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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Actual federal weight law rules, some questions and answers

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Lobocop

Silver Springs, Nevada

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Posted: 11/12/07 12:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jmramiller wrote:

Lobocop wrote:

jmramiller wrote:

Dale_S wrote:

Wasn't this debated in another thread and debated numerous times in the past?


It has been debated before but I have yet to see anyone with any enforcement experience comment on the subject. I have also never seen a citation posted related to door sticker ratings.It has several times highjacked other threads. This is why I have created a thread dedicated to the subject.

In short, I would like to finally put this one to bed by hearing from those who enforce the regs.


jmramiller ... I will try to respond to this in such a fashion as to not tinkle in anyones cornflakes.

Having 25 years in the field of Law Enforcement, and retiring as an Undersheriff, I will tell you that this question should be asked of Commercial Enforcement personnel, not street cops.

Short of something that is so blatantly in violation (VW towing a 30' toyhauler or a bumper dragging the ground) the average street cop wouldn't know there is a violation, and honestly, probably wouldn't care. They are not equipped to weigh vehicles and if they look at a door sticker it is typically for a VIN. In some states, such as Nevada, a few extra dollars into the DMV coffers will get your trucks registration changed for a higher weight limit anyway.

Typically, if a street cop, not assigned to commercial enforcement, issues a citation for being over weight to someone towing a travel trailer with a 3/4 or 1 ton truck ... it is because the driver opened his blow hole when he should have kept it shut. If someone did receive a cite for the violation there should be a statute or code violation listed on the cite specifying what the violation was.

Just my .02 worth.


Lobocop,

What about State Troopers? They are the one's who are supposedly manning these "weight traps". Would they issue these type of citations and enforce these type of regs. If so, know any that could give us some incite


In Nevada the State Troopers don't carry portable scales with them. If there is a question they contact Commercial Enforcement.


Mine 1999 Dodge 2500 Cummins
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pupeperson

Silver Springs, NV

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Posted: 11/12/07 12:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

blt2ski wrote: "The one exception that I wish they would look at, are Type A MH's, these the owners go by GRAWR< which can be as high as 25-30K lbs. There limit should be, if it is not already, 20K lbs, same as commercial!"

If you check closely Marty, I dont think there is a variance on the motorhome's from what the trucks can scale, axlewise. The M/H's that run heavy on the drive axles normally have a tag axle on them. They go up to 20k on the driven rear axle and an additonal 14,000 on the tag assuming they have the tires for it. That gives them 34,000 + 12,000 on the steers for a full 46,000 lbs over the 3 axles --- just like a 3 axle tractor or heavy duty truck. I don't think they'll let a motorhome run heavier than that.

_Adam_

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Posted: 11/12/07 01:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jmramiller wrote:


Good questions. My understanding is that AAM rates my rear axle at 10,800#s. GM then rates the axle down to 6084#s which is the tire rating total for the two stock tires on the rear axle.

So what you are suggesting is that where the code refers to the manufacturers rating that could mean AAM's rating as they manufactured the axle?


What I am suggesting is that the door jamb sticker doesn't reflect what the axle, or truck for that matter, is actually capable of. The info sticker on your door jamb does not reflect total capacity, just the capacity as configured when the truck left the factory. In the Dodge Ram for instance, the difference between a 2500 and a 3500 (SRW) is an overload leaf spring which gives it an extra 800lb RAWR and subsequently a higher GVW.

Anyway, that's my $0.02.

- Adam


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Needs Sleep

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Posted: 11/12/07 04:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

blt2ski wrote:

.....wts and measures DOT WSP LEO officers inforce in Wa st. Those are the laws I have to follow as a commercial driver in my state, other states.......I will not comment, as I do not drive across state lines for work. THese laws also effect ALL vehicles on the road, be them commercial or RV. BUT< most DOT officers realize....

Marty


What the heck is a 'DOT WSP LEO'?

You do know that in Washington, DOT (Department of Transportation) maintains roadways, right?

Wadcutter

IL

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Posted: 11/12/07 08:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jmramiller wrote:

It has been debated before but I have yet to see anyone with any enforcement experience comment on the subject.

