A common cause of commercial truck accidents is improperly loaded trucks. Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds even when loaded to its proper limits. Adding additional cargo in the trailer can be extremely dangerous.
Why Improperly Loaded Trucks Are Dangerous
Improperly loaded trucks are dangerous for a number of different reasons. Below are a few potential consequences of a truck that is improperly loaded.
Improperly loaded trucks are much more prone to jackknife accidents. Jackknifing is when the cargo in the trailer shifts and causes a weight imbalance. With an imbalanced trailer, a tap on the brakes can cause the trailer to slide perpendicular to the cab of the truck.
Overloaded trailers can have an impact on the effectiveness of the truck’s braking system. The brakes were designed with a maximum weight in mind; loading the trailer above that weight can affect the truck’s ability to brake as quickly as normal.
Like the brake system, the truck’s tires are only designed to carry a certain amount of weight. Overloading the trailer puts additional pressure on the tires and can cause them to burst.
Regulations on Truck Weight Limits
Because of the dangers of overloaded trucks, state and federal agencies place restrictions on a truck’s weight limit. Trucks are also required to stop at mandatory weight stations so that officials can make sure they are not traveling with a load that is heavier than the legal limit.
In Texas, a truck cannot weigh more than 80,000 pounds, but that limit varies based on the size of the truck. Here are the weight limits for smaller commercial trucks:
- Quad Axle Trucks – 50,000 lbs.
- Triple Axle Trucks – 42,000 lbs.
- Two Axle Trucks – 34,000 lbs.
- Single Axle Trucks – 20,000 lbs.
What If an Overloaded Truck Causes an Accident?
Any time a commercial truck is involved in an accident, an inspection should be done to determine if it was over the legal weight limit. If it is found to be improperly loaded, the truck driver and the trucking company can be held liable for the accident.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you should consult with an experienced truck accident law firm that is knowledgeable about trucking regulations. At Arnold & Itkin, our attorneys specialize in truck accident cases and have the knowledge and experience to represent victims of truck accidents all across the country.
Contact the truck accident law firm of Arnold & Itkin to learn how we can help you.