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Truck Accidents

How Much Does a Semi Truck Weigh?

Not all trucks are made the same. Depending on the type of cargo they carry, or the industry they work for, different semi-trucks and commercial vehicles will be fitted to meet specific needs.

Nonetheless, New York state and federal traffic authorities enforce strict weight requirements for semi trucks. These laws are designed to keep drivers, motorists, and pedestrians safe from truck accidents.

What Is a Semi Truck?

According to New York traffic rules, a semi-truck is defined as a vehicle designed for the transportation of property that features one of the following characteristics:

  • Two axles and six pneumatic tires
  • Three or more axles

Because semi trucks can carry substantial weight, the number of axles will increase depending on the load. Some semi trucks can pull three separate trailers at once.

Weight Calculations for Semi Trucks

The general rule of thumb for semi-truck weight limits in New York sets the following limits:

  • 34,000 lbs of maximum truck weight
  • 1,000 lbs of cargo per foot of distance between the first and last axle.

The maximum gross vehicle weight for any truck in New York and across the United States is capped at 80,000 lbs.

Weight Limits Keep Roads Safe

Federal and state authorities enforce weight restrictions on commercial vehicles to keep roads safe.

The consequences of overloading a truck include:

  • Loss of control at high speeds
  • Potential for tire blowouts
  • Truck rollovers
  • Reduced ability to brake

Any of these instances can lead to accidents and result in serious injury and even death.

Federal Motor Carry Safety Administration (FMCSA) statistics on truck crashes show that weight plays a major factor. The heavier the vehicle, the higher the chances of serious injury or fatality in a crash.

Of the 4,216 fatal truck accidents reported in one recent year, 83% involved weights greater than 26,000 pounds. These are daunting numbers.

Semi Truck Regulations in New York

In New York, if your semi truck’s gross weight exceeds 18,000 pounds, the DMV requires a Highway Use Tax (HUT) permit. The amount you’ll pay is calculated using the truck’s weight and the number of miles you will travel on New York roads and highways.

Certain bridges and viaducts around New York City have their own sizing restrictions. If a truck is longer than 53 feet, it may be subject to restrictions on the following interstates:

  • I-95
  • I-295
  • I-695
  • I-495

Additionally, if a truck plans to carry non-divisible loads, it may also be required to apply for a special New York City oversize permit.

Anyone who seeks to operate a semi-truck or commercial vehicle with a weight of 26,001 pounds or more must have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Failure to comply with weight requirements or adequate permitting and licensing can result in serious consequences.

Fines and Penalties for Overweight Semi Trucks

In New York, overweight truck fines range anywhere from $50 to $4,700.

Unfortunately, even if you had a weight permit, to begin with, New York law treats overweight violations as if a permit were never issued, adding to the total fines you’ll pay.

If you rely on a CDL, these fines and penalties can damage your driving record. The consequences can make insurance costs go up and affect future employment opportunities.

Semi Truck Weight: The Bottom Line

Traffic authorities promote weight restrictions across commercial vehicles to keep the public safe.

By adhering to New York and federal regulations, trucking companies and truck drivers can help prevent injuries and avoid expensive fines.

If you were involved in a truck accident, contact Oresky & Associates, PLLC, to schedule a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer.

Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in Bronx, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the Bronx truck accident lawyers at Oresky & Associates, PLLC at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Oresky & Associates, PLLC – Bronx Office
149 E 149th St
Bronx, NY 10451
(718) 993-9999

Oresky & Associates, PLLC – Queens Office
104-01 Roosevelt Ave
Queens, NY 11368
(347) 507-3884

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