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Truck Driver Laws

Truck Weight Limits: What Are They?

Regulations for truck weight limits and how ignoring them can cause serious crashes

Without a permit, the gross truck weight limits for tractor-trailer combinations cannot exceed 80,000 pounds.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations govern the weight of commercial trucks. They address the gross commercial weight, combination weight, axle weight and tire load.

Truck accidents due to excessive cargo weight are usually, by their very nature, more serious injury or fatality cases.

Cargo weight must be balanced properly so that one axle or a set of axles are not overloaded. Generally, a five-axle combination vehicle can carry a gross weight of 12,000 pounds on the steering axle, with the drive axles maintaining 34,000 pounds and the trailer axles carrying 34,000 pounds in gross weight.

The problem with exceeding the truck weight limits is that it can affect the steering and braking, leading to catastrophic truck accidents. An overloaded truck also takes longer to stop. Plus, the truck will go slower on upgrades and faster on downgrades. When brakes are forced to work too hard, they can fail.

Why truck accident lawyers must be familiar with truck weight limits

Because cargo weight truck accident cases often cause greater injuries due to shear physics, they are often the subject of litigation. These cases can be very difficult for lawyers to prove. That’s why truck accident attorneys in Michigan must take aggressive steps during legal discovery to secure proof that the weight limits were violated either by the truck being overweight or that the load was distributed in a negligent manner.

Attorneys handling truck accidents where weight regulations are an issue should consider contacting the Michigan Department of Transportation, to see what certificates were filed with the state prior to the crash.

Get your truck accident questions answered today

To speak with one of our experienced lawyers, call Michigan Auto Law at (800) 777-0028, or fill out our contact form for an auto accident lawyer free consultation. The call and the advice are free.
For more information on how Michigan Auto Law can help you, take a look at the testimonials from other truck accident victims. You can also read about our 100 percent client satisfaction guarantee and view our settlement amounts from truck accident cases we have settled.

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