Truck Axle Weight Limits By State 2020

Roads in the United States are regulated in a number of ways, one of them concerning the weight of trucks and semis. Regulations are set on both the federal and state level and must be adhered to. It is common to see weigh stations along interstates for the purpose of weighing trucks to make sure that they are within the limitations.

There are a few reasons that trucks have weight limitations on roads and need to be properly weighed. The main reason is safety. Roads can only handle a certain amount of weight, especially in weaker spots such as bridges and overpasses; therefore, no vehicle can be over the weight limit of the weakest point on the road. Additionally, cargo that is too heavy can be dangerous to both the driver and other vehicles on the road. A truck that is carrying too much weight can make it difficult to brake and maneuver, posing a danger when trying to slow down or go down a hill.

The other two reasons for weighing trucks are taxes and profitability. Carriers pay taxes for the amount of stress put on the roads, and the weight of the trucks is used to calculate the taxes owed. As for profitability, many goods are valued based on their weight; therefore, weight is important in ensuring fair trade and increasing profits.

There are three different weights for trucks regulated by each state. The first is the maximum gross vehicle weight is the weight of the vehicle specified by the manufacturer including its chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, accessories, drivers, passengers and cargo. The maximum single axle weight is the amount of weight allowed on any one axle. The maximum tandem axle weight is the weight allowed on any tandem axle.

Trucks can be weighed by using wheel-weighers, concrete decks, portable truck scales, digital scales and more. Trucks that are found to be overweight at a weigh stations can face several consequences including paying fines up to $65 per pound overweight and, in some states, arresting the driver. It is important that each truck is weighed before departing on its route to avoid these repercussions.

The federal vehicle weight limits are 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, 20,000 pounds on a single axle, and 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle group. States, however, often have different limits.

The table below has each state’s maximum allowed weight for gross vehicle weight, single axle weight, and tandem axle weight.

State Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (lbs) Maximum Single Axle Weight (lbs) Maximum Tandem Axle Weight (lbs) 2020 Pop.
Connecticut80,00022,40036,0003,563,077
District of Columbia80,00022,00036,000720,687
Georgia80,00020,34034,00010,736,059
Maryland80,00022,40034,0006,083,116
New Jersey80,00022,40034,0008,936,574
North Carolina80,00020,00038,00010,611,862
Pennsylvania80,00012,820,878
Rhode Island80,00022,40044,8001,056,161
South Carolina80,00020,00035,2005,210,095
Vermont80,00022,40036,000628,061
New Mexico86,40021,60034,2002,096,640
Hawaii88,00022,50034,0001,412,687
Oklahoma90,00020,00034,0003,954,821
Nebraska95,00020,00034,0001,952,570
Maine100,00022,40041,0001,345,790
New Hampshire103,00022,40036,0001,371,246
Idaho105,50020,00034,0001,826,156
North Dakota105,50020,00034,000761,723
Oregon105,50020,00034,0004,301,089
Washington105,50020,00034,0007,797,095
Colorado110,00020,00036,0005,845,526
Wyoming117,00020,00036,000567,025
Kansas120,00022,00034,0002,910,357
Missouri120,0006,169,270
Indiana127,40022,40036,0006,745,354
Massachusetts127,40022,40036,0006,976,597
Ohio127,40021,00034,00011,747,694
Arizona129,00020,00040,0007,378,494
Iowa129,0003,179,849
Nevada129,00020,00034,0003,139,658
South Dakota129,00020,00034,000903,027
Utah129,00020,00034,0003,282,115
Montana137,80020,00034,0001,086,759
New York143,00019,440,469
Florida147,00022,00044,00021,992,985
Michigan164,00018,00032,00010,045,029