August 18, 2022 | Truck Accidents
If you’re a commercial truck driver in Oklahoma, it’s important to know the laws related to truck weights and sizing restrictions.
Federal and Oklahoma transit authorities enforce strict weight requirements for semitrucks. These regulations are designed to ensure truckers, drivers, and pedestrians remain safe while on the road.
If you drive a semitruck, following weight and load regulations can help reduce the likelihood of a serious truck accident. Additionally, you’ll avoid expensive citations that come with breaking the law.
How Is a Semitruck Defined in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, a semitruck is defined by the following characteristics:
- A vehicle designed for carrying persons and property
- Equipped with a coupling device for trailers
- Used primarily for business or commercial purposes
- Weighing at least 8,000 pounds
A semitruck may legally pull a maximum of two separate trailers if they comply with the appropriate sizing limits and weight restrictions.
Weight Calculations for Semitrucks
If you drive a semitruck in Oklahoma, you’ll have to abide by federal weight limits that apply to any oversized vehicle.
Generally, the weight maximums are determined using a per-axle limit. Currently, the maximum weights per axle allowed by U.S. law include:
- Single axle, 20,000 pounds
- Tandem axle, 40,000 pounds
- Tridem axle, 60,000 pounds
The maximum gross weight of any commercial semitruck is capped at 80,000 pounds. Gross weight calculations consider the weight of the truck plus its load.
Dangers of Overloading a Truck
The consequences of overloading a truck include:
- Loss of control at high speeds
- Tire blowouts
- A reduced ability to brake
- Collisions with objects and vehicles
Following posted weight limits is key in accident reduction and can help save lives.
Semitruck Regulations in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, any vehicle that exceeds the following dimensions will need to apply for an annual oversize permit with the Department of Public Safety:
- 13.6 feet in height
- 8.6 feet in width
Trailers in Oklahoma must meet federal size requirements and max out between 53 and 59 feet in length.
Additionally, certain roads and jurisdictions in Oklahoma have special weight and size requirements for semitrucks. Before any trip, check local laws to make the necessary modifications.
Licensing Requirements for Semitrucks and Commercial Vehicles
Anyone in Oklahoma who wants to operate a commercial vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds or more must have a valid Commercial Drivers License (CDL).
Failure to obtain a CDL or driving with an expired license can result in expensive fines that may jeopardize your future legally driving a truck.
Fines and Penalties for Overweight Semitrucks
Statistics published by the Federal Motor Carry Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that truck weight directly correlates with accidents and collisions. The heavier the truck, the higher the chances of a serious accident.
Out of 4,216 fatal truck fatalities reported in 2016, 83% involved vehicle weights above 26,000 pounds.
Citations for Oversize Violations
If you’re caught driving a semitruck that exceeds weight and sizing restrictions, expect to pay a hefty fine.
The base fine for violating any weight limits in Oklahoma is $100.
On top of that, you’ll pay between $210 and $628 for a weight violation. The total amount will depend on how much weight you exceeded the limits by.
You may also be cited for operating an oversized load during certain hours in the following counties:
- Oklahoma County
- Cleveland County
- Tulsa County
Areas of high traffic congestion enforce operational times for oversize loads to avoid road hazards.
Truck accidents can result in serious injuries to occupants of passenger vehicles. If you were injured in a truck collision, you may need a personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer can help you recover damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact an Oklahoma Truck Accident Lawyer to schedule a free consultation.
We serve throughout Oklahoma and its surrounding areas: