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Highway Patrol Cracks Down on Overweight Trucks

Posted August 14, 2007

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— The North Carolina Highway Patrol this week is conducting a weight-enforcement crackdown targeting commercial motor vehicles traveling through Orange County.

The three-day operation, which began Tuesday, is part of an effort by the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety to enforce the state's laws and regulations pertaining to tractor-trailer trucks and other large vehicles.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds cause an estimated $130 million in damages to state roads each year.

The goal of the crackdown is to reduce that estimate as well as reduce accidents involving them.

The state does have a weigh station on Interstate 40 in Hillsborough that inspects carriers, but Crime Control Secretary Bryan Beatty said some drivers avoid the checkpoints by traveling along secondary roads.

"So, that's why this operation, we're focusing on those trucks that appear to be intentionally avoiding the weigh station, because those are the ones that are more likely to be overweight and have safety violations," Beatty said.

One way state troopers are doing so is by taking the weigh station out on the secondary roads. They use portable scales that they place underneath each tire on a vehicle.

Veteran truckers said most drivers stay within the limit.

"The revenue you would make from hauling the extra weight is probably not worth the risk," said Earnest Woodruff with Smithfield Trucking. "So, most truckers are smart enough now to not try to take that risk. It's just not worth it."

79 Comments

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  • 1_at_Risk Aug 16, 2007

    The uniformed section of DMV Enforcement which was responsible for weighing and inspecting trucks merged with the NCSHP in January 2003. The majority of the DMV officers were doing there job and the troopers job for alot less money. The troopers did not like it. Some of the DMV officers quit after the merger due to pay issue along with the fact that the NCSHP was going to look after the Troopers first. The DMV officers could do most any local or state law enforcement job however no other officers could do the DMV job because the training was so specialized and they were the only agency authorized to enforce these laws and regulations. The fines and penalties collected for overweight and safety violations has dropped off dramatically since the merger. Thank your Governor and other state politicians for the change. WRAL needs to look into the fines accessed prior to 2003 for overweight and safety violations versus after the merger in 2003.

  • FastPitch Mama Aug 16, 2007

    For all of you that have a problem with truck driver's remember this: When you sit at your table next time to have a meal, be sure not to eat because you can be rest assured that a truck has transported that food at some point and time!

  • Timbo Aug 16, 2007

    btpcsp, sorry I wasn't clear on my post, my fault.

    I have been driving in this area since 1974 and lately, seemingly since the '03 merger, I rarely see DMV officers out on the highway with trucks pulled over. I used to travel from Raleigh to Durham and Raleigh to all points south and I would see DMV officers cruising around all the time. I know it's anecdotal, but it's an observation.

    I think that DMV officers absolutely need guns and I know from the articles back when they got the guns, they received the proper training. So, I wasn't trying to intimate that they weren't *real* law enforcement and shouldn't be armed.

    To further the point, I would like to see more of the DMV officers on our interstates checking trucks. Heck, they could sit on either side of Harrison Ave. on I-40 and fine every other dump truck that comes down the ramps.

  • pbjbeach Aug 15, 2007

    GEISHA GIRL
    THERE ARE PEOPLE WITH SCALES THAT CHECK PEOPLE FOR BEING OVERWEIGHT THEY ARE CALLED DOCTORS HA HA HA HA

  • pbjbeach Aug 15, 2007

    Trans Engr
    all that i know is that i have discussed this very item with another trans engr an he agreed with me that the spec's have been widend with regards to the %'s passing the required seives an that the adheiveness an viscosity of the newer pg grades of asphalt arent as good the older ac-20 an ac-10 grades were espesially when it comes to the bonding with the other materials such as the flyash sand an the different sizes of the required stone that constitute an asphalt mixture. an i also know that the amounts of stone that is utlitized in an asphalt mixture now a days is a less percentage of the total weight of the mixture than it used to be an that after a mixture has been put down now a days that withing six -to twevle months time that it has oxdized an the mixture has turn white an you can't even see any of the liqued asphalt in the top of the mixture after a mixture oxdizes an turns white it becomes brittle an not as flexiable thus causing the mixture to deteriate.

  • 68_polara Aug 15, 2007

    I drive only "four wheelers" and log quite a few miles for them. I feel that I can confidently say that when it comes to unsafe driving commercial trucks usually aren't the problem most of the time it seem to be the others on the road. One good pointer when trucks are around is not to travel on their right they generally can't see you there, get ahead or behind them when traveling in the next lane.

  • wizard633 Aug 15, 2007

    I am a former trucker myself & logged over 1.25 million safe miles across the country. Most drivers try to keep with-in the law & yes, you have some that just don't care if they are over-loaded or not. I am in fact guilty of hauling loads that were over-loaded, but not necessary on purpose. And I have paid heavy fines for being over-loaded. Kind of goes with the territory. Example; Hauling produce in which you have multiple p/u's, pallet here, a pallet there until you are full. Keep in mind that these produce house's do-not have scales, or most don't. So you can see how a trucker could get over-loaded in this kind of situation. Logging, same thing. There ain't no scales in the woods either. So the guessing game begin's. So before you talk down about a trucker, remember this, most are safe drivers & everything you have, got there by a truck.

  • btpcsp Aug 15, 2007

    timbo, you need to check your facts! dmv enforcement has been
    around longer than hp. when dmv and hp merged in 03 all of the
    enforcement officers who have always had guns just like all
    law enforcement officers,had to complete a 8 week basic school
    to do the same job they were doing before. not to mention they
    most already had 10 to 15 years of law enfoecement experience.so
    why would you think they when they " gave dmv enforcement officers guns for protection" then they stopped weighing trucks? these guys have to keep all of there tradtional certifactions on top of cvsa and has mat certifactions. last month alone these same enforcement officers you are talking about turned in over 3 million pounds and that was in just one troop. you need to get your facts together before making comments about the hard work these guys do to keep the highways of nc safe for you and me.

  • mt1190 Aug 15, 2007

    I bet everyone in here picking on truckers do the following...
    follow to close
    cut them off alway
    speed
    and not just sometimes all the time
    because god forbid you dont get somewhere first . slow down it where ever your going will be there when you get there its not going anywhere.

  • Timbo Aug 15, 2007

    This is great that they are actively checking trucks, but...

    Didn't the DMV have this job a few years ago, *before* some Einstein in State gov. thought it would be better have the DMV enforcement merged with the Highway Patrol? As I recall they gave the DMV enforcement guns because they needed them for protection and then boom... you never see them on the road checking trucks. They used to drive around and pull trucks that were overweight for had violations. Now, the State Patrol is doing that job? Doesn't the State Patrol have enough to do without doing the DMV's job?

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