Overweight Trucks 2017-05-03T16:34:01+00:00

Length Limits

The laws in Connecticut dealing with the weight of trucks can seem complex. Overweight truck laws deal with more than just the weight. Other factors need consideration because many things on a truck will affect its weight. First, there is a limit on length including the load that the truck is carrying. This has to get included because the length of the truck will affect the weight of it. The length limits are:

  • A single unit vehicle gets limited to 45 feet long.
  • A tractor semitrailer combination has no overall length limit.
  • A semitrailer gets limited to 48 feet long.

Vehicle Restrictions

Some vehicles have restrictions to designated highways:

  • System trucks like tractor multi-trailer combinations, also knows as doubles, have no overall length limit while regular trailers have a limit of 28 feet in length.
  • Tractor semitrailer combinations do not have an overall length limit but semitrailers have a limit of 53 feet long.
  • There is also a maximum distance between the kingpin and the center of the rear-most axle, which is 43 feet long.
  • The width and height also get included in these laws because again, they will affect the weight of a truck.
  • The width limit of any type of truck is 102.37 inches and the height limit is 13 feet and 6 inches.

This is to prevent problems while the truck is driving because if it is too wide or tall, it will affect other drivers on the road and possibly cause accidents.

Weight Limitations

The weight of a truck on Connecticut highways gets limited to 80,000 pounds on five axles with a wheelbase of 51 feet. The weight of trucks goes by the number of axles on it. The axles support the weight of the truck so there must be limits so they do not break while the truck is moving on a Connecticut highway. The axle weights also go by the spacing between them, which determine the amount of weight on them. When axles get spaced less than six feet apart, they have a limit of 18,000 pounds per axle. Axles spaced more than six feet apart get limited to 22,400 pounds per axle. The tires also play a part in this. The load per inch width of a tire has a 600-pound maximum. Single unit trucks have different laws.

A two-axle single unit vehicle has a limit of 32,000 pounds. When the axle weight does not exceed 18,000 pounds it has a limit of 36,000 pounds. When the wheelbase goes 10 feet or more, it gets limited to 40,000 pounds. A two-axle single unit vehicle gets limited to 53,800 pounds. A four-axle single unit vehicle has a limit of 67,400 pounds but when the distance between the first and last axle is 28 feet or more it can be up to 73,000 pounds. A five-axle single unit vehicle gets limited to 73,000 pounds.

Tractor semitrailers also have different laws. A three-axle combination has a limit of 58,400 pounds.A four-axle combination has a limit of 67,400 pounds but when the wheelbase goes 28 feet or more it can be up to 73,000 pounds. A five or more axle combination gets limited to 73,000 pounds. On gross vehicle weights over 73,000 pounds, a maximum of 80,000 gets allowed but only when all the requirements of the federal bridge formulas get met.

Penalties

In Connecticut, when these laws get violated, penalties happen. The first is a fine. The fines gets calculated by the percentage of weight that the truck goes over the legal weight limit. The fine can get applied to gross vehicle weight violations and axle weight violations. These fines can constitute as little as five dollars to over 1,000. If the violation leads to a crime, there exist a few different charges that can get brought on the driver including manslaughter, assault, and reckless endangerment. Typically these charges happen only when the failure to comply with maximum weight restrictions causes an accident that results in death or serious injury.

By hiring a lawyer, these penalties can be reduced. Every time someone gets an overweight trucking citation, there is a risk of points being added to the commercial driving license. When a lawyer is hired, they can go to court to fight the citation and protect the commercial license. The lawyer can also help to keep the record as clean as possible. They can fight what the driver has been accused of and keep things off of the records as best as they can.

Overloaded Trucks

Overloaded trucks operating in the state of Connecticut are illegal and subject to consequences. Below is a comprehensive chart for fines related to certain trucks carrying additional weight:

Percent Overweight Dollar Fine per Hundred Pounds MinimumFine
<5% $3
5-10% 5 $50
10-15% 6 100
15-20% 7 200
20-25% 10 300
25-30% 12 500
>30% 15 1,000

 

Weight Limits

Unsure of the amount of weight your truck can legally carry? Check out these charts:

Table 1. Maximum Allowable Commercial Vehicle Gross Weights in Connecticut
Two-axle Vehicle
· 32,000 pounds (no axle weight restrictions)

· 36,000 pounds with axle weights limited to 18,000 pounds maximum

· Option to use the federal bridge formula for up to 40,000 pounds

· 40,000 pounds if a four-wheel construction vehicle operating within 25 miles of the construction site

Three-axle Vehicle (Straight Truck-Not a Tractor-Trailer Combination

 

Table 1. Maximum Allowable Commercial Vehicle Gross Weights in Connecticut
· 53,800 pounds

· Option to use the federal bridge formula for up to 60,000 pounds

Three-axle Combination of Vehicle and Trailer or Semitrailer
· 58,400 pounds

· Option to use the federal bridge formula for up to 60,000 pounds

Four-axle Vehicle Engaged in Construction Work or Transporting Material or Equipment to a Construction Site
· 73,000 pounds
Four-or-more-axle Straight Vehicle or Vehicle-Trailer Combination
· 67,400 pounds if the wheelbase is less than 28 feet

· 73,000 pounds if the wheelbase is 28 feet or more

Five-or-more-axle Straight Vehicle or Vehicle-Trailer Combination
· 73,000 pounds

· Option to use the federal bridge formula for up to 80,000 pounds

Note: The charts in this section have been taken from: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/rpt/2007-R-0214.htm

If an accident occurs in an overweight truck, the driver may be subject to additional punishments, including:

  • Assault
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Manslaughter

Additional charges will depend on the individual circumstances.