Consequences of an Overweight Truck

Overweight Truck

U.S. government regulations exist to limit the weight of semi-trucks. State governments enforce these rules, and the Federal Highway Administration makes sure they do so. Failing to comply can, therefore, result in serious consequences for your trucking company at both the state and federal levels.

Maximum Weights

Because they are responsible for maintaining interstate highways where trucks travel, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, South Dakota, and New York have regulations that exceed the federal maximum weight limits. Maximum weights for the rest of the U.S. are as follows:

  • Gross: 80,000 lbs.
  • Single axle: 20,000 lbs.
  • Tandem axle: 34,000 lbs.


Drivers of overweight semi-trucks may be subject to the following repercussions:

  • Two or more months in jail.
  • Loss of commercial driver’s license.
  • Increased risk of serious accidents.
  • Late arrivals due to being detained by state or federal authorities.

Furthermore, trucking companies risk the following consequences:

  • Up to tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
  • Insurance claims.
  • Loss of business.

Weight limits were established for safety reasons, and also to minimize wear and tear on the interstate highway system. Whatever your personal opinion may be regarding the regulations, the simplest thing to do is to insist that your drivers abide by them. This course of action will minimize risks to you, your clients, and your drivers.

Insurance Risk Advisors