One of the easiest things to do for a trucking company is to follow the law on how much material you can put into, or onto, a truck. Just because it is easy doesn’t mean it is done.
Overloaded trucks are a real problem on our roads. For example on June 5, 2007, in College Park, Maryland, a truck was pulled over weighing 70,300 pounds, far exceeding the 17,000 pounds which the truck was lawfully allowed to carry. The State Trooper in charge of the stop, Trooper Eric White of the Maryland State Police, stated overweight trucks are a major source of highway accidents. "When they hit their brakes, they’re so heavy that they can’t stop." The overweight violation resulted in a $16,155 fine, but it could have been much worse. See: www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx
So why do trucking companies overload their trucks? Trucking companies generally overload their trucks to save money. The trucks have to make fewer trips and the companies have less expense in fuel and driver salary. The money the company saves comes at the expense of the motoring public. Not only is the impact greater when the accident occurs, the driver’s aren’t trained on how to drive overloaded trucks. Every driving rule they know is invalid because the training and rules drivers are taught are based on trucks within legal limits. In short, overloaded trucks put drivers in situations they are not trained for and the results are far too often deadly crashes. The least significant cost is damage to the highway as the overloaded trucks put more pressure on the pavement than the highway was designed to handle. This in turn causes deterioration of the highways and greater expense to the taxpayers as the highways have to be replaced sooner than expected and the publics’ daily misery of having to live with the pot holes and damaged roads caused by these trucks.