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  #1  
Old 05-17-2005, 08:11 PM
jen_newbie
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Default bridge laws

Hello could someone please explain the bridge laws to me? I am new to driving and my trainer really cant explain it to me. For instance the california bridge law is 40 ft. correct? My question is like when im scaling a load for california 40 ft is the 5th hole on my trailer. does that mean when im scaling it i can use holes 1 to 5 to get it legal? or i must use the 5th hole or farther back to get it legal?
thank you
JEN
  #2  
Old 05-17-2005, 10:53 PM
sealord
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Default Bridge Law

Bridge laws may vary by state and are explained in the front of a motor carriers road atlas.
Mine states Cali trailer requirements are "48 and 53' require 40' from kingpin to last axle".
My atlas had the previous info but may not be current.
There's also a Federal bridge law for calculating axle weight. BOL
  #3  
Old 05-17-2005, 10:56 PM
sealord
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Default Bridge Law

Bridge laws may vary by state and are explained in the front of a motor carriers road atlas.
Mine states Cali trailer requirements are "48 and 53' require 40' from kingpin to last axle".
My atlas had the previous info but may not be current.
There's also a Federal bridge law for calculating axle weight.
BTW, recommend you get another "trainer", one who knows what to teach and how to teach. "Doesn't know" isn't a satisfactory response from a trainer to a driver under instruction. BOL
  #4  
Old 05-18-2005, 03:24 AM
aftershock
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Default Trainer (?) Or not

Jen_newbie,

Your trainer didn't know the answer? I can understand that something so complicated with exact numbers, weights and measurements would be difficult to remember, especially considering it's not something you would use every day, or often. I think I'd reference the chart anyway, just to be sure my memory wasn't failing me. It's in the book, I have the book, and I think that's enough.

The problem I see is, your trainer! If the trainer had admitted not knowing the answer, but would find the answer, I'd be OK with that. All they had to do is open the Road Atlas to the front pages. There it is -- the answer. Imagine that?

If your trainer let it go without an answer for your question, I question the trainer's ability to instruct new drivers. "I don't know" is N O T acceptable. Are you still in training?

'Cause, if you are, I have an idea that might wake the trainer up while helping you become more familiar with your road atlas.

Open your atlas to the front pages. Have paper and pencil ready to jot down some notes for questions to ask. Don't make the questions easy or obvious, pick the "stumpers" that SHOULD make the trainer THINK. See how long it takes that trainer to figure out HE is SUPPOSED TO ANSWER ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS -- ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

After about ten, or so, questions they're unable to answer, and if the trainer seems like they're going to leave it at "I don't know" -- I'd be inclined to ask What DO you know? Also, I'd ask, "Do YOU know someone I CAN ask to do YOUR job for you that might be able to answer my question(s)?

If it were reversed and it was the trainer asking YOU a question,........what would happen if your answer was "I don't know"?

That's right! It would be marks against YOU, along with a couple of paragraphs in the "comments" section -- and maybe the, "attitude" section too.
IT SHOULD BE NO DIFFERENT FOR A TRAINER

IMO, You would be doing a dis-service if YOU didn't make the company aware of the trainer's flippant attitude. That's a rip-off, and a selfish one at that.

I'd request another trainer -- post haste. Sounds more like Mr. Trainer is a "trainer(?)" for the extra MONEY, rather than producing a quality product. That is, a more knowledgeable and capable new driver.

Best of success.

  #5  
Old 05-18-2005, 06:25 AM
fozzy
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Default Bridge laws are not too hard

You just have to understand the terminology and that they are talking about the spacing of axles on your truck as the "bridge" not really anything else. Keeping the "bridge" length correct helps save roads and actually bridges by distributing or stretching the axle weights out.

The different bridge requirements are covered (like all the other posters say) in the front of most "trucker atlases". You simply measure the spaces between axles and groups of axles and then do some math too see if you are legally "bridged".

Most of the time it’s a case of being over weight when legal on the axle weights and it’s usually the rear set of axles on the trailer that is the problem.

The best advice is to check your atlas before a trip and look at ALL the states that the load has to travel through. When you look at all the states and their requirements, you set the axles up to bridge at the SHORTEST bridge requirement and THEN and only THEN load the trailer and then scale it out! If you cannot get the axles weights to be legal then the shipper MUST move something around or cut some freight off of the load. Almost all loads can be shifted around to scale out legally. If they refuse to move the freight, then contact your company and let them handle it.

If you take a load without checking the bridge and end up at a weigh station and the DOT catches you “over bridge” they will make you slide to get within the legal bridge. You now unfortunately will almost certainly be over weight on the rear axles. The ONLY way to get the weight off the axles is to climb into the trailer and move the freight piece by piece forward towards the nose of the trailer.

Sliding the 5th wheel will not make much if any difference in the weight of the rear set of axles. It may get you the “smidgen” of space to get a legal bridge, but it will also usually push way too much weight onto the steering axles. It’s always best to check the load before you leave the area where you load.
  #6  
Old 05-18-2005, 10:47 AM
pepper44
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Default footnote

Jen..

Most of the time, if you can't get your weight legal, it is much better to take an overwight ticket rather than the bridge law ticket. They are usually alot more expensive.
 

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