When a driver picks up a load it is their responsibility to make sure its legal to haul. This means checking all three tandems, making sure the weight is within limit on each tandem.
Our legal limits: 12,000 lb. for steers, 34,000 lb. for drives, and 34,000 lb. for trailers, for a total of 80,000 lb. An extra 400 lb. is allowed for drives with a few criteria. To get the 400 lb. allowance, you will need to provide certified weight in writing, and certified proof that the APU is functional.
(On a side note, only 29 states have laws allowing the 400 pound exemption, while 15 states do so by enforcement policy rather than state law. Other states that are considering weight exemption measures but do not have exemption as a law or enforcement policy are California, Hawaii, Kentucky, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee and the District of Columbia)
If your load is overweight take it back to where it got loaded to get it fixed. On broker loads, call the broker. For customer loads call your driver manager so that they can work with customer service.
In the case you get caught overweight, the driver is fined because the driver is solely responsible for making sure they are a legal weight to haul.
One of our drivers recently bypassed scales and ended up being overweight on a tandem. He got pulled into a scale house and received a fine of over $1000. This could have been avoided had he taken the time to slide his tandems.
In another incident a driver assumed he was at the correct weight because he neglected to calibrate his gauge. Make sure you get your gauge calibrated at least once a month so you can get an accurate reading.
For any questions, contact your driver manager. They are all experienced in handling these issues.