Michigan Truck Weight Limits Overview
Overview of regulations for truck and cargo weight limits set by FMCSA and how ignoring them can cause serious crashes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates and governs the laws regarding Michigan truck weight limits for commercial trucks. They address the gross commercial weight, combination weight, axle weight and tire load.
Without a permit, the gross Michigan truck weight limits for tractor-trailer combinations cannot exceed 80,000 lbs. A five-axle combination vehicle can carry a gross weight of 12,000 lbs on the steering axle, with the drive axles maintaining 34,000 lbs and the trailer axles carrying 34,000 lbs in gross weight.
Cargo weight must be balanced properly so that one axle or a set of axles are not overloaded. Truck accidents due to excessive cargo weight are usually, by their very nature, more serious injury or fatality cases.
The problem with exceeding the 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 Michigan truck 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.
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