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Old 08-07-2006, 10:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

"The truck was a GMC 7500 and he had a 12,000lb trailer on it. The truck had a load of crushed limestone (used for base) and a couple of pallets of pavers on the trailer.

Sorry if I mislead you, I thought you were asking about any overweight vehicle.
This was in Connecticut about 4 weeks ago.
I still think that was a rather heafty fine!! "

So.. This had NOTHING to do with any manufacturers GVWR but the registered weight of a commercial vehicle.
& yes.. If I had to pay hat fine, I would think it was rather high.

Actually 06PSD4ME.. 4200#'s over isn't even noticeable on that rig. It would have been legal if he would have spent a few more dollars when he registered it.
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

[quote
Only 4200lbs over his GCVWR....

And he does not see a problem with this...?

[/ QUOTE ]

What the truck manufacturer rates a vehicle or combination at really doesn't interest the state DOT dept. It's what it's licensed for and after a certain point what each individual axle or group of axles weigh at the ground.
The old WHITE semi tractor I drove was only rated 46,000# gross, and the trailer an additional 40,000# but I was licensed for 80,000# which allowed Me to scale 12,000# on the steering axle and 34,000# on both tandems. The fact I could have had a 20,000# rated front axle or a 8000# rated front axle didn't impress or bother ANYONE....and on the tandems they do make 40,000# rated axles... But the DOT, State Patrol..... they'll just look at Your registration and act accordingly...They REALLY don't care what You do to Your vehicle as much as what Your doing to THEIR Road.
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Old 08-07-2006, 04:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

[ QUOTE ]
[quote
Only 4200lbs over his GCVWR....

And he does not see a problem with this...?

[/ QUOTE ]

What the truck manufacturer rates a vehicle or combination at really doesn't interest the state DOT dept. It's what it's licensed for and after a certain point what each individual axle or group of axles weigh at the ground.
The old WHITE semi tractor I drove was only rated 46,000# gross, and the trailer an additional 40,000# but I was licensed for 80,000# which allowed Me to scale 12,000# on the steering axle and 34,000# on both tandems. The fact I could have had a 20,000# rated front axle or a 8000# rated front axle didn't impress or bother ANYONE....and on the tandems they do make 40,000# rated axles... But the DOT, State Patrol..... they'll just look at Your registration and act accordingly...They REALLY don't care what You do to Your vehicle as much as what Your doing to THEIR Road.

[/ QUOTE ]

I understand what you are saying but obviously he broke the law or he would not of gotten a ticket. correct?
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

"I understand what you are saying but obviously he broke the law or he would not of gotten a ticket. correct? "

Yes he broke the law but it had nothing to do with the manufacturers GCWR for the truck which is what Mark was asking about.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:33 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

Mark H.,
GVWR on a 2000 SRW F350 is 9900

My fully optioned Excursion full of fuel, weighs about 8,000 pounds on the scale with no cargo and nobody in it.

Leader,
I believe the regulation you are referring to is simply an overweight/oversize permit. There are probably OTHER regulations about weight on a license, although in Wisconsin, IF you are registered as an automobile, which mine legally is, you definitely do not have to go into the scales when bobtail.
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:01 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

Leader is correct. #4200 is not noticable on a truck that size. I left a rock quarry once in a F650 (cat engine) and was just over #31,000 when I pulled out. The trucks GVWR was only #26,000. I could only tell a minor difference in the extra weight at 1 very steep incline, and a quick stop or two. Other than that I felt totally comfortable in the truck.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:11 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

I'm going to copy & paste a responce to a similar discussion in another forum. The person who wrote it is a CA. police officer. Shows how wrong I can be in at least CA.

Ok you were warned.

Here it goes. This is an area that I would not list on my "things I know the most about" list. It is a very short list and my wife may even say it is an empty list but that is another thread I think.

Weight defined by the CVC. Every vehicle has at minimum the GVWR specified by the manufacturer.

From the California Vehicle Code:
350. (a) "Gross vehicle weight rating" (GVWR) means the weight
specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single
vehicle.
(b) Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) means the weight
specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination
or articulated vehicle. In the absence of a weight specified by the
manufacturer, GCWR shall be determined by adding the GVWR of the
power unit and the total unladen weight of the towed units and any
load thereon.

This is how the CVC specifies enforcement is taken related to weights of vehicles:

2802. (a) Any traffic officer having reason to believe that a
vehicle is not safely loaded or that the height, width, length, or
weight of a vehicle and load is unlawful may require the driver to
stop and submit to an inspection, measurement, or weighing of the
vehicle. The weighing may be done either by means of portable or
stationary scales and the officer may require that the vehicle be
driven to the nearest scale facility, in the event the scales are
within five road miles.
(b) Selected inspection facilities and platform scales operated by
the Department of the California Highway Patrol may, at the
discretion of the commissioner, be open for extended hours, up to and
including 24 hours every day. The primary purpose of the extended
hours is to assist in the detection of overweight vehicles. These
inspection facilities and platform scales shall be located near
primary border route points of entry into the state and key routes
within the state.
2803. (a) If the traffic officer determines that the vehicle is not
safely loaded or that the height, width, length, or weight is
unlawful, he may require the driver to stop in a suitable place and
reload or remove such portion of the load as may be necessary to
render the load safe or to reduce it to the limits permitted under
this code. A suitable place is an area which allows the least
obstruction to the highway and which requires the least travel on the
highway by the vehicle. Determination of the suitability of an area
shall be made by the traffic officer who requires the adjustment.
All material so unloaded shall be cared for by the owner or operator
of the vehicle at the risk of the owner or operator.
(b) If a certified weight certificate or bill of lading
accompanies a vehicle which has been determined to be overweight due
to the load on the vehicle, the driver shall submit the certified
weight certificate or bill of lading, whichever is appropriate, to
the traffic officer when the overweight load is removed in the
presence of the officer. The officer may note on the certified
weight certificate or bill of lading submitted by the driver the fact
that a portion of the load has been removed to bring the vehicle and
load within the allowable weight limit specified in this code, and
the officer shall return the certificate or bill of lading to the
driver.
(c) If the height, width, or length of the vehicle is unlawful,
irrespective of any load thereon, or if an unladen vehicle is
overweight, the traffic officer may prohibit further movement of the
vehicle until a permit is obtained as provided in Section 35780.

Now that the law is out of the way lets talk real world intrepretation of it as California is a "Spirit of the Law" state and not a "Letter of the Law" state. My eyes are neither good enough or calibrated to measure the weight of a load from a distance. More often then not when people are pulled over for being over load it is because the load they are carrying appears in some way to be unsafe. SAFE or UNSAFE are really the standards we are looking at here. And initally those are judgement calls by the officer making the stop. Once a vehicle is stopped, for whatever reason, an officer has a legal right to do a complete vehicle inspection including checking tread depth, looking under the hood checking under the vehicle etc...and yes even forcing the vehicle to either submit to a mobile weigh station (CHP commercial enforcement units have the mobile scales) or making the vehicle drive to the nearest weigh station for weighing.
If the officer believes the load to be unsafe and he believes that the "weight" of the load is at least part of what is making the load unsafe then the standard he will use for that will be the manufacture's stated GVWR. Lets try and remember though that most of the "Weight" stuff is generally for the purpose of commercial enforcement not "passenger enforcement"
I think we can all spot a vehicle that is unsafely loaded. Ever seen someone moving his 3 bedroom house in the back of his f150 holding it all together with a piece of twine and a bread bag twisty? The point I am getting at is that a vehicle can be unsafely loaded without being overweight but in my opinion a vehicle can not be over it's GVWR and be safely loaded.

Lets use the original poster for the examples.

Scenario #1
None2 is tooling along down the PCH in his 2003 F250 with a 3000lbs truck camper on his back. It is a beautiful day. The sun is out, Skynard is on the radio, the wind is flowing through his hair, the women on the beach are in appropriate attire and all is jim dandy. Out of the blue "The Fuzz" (AKA CaFordDude) is on his tail. None2 is obeying the speed limit, truck does not appear to be sagging or otherwise posing a saftey hazard. All his lights and signal appear to be working, his plates come back valid and all appears fine. I sit back for a few minutes admiring how DAMN cool Ford trucks are before speeding ahead of him to get to the lady on the board walk that sells hot dogs out of a cart wearing only a bikini. None2 has sweat a few bullets knowing he is a bit overweight but gets no ticket.

Scenario #2
Same setup as before except this time None2 has not maintained his rig so well. He has a brake light out, his registration is a month expired and he is looking a little low on the back end. This time he gets stopped, gets the full treatment. Maybe he gets weighed maybe he dosen't depends on the officer, depends on what he has to say about the load, depends on how far he is going and depends on how long the bikini clad hot dog lady is going to be there. If he gets weighed and he is over the GVWR he gets a ticket for an unsafely loaded vehicle. Do most officers go this far? Probably not, not on a passenger vehicle. On a commercial vehicle? You bet.

Scenario #3
Same setup as #1. But this time none2 is watching the bikini's and not the road and rear ends the car in front of him. If no injuries, vehicle damage only then the weight issue may not come up. Say it does and he is weighed and is over the GVWR. That would go down as an "associated factor" to the crash meaning that had he not been overloaded then even though he was following to close for conditions (Primary collision factor) he may have still been able to stop in time. If there are injuries lets go extreme and say there is a fatality. same scenario and there may be some civil liability involved. Criminal liability is a decison the District Attorney would make though and the standard for that would most likely be gross negligence, was the load he put on that truck so much more then the GVWR that it was inherently dangerous. Was it loaded in such a way that it was loaded "recklessly".

