If the headline seems too outlandish to be true of a truck that actually had some sort of permit — “Truck bound for drilling site 49.7 tons overweight” — think again. Enforcement officers in Towanda, Pa., reported the Star-Gazette of Elmira, N.Y., have cracked down hard of all manner of weight infractions due to, some in the trucking business suspect, the area’s uptick in big-move traffic care of a large Chesapeake natural gas drilling site in the area.
The Star-Gazette reported that in this particular case, the truck in question was hauling a big excavator on a platform and was permitted for 82.5 tons, or 165,000 lbs. Its actual weight scaled at 89.7 tons, or 179,400 lbs. The officers, however, viewed the permits as de facto invalid due to the miscalculation, thus cited the rig for being 49.7 tons beyond its registered limit of a standard 80,000 lbs.
Said Josepha Latona, owner of Latona Trucking in the Scranton area, owner of the rig in question. “I think that they got their hands full with the amount of truck traffic that is up there now… A lot of people are abusing it,” not even getting permits.
Latona’s company was hit with a fine of a cumulative $31,304 for the overweight and other violations. No small price to pay for trying not to abuse the system.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.
The new “health-based requirements” will need to be met before a driver is allowed to register his or her truck through the Department of Motor Vehicles, CARB says. For older vehicles, CARB says they must be either replaced with a 2011 or newer vehicle or repowered with a 2010 or newer engine.