Then you haven't done a search on the topic. I have responded on this topic several times. I've responded so many times that I've about given up responding to anything involving weights. The topic is brought up every second Tuesday and everytime someone responds who has no knowledge of the laws but just repeats the same old campfire stories which are flat out wrong.
I am a retired state police commander. I commanded a district which had the highest fine producing fixed scales in the state. In additiona I was one of 2 of the first Troops in the state to be certified as motor carrier safety inspectors. By IL statute only the ISP has the authority to conduct MCS inspections. I taught truck weight and MCS law at our academy. Over the years I weighed a lot of trucks. I also weighed a lot of RVs of various styles, not because of the law but because the RVers asked to be weighed to have their loading checked. Never ever saw any of them even come close to approaching max legal weights.
Simple answer to your question. The sticker on your truck is placed there by the manufacturer. It's like the tag on your mattress. It's required by law to tell the consumer what is in that product. After sales that sticker doesn't have to remain on the vehicle and there are a lot of vehicles legally on the road today which no longer has the sticker because of body repair, etc. The manufacturers do not make the laws. Think about this too. Do you think every Troop or weigh master out there has memorized what all the manufacturers stickers say on every style of truck made? Then toss into the mix 4X4 v 4X2, same model trucks but with different engines, same model trucks but with different axle ratings, or same model trucks but just different years. We don't care what the sticker says or even if there is a sticker. What the manufacturers put on that sticker is not law, it's just a to let the consumer know what that particular vehicle's design specs are.
The max weight laws are generally 20K on a single axle, 34K on a tandum axle and gross is 80K. These are federally mandated limits. I say "generally" because gross depends on the bridge length of your vehicle (distance between the front and rear axle) and the number of axles. The 34K can also vary depending the distance between the tandum axles. It could be more. Weight limits may also be posted less than the max on certain roads.
As an RVer you don't have to worry about exceeding the 20K single axle, 34K tandum axle, and 80K gross. There's no way you are going to be anywhere close to any of those numbers. Think about it. On your 5er you put 16" E range tires on a 5K or 6K rated axle. Your suspension and tires wouldn't handle 20K or 34K loads. And no way are you getting anywhere close to 20K on the steer or drive axle on your pickup. Your Big Country doesn't even come close to approaching 34K on the tandums. Your entire rig is likely to be about 20K total. You could not load your 5er and 2500 with enough toys to get close to exceeding the weight limits.

adamrmathis wrote:

What would a LEO know about the law? LEO's only enforce it and they are subect to the same errors the rest of us are. Our lawyers and judges can't even decide on what is right or wrong, and now you want an opinion from a LEO? I'm no trying to bash any LEO's, just tring to point out that being a LEO doesn't make one correct.

Just so you'll know, as a LEO I sat on quite a few trials involving overweights where my only role was to advise the prosecuting attorney on the law and provide expert testimony on weight law. I have also been contacted numerous times by judges for clarification on weight laws.
So what do LEOs know about the law? FYI, many of us not only have been tasked with writing statutes but we also review and comment on many of the statutes prior to passage. Many of us have been declared as subject matter experts by the courts and legislatures. Before a person can enforce the law they have to know not only what it says but also what it means. So what do LEOs know about the law? We work with it every day of our lives. What does an electrician know about electricity? What does a welder know about metals? What does a doctor know about medicine? It's all the same kind of thing. You have to know about your profession if you expect to be able to do it.
So what's the average person know about the law? Truthfully and sadly absolutely nothing. Their entire knowledge of the law is from watching TV and the movies. From that vast "experience" many consider themselves experts.

* This post was edited 11/12/07 08:17am by Wadcutter *


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rshidler

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Posted: 11/12/07 08:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have read so many of Wadcutter's posts that I almost feel like I could pretend to be him and nobody would know the difference.

The thing I always take away is that his information appears to be factual and unbiased. His experience speaks volumes and his credentials are above reproach.

Every member of the rv.net "weight police" should be required to memorize his posts before they are allowed to respond to any more questions.

Thanks (yet again) Wadcutter for some valuable information.


Bob & Jamie
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- Don't sweat petty things ... and don't pet sweaty things!
- I can't be troubled with your business ... I'm far too busy tending to my own!
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Learjet

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Posted: 11/12/07 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Wadcutter!!!!


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Smithroyal

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Posted: 11/12/07 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

adamrmathis wrote:

"What would a LEO know about the Law?"

Gee, I don't know, what would a carpenter know about carpentry? What would a plumber know about pluming?
Wonder what you did for a living adamrmathis? Maybe I could tell you a thing or two about what you know.

Hannibal

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Posted: 11/12/07 09:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Me thinks this should become a sticky tomorrow morning, the second Tuesday. The question is valid and the answer is on the first page. As in all aspects of life, the facts are clouded in myth, hearsay and opinion but, the facts are still facts.


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rsh_757

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Posted: 11/12/07 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hannibal wrote:

Me thinks this should become a sticky tomorrow morning, the second Tuesday. The question is valid and the answer is on the first page. As in all aspects of life, the facts are clouded in myth, hearsay and opinion but, the facts are still facts.


I completely agree. This horse has been beaten far too many times not to. Wadcutter provided VERY clear info that will be appreciated for years to come.


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