their mentor. You're supposed to be watching out for them. They trust you. They rely on your skills and decision-making and you go and throw them to the wolves?

Shame on him.

I'm not kidding one bit when I say if I was in charge of things that would have been his last student at my company. Time for him to move on....

If the shipper puts you over and you have to run back to them from the scale, who pays for it?

It's rare that you have to go very far when that happens. It's more of an annoyance than anything. In the few times I've had to do that over the years I don't believe I ever inquired about being paid for it. You might be able to squeeze a few bucks out of dispatch for the miles you'd have to cover but you're probably talking like $10-$20.....it's not enough to worry about. You just hustle back, get it fixed, and get rollin.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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