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How overloaded trucks can become dangerous

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2021 | Uncategorized

Hundreds of tractor-trailer trucks roar along Highway 285 and nearby Texas roadways daily, making the situation treacherous for drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles. If your car collides with a big truck that weighs more than the legal limit, you may have grounds for a claim.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles states that the maximum weight limit for a tractor-trailer is 80,000 pounds. The basis for this limit is the number of axles with the correct minimum spacing.

What is an overloaded truck?

Although the basis for the maximum legal weight is the number of axles, it is not the only factor. Several components determine the maximum weight a truck may safely haul, including the gross combined weight rating, gross vehicle weight rating and gross axle weight rating. The GAWR combines the weight of the cargo, trailer and truck. A truck’s allowable weight depends on the weakest component in the axle system. If the weight exceeds the rating, the results are often devastating.

What are the dangers of an overloaded big rig?

A truck hauling a load too heavy for its rating puts additional stress on the vehicle, making the situation dangerous. The systems that may fail, causing a catastrophic crash, include the following:

  • Brakes
  • Powertrain
  • Suspension
  • Tires

The frame and chassis requirements can also affect load weights. If a driver loses control of his rig, the trailer may jackknife or cross into oncoming traffic. Depending on the circumstances, the entire truck could flip. This can affect you and the cars nearby, regardless of which side of the road it comes from. Due to the size and weight of these vehicles, accidents often involve several vehicles and cause life-altering injuries that require extensive, long-term medical care.