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Nashville Overweight Truck Accident Lawyer

An overweight truck is a truck that exceeds the capacity that it can legally carry. Using the general 80,000-pound limit as an example, if the truck weighs 80,001 pounds, it is considered overweight and subject to fines. If you have been in an accident involving an overweight truck, it is important to speak with a capable Nashville overweight truck accident lawyer that could help you recover damages for your injuries. Speak with an experienced truck accident attorney today and know that you are in good hands.

Federally-Regulated Maximum Weight for Trucks

As a Nashville overweight truck accident lawyer might explain, the federal government regulates the weights of trucks based upon the type of truck and how many axles it has. The most common gross weight limit is a maximum of 80,000 pounds. However, the maximum weight is also dependent on the number of axles.  For example, a single-axle truck is 20,000 pounds, while a 2-axle truck can carry gross weight up to 34,000 pounds.

Commonness of Overweight Trucks

It is common for trucks to operate above the acceptably-safe weight. According to a statistic from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), there have been over 800,000 violations issued at weigh stations. Of those, about 10 percent of those – 8,000 – were given to truckers that were overweight.

It is like speeding tickets, where not everybody gets caught speeding. So how many actual drivers operate overweight? How many start overweight, deliver a partial load before they have to weigh? No one knows the answer but there is obviously more than 8,000 violations out there.

The Danger of Overweight Trucks

A truck is not a high-performance machine to start with. It does not start, stop, or turn very easily even when it is not fully loaded. When you add an overweight load or improperly-loaded cargo to a semi-truck, that truck's already-limited performance is going to take a big hit.  This is when brake failure cases, roll-over cases, and other tragedies occur.

Overweight loads are more difficult to secure so that means they might shift during transportation, which can cause the truck to go off the road, into another lane, or even overturn. As a Nashville overweight truck accident lawyer might explain, tire blowouts are common because of overweight loads. These performance issues create a danger.

Reasons a Truck Might Exceed the Maximum Weight

Generally, if a rookie driver or loader forgets to consider non-cargo related weight, for example, they do not consider fuel, that will push them over the maximum weight. It is important to take into account other weights in addition to just what the truck is carrying. For instance, if someone weighs their truck before they fill up with fuel, then they are likely going to violate the federally-regulated weight limit.

Fuel is heavy, so it is important for truckers to take into account additional things that their vehicle will take on light fuel other than simply the cargo that they are carrying. They will also have the equipment to strap down loads. That gets heavy. It is truly a game of ounces and pounds.

Permits for Heavy Loads

In some instances, trucks are allowed to travel despite weighing more than the accepted maximum weight. There are trucks that carry special overweight loads. These truck drivers can apply for and get certain types of permits and exemptions to move.

Sometimes heavy items need to be moved across the county. Sometimes, things are heavier than that 80,000 pounds. Military equipment, you may have seen rolling down highway or giant industrial equipment. So, to do that legally, they have to apply and get a permit from the Department of Transportation.

How to Make Sure That a Truck is at an Acceptable Weight

A truck driver or company can ensure that the vehicle is at an acceptable weight by stopping at weigh stations or other scales. These can often be found at truck stops located near the interstate.

A driver, however, does not want to find out if they are within those legal limits for the first time when they stop at that weigh station. Therefore, they will check when they load and when they leave their terminals. All trucking companies and distribution centers will have scales that the trucks can use to weigh their equipment. Truckers use them to make sure they are within those weight limits because if they are not, they can suffer some pretty hefty fines. The more one adds to their truck in addition to their cargo, the more likely they are to violate these regulations.

The Importance of a Nashville Overweight Truck Accident Attorney

Overweight trucks are not just illegal, they are also dangerous. Colliding with an overweight tractor-trailer could do serious harm to the truck driver and any individuals they may collide with. If you have been injured in a crash with an 18-wheeler, it is important to contact a Nashville overweight truck accident lawyer. A qualified truck accident attorney could work towards a positive outcome for you.

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