Trucks & Cargo Weight
Regulations for truck weight limits and how ignoring them can cause serious crashes
Without a permit, the gross weight of a tractor-trailer combination 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 overloading a truck 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.
Here’s information on truck loading regulations.
Why truck lawyers must be familiar with truck weight regulations
Because cargo weight truck accident cases often cause greater injuries due to sheer 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 truck was 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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