Keep in mind that this is how I would handle similar situations on the street. My main concern is saftey. If your vehicle appears to be safe then I generally assume it is safe absent other circumstances. If your vehicle appears to be unsafe then I assume it is unsafe until I inspect and decide it is not unsafe.

I have given depositions in civil cases where there was an accident and the weight of the vehicle was called into question in trying to establish liability. Weight, like DUI will never be a "Primary Collission Factor" if involved in a crash but may be listed as an associated factor.

Hope this in some small way helps. Remember laws vary from state to state but I would imagine they are written with the same general terms.
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:12 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

Great post Aaron
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:57 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

I second that - Great Post. This is the best explanation/interpretation that I have seen yet!

I'm frustrated that an Excursion loaded up with people has a ZERO trailer towing limit, at least from a legal perspective!

I looked at my CAT slips - with me (200 lbs) & a full tank of fuel:
Front axles = 4160
Rear Axle = 3940
Total = 8100

Compare above to ratings
GAWR (front) = 4700
GAWR (rear) = 5250
GVWR = 9200

So based on the GVWR I have 1100 lbs. before overloaded. This is just five more guys (at 200 lbs.) and a total luggage weight of 100 lbs.

I guess that if anything ever happened & I was a slightly overloaded (say 1000 lbs. or so), if I were sued I would sue Ford for selling a vehicle that was unfit for it's claimed purpose.

Thanks for letting me rant!
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:12 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

Where does everybody get the 9200 GVWR? Maybe off the B pillar Cert. that I'm missing? According to the PSD owners supplement guide
GCWR = 20,000
Max trailer wt = 10,000

So by the math I was taught GVWR should be 10,000. Right?
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:31 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

[ QUOTE ]
...Max trailer wt = 10,000...

[/ QUOTE ]

Where did your 10K for the trailer come from? Is that the hitch limitation? If so, then the trailer can actually be heavier than that with a higher limit hitch on the truck.

Check this out.
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:47 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

[ QUOTE ]
Scenario #1
None2 is tooling along down the PCH in his 2003 F250 with a 3000lbs truck camper on his back. It is a beautiful day. The sun is out, Skynard is on the radio, the wind is flowing through his hair, the women on the beach are in appropriate attire and all is jim dandy. Out of the blue "The Fuzz" (AKA CaFordDude) is on his tail. None2 is obeying the speed limit, truck does not appear to be sagging or otherwise posing a saftey hazard. All his lights and signal appear to be working, his plates come back valid and all appears fine. I sit back for a few minutes admiring how DAMN cool Ford trucks are before speeding ahead of him to get to the lady on the board walk that sells hot dogs out of a cart wearing only a bikini. None2 has sweat a few bullets knowing he is a bit overweight but gets no ticket.

Scenario #2
Same setup as before except this time None2 has not maintained his rig so well. He has a brake light out, his registration is a month expired and he is looking a little low on the back end. This time he gets stopped, gets the full treatment. Maybe he gets weighed maybe he dosen't depends on the officer, depends on what he has to say about the load, depends on how far he is going and depends on how long the bikini clad hot dog lady is going to be there. If he gets weighed and he is over the GVWR he gets a ticket for an unsafely loaded vehicle. Do most officers go this far? Probably not, not on a passenger vehicle. On a commercial vehicle? You bet.

Scenario #3
Same setup as #1. But this time none2 is watching the bikini's and not the road and rear ends the car in front of him. If no injuries, vehicle damage only then the weight issue may not come up. Say it does and he is weighed and is over the GVWR. That would go down as an "associated factor" to the crash meaning that had he not been overloaded then even though he was following to close for conditions (Primary collision factor) he may have still been able to stop in time. If there are injuries lets go extreme and say there is a fatality. same scenario and there may be some civil liability involved. Criminal liability is a decison the District Attorney would make though and the standard for that would most likely be gross negligence, was the load he put on that truck so much more then the GVWR that it was inherently dangerous. Was it loaded in such a way that it was loaded "recklessly".

I have given depositions in civil cases where there was an accident and the weight of the vehicle was called into question in trying to establish liability. Weight, like DUI will never be a "Primary Collission Factor" if involved in a crash but may be listed as an associated factor.

[/ QUOTE ]

Scenario #4

You are overloaded, cause a crash killing a busload of school kids, but own nothing because you have 3 ex-wives.

No real criminal/monetary penalty. You just have to live with what you did.


Scenario #5

Same as #4 except you made a fortune in the dot.com era.

Get used to franks and beans, because that is all you are going to be able to afford the rest of your life.

