Part of the safety regulations for trucks on Virginia roadways is managing the overall weight of the truck. This includes the load it is carrying. The state law puts limits on weight for the total weight and the weight allowed on each axle. It is essential that you understand these limits as the penalty for riding over the weight limit is rather stiff fines.
The Department of Motor Vehicles explains the penalties for an overweight truck include a civil penalty, processing fee, fee per pound over weight, weighing fee and any liquidated damages. You must pay the fines within 21 days of the citation. As the driver, you hold the ultimate responsibility for the weight of your truck, so you must be sure you come in within the limits.
The maximum weight for a truck depends on the number of axles and the distance between the front and rear axles. For example, if you have a truck with three axles and there are 17 feet between the front and rear axles, then your gross maximum weight allowance is 48,500 pounds. The heaviest truck allowance is for a five-axle truck with 51 feet between the front and rear axles at 80,000 pounds.
There is one exception that would allow you to have a truck heavier than 80,000 pounds. If your truck uses natural gas as its fuel source, then you can weigh up to 82,000 pounds if your truck meets the same specifications for the 80,000-pound limit. You may get up to 500 extra pounds for your truck if you use an alternative power source that helps reduce emissions and fuel use. However, the maximum weight for any truck in any situation must never go over 82,000 pounds.
There are also limits on the weight allowed for each axle, which may reduce the overall weight allowance for your truck.