Overweight Trucks | VideoChris Williams | 2/20/2013
Authorities are tracking down the offenders. The Northwest region of the Highway Patrol has four troopers who spend about 50 percent of their time looking for overweight trucks.
Roger Holterman has been hauling oil in the Bakken for one year, and he says making sure his truck is the proper weight, isn`t hard to do. "If you watch your barrel counter, you know how much the oil weighs, you can keep it under legal limits."
Holterman also makes sure his truck weight is evenly distributed on the axles. But not every truck driver is as careful as Holterman is, and they are starting to pay the price for carrying more than they should.
"Last year I issued about 220 overloads, so whatever that comes out to a little less than 20 a month," said trooper Neil Kent with the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
When Kent finds an overweight truck, he has the driver pull off onto a side road. He can then use the eight portable scales in the back of his car to find out the exact weight of the truck.
"You got go around and read the numbers, add them up so you can figure out the different axel weights. Then from there you can total the weights and find out what that truck weighs."
The whole process takes about 45 minutes. It takes 15 minutes to go around and weigh all of the axles, and then the rest depends on how fast the trucking company can pay the fine.
"In North Dakota an overload has to be either be paid to me, and money goes into the highway fund, with a credit card on my computer before they can leave."
The fine can be contested, but the truck has to go to impound until the court date. Holterman says truck drivers know the risk of carrying a heavy load, but some just don`t care.
"Greed. It`s all about the money, that`s what it boils down to."
But if drivers are caught trying to make an extra dollar, it could wind up costing them upwards of $5,000.
It took Kent around 10 minutes to find an overweight truck, he does it all just by looking at the truck. Some things Kent looks for are tire squatting, speeds going up hills and by how many axles the truck has.