Oh yea, you still have to live with want you did.

Scenario #6

You are overloaded. Someone pulls out in front of you. You can't stop or go around because your rig is too frigging heavy, so you crash, killing your wife and kids. The other guy has no money (3 ex-wives) and no insurance. You collect $100,000 from your insurance company and use it to bury your family.

Scenario #7

Do I need to continue?
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:26 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Scenario #1
2003 F250 with a 3000lbs truck camper on his back. It is a beautiful day. .

[/ QUOTE ]

Scenario #4

You are overloaded, cause a crash killing a busload of school kids, but own nothing because you have 3 ex-wives.

No real criminal/monetary penalty. You just have to live with what you did.


Scenario #5

Same as #4 except you made a fortune in the dot.com era.

Get used to franks and beans, because that is all you are going to be able to afford the rest of your life.

Oh yea, you still have to live with want you did.

Scenario #6

You are overloaded. Someone pulls out in front of you. You can't stop or go around because your rig is too frigging heavy, so you crash, killing your wife and kids. The other guy has no money (3 ex-wives) and no insurance. You collect $100,000 from your insurance company and use it to bury your family.

Scenario #7

Do I need to continue?

[/ QUOTE ]

It is a contributing factor to all of the above, but not THE factor. Are you really telling me that an F-250 cannot haul a 3,000 pound camper? (my '94 9.5 foot lance, with no generator and no water or sewer weighs that much. It's a smallish camper!!!) I know it cannot according to it's GVWR, but COME ON!!! The GVWR of these trucks is ridiculous for a truck so heavy. An F-250 only has 800 pounds of payload once you get it loaded with fuel and driver. How is that possible? Can you truly tell me that if I haul 1,000 pounds in the back of an F-250 that I'm overweight, that I'm unsafe, and that I'm going to kill someone? Ford should be ashamed of the GVWR that they turn loose on their drivers. 800 pounds??? I'm gagging just thinking about having bought a SUPER DUTY pickup that has less payload capacity than my Dad's half ton Chevy!!! I'm sure glad I got the ONE TON so I can haul 1,900 pounds.... Oh, wait, that is the SAME PAYLOAD AS MY DAD'S HALF TON CHEVY!!!! Give me a frigging break. The GVWR in these trucks is pathetic, and the trucks are WAY more capable than the ratings they've been given. The one ton pallet of wood pellets I haul barely makes me squat, yet apparently, I'm unsafe because I'm 100 pounds over gross....

My GCVWR is 20,000 pounds. I towed across the state at 22,500 one time. My trailer brakes worked great, the truck would darn near stop on a dime, I drove nice and slow, paid attention, and got there without any muss or fuss. To tell me that I was unsafe because I was 2,500 lbs over is just silly. I've never felt so secure with a big load like that as I did on that run.

The difference between safe and unsafe has only a little to do with weight, and a LOT to do with everything else. Maintenance, intelligence, driving habits, etc. But you have to drive like you are overweight when you are. That is where people get in trouble...

To the OP, you load your EX and put a reasonable trailer behind it, with GOOD equipment, GOOD brakes, and a GOOD weight distribution hitch, and there will be no troubles at all. If you cause an accident because of your negligence, you'll get sued anyway. Being over GVWR on your rear axle isn't going to amount to a whole heck of a lot. My advice is to worry about your GCVWR more than the GVWR of your rear axle. As long as you are within GCVWR, I wouldn't lose a seconds worth of sleep.
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:40 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

Is there anything political about the GVW numbers. Fudged numbers to keep the trucks out of some EPA catagory for applicable to lighter trucks, or some licensing requirement applicable to heavier trucks? Don't I remember back in the '70s some so called 5/8 ton trucks being built to get past 1/2 ton truck emmissions requirements?
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:47 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Ramifications of Towing Overloaded

I agree 100%. I don't know why Ford lists the GVWR so low, but I would wager there are lawyers involved. The trucks are certainly more than capable of handling more than their GVWR. My F250 with a 16' gooseneck cattle trailor filled to the brim with cattle pulls nice and smooth and stops gently and easily. The key is to drive like you're loaded, not drive like a sports car. Get into the throttle nice and slow, keep in lower gears for longer, and make sure you give yourself plenty of distance between you and other vehicles (after all, even if you're a careful driver, there are some real bone-heads out there).

Keep your vehicle in good shape, particularly the stopping system. Learn how to make your engine help you slow down. Check your brakes and ensure they are up to snuff. If you're going to be pulling anything real heavy, make sure it has trailer brakes and check them as well. Make sure your brake controller for the trailer is properly setup and working. Other than that, just take your time and enjoy the ride.

I think Ford published specs that were so low the trucks would basically drive the same loaded as they do unloaded.
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