I had a little bit of a scare last night when I was weighing my truck at the CATScale. In my state you cannot be any heavier than 13,000 pounds on the steer axle of your semi truck. When I rolled across the scale it showed my weight as 16,400 pounds. That’s a big no-no and you can expect a big-time fine if you are caught by law enforcement.
I’ve been driving for a couple years now but this is the first time I’ve ever gone over by that much. I was really surprised, in fact I was almost in disbelief. There is no way I could possibly be overweight by that much, especially in a daycab. I didn’t even know how to fix it at that point.
On most trailers there is a release handle that allows you to slide the tandems forward or backward to adjust the weight between your drive axle and your trailer axle. On some trucks there is a 5th wheel slider that allows you to adjust the weight between the steer tires in the drive tire. This truck does not have one of those sliders so there’s really no way to take the weight off the nose.
I called an experienced driver for help.
“Hey this CAT Scale is showing that I am 3000 pounds over on my steer tires. 16,000 pounds it showing.”
“HOW MUCH?!” He was just as baffled as I was. “How much weight is on the drive tires?”
“It’s got 25 in the middle and 32 on the back. It says it’s grossing 75,000 or somewhere around there.” It just doesn’t make sense even when I say the words out loud. Something just doesn’t add up.
I was right. It didn’t add up and he already knew what the problem was. He has over 30 years of experience and at least 20 of those years were spent training idiots like me. This is definitely not the first time this situation has come up for him.
“I know this might sound like a dumb question but is it possible that you had your drive tires on the platform where the steer tires go? These the cabs are a much shorter so when you pull up on the platform you are going to be about a foot or two back from the speaker on the scale.” As the words were leaving his mouth the lightbulb wa switching on inside my brain. It was an obvious solution and he couldn’t make any more sense.
You see this was the first time I ever had to scale with a day cab. All of my past experience came in a conventional sleeper cab. I had scaled at least 100 times in the big truck but the wheelbase is much shorter on my new daycab. What I actually did was put my drive tires and my steer tires on the same part of the scale, so it looked like my front tires were heavier than they actually were. I went back around and reweighed, this time taking notice of where my tires were and which platform they were on. This time they were right on the money.
Goodness, I am a dummy sometimes.