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The Truck is Overweight, and is Returning


The truck has loaded your shipment, and has then driven to a commercial scale and found he is overweight.

It is illegal for a shipper load a truck in a way that makes it overweight, and it is illegal for a driver to drive an overweight truck.

So the truck is returning to your facility so you can re-work or remove some of the freight, to make the truck legal.


  1. The carrier has advised us of the situation, and we will advise you.
  2. The shipper will have to re-work the load to correct the overweight problem. Depending on the nature and magnitude of the overweight, re-working may include cutting the shipment. If the load is cut, then new paperwork must be prepared.
  3. Regardless of what must be done to correct the problem, time is of the essence.
  4. All of the truck’s costs related to detecting and correcting the overweight will be charged to the customer:
    • All of the truck’s costs related to detecting and correcting the overweight will be charged to the customer:
    • Mileage costs driving to and from the scale;
    • Scaling costs;
    • Stop and delay (measured from the time of arrival) costs while waiting to be re-working;
    • Re-scaling costs;
    • Layover costs, if incurred.
  5. We will advise our customer if freight has to be cut from the load to make it legal, and we will, at the customer’s discretion, arrange for transportation of the cut freight.
  6. We will advise all concerned regarding delivery delays as soon as the truck is legal and moving, and of the additional costs as soon as they are known.


Usually a shipper who overloads a truck does so unwittingly. This is almost always the case if the overweight is on a single axle only, and the gross weight is legal.

However, on occasion a shipper overloads a truck in an effort to reduce shipping costs. Governments view this as creating a safety hazard on the public highways in order to save a few dollars, and have prescribed penalties accordingly.

Regardless, it is the shipper’s responsibility to correct an overweight load, and the customer must bear the costs incurred by the truck in identifying the overweight and having it corrected.


The freight is re-worked, it is usually found to be necessary to cut the load, and the truck proceeds, often 1 day late.

There may be noticeable, and sometimes significant, costs and delays that arise from overloading a truck.:

If the commercial scale is close to the loading point, and the shipper is available and able to correct the overweight and produce new paperwork (if required) quickly, then the costs can be limited to less than $200, and the delivery delay may turn out to be minimal.

If, however, the commercial scale is some distance from the shipper, and/or the shipper is booked-up-busy, or closed, for the day when the truck returns, or if it takes some time to rework the load, or it is reworked and still scales overweight, then the costs can approach $1,000 or more, and the delivery delay will be a t least next day.