A trailer loading question..

FlatBroke

Well-Known Member
OK, first off I have been driving tractor trailer for a few years, but I only have a couple of months experience with a van,freight box. So I have some questions about how the loads should be positioned and for distributing the weight.

1) Is there a simple way to remember how a load should be placed on a 53' or 48' trailer on pallets, and or on the floor?

2) What weight would you be concerned enough to go to a truckstop with a scale and weigh it, same as above trailer 53' or 48' if this makes a difference?

3) I know some places require the tandems to be slid all the way to the rear before they will load. Or is this only if you are dropping the trailer? Once you get loaded and recieve the BOL and see the weight, is there a good start off point to slide the axle too?

If you think of anything else, please feel free to share...
 

GAnthony

Methuselah
Supporter
OK, first off I have been driving tractor trailer for a few years, but I only have a couple of months experience with a van,freight box. So I have some questions about how the loads should be positioned and for distributing the weight.
ok

1) Is there a simple way to remember how a load should be placed on a 53' or 48' trailer on pallets, and or on the floor?
unless you are pulling LTL freight, i'm thinking the load will be "uniform" in its weight from front to back....in most instances. otherwise, the heaviest weights should be over the drives and towards the tandems.

2) What weight would you be concerned enough to go to a truckstop with a scale and weigh it, same as above trailer 53' or 48' if this makes a difference?
i'd worry about anything above 40,000 lbs, just to make sure that you do not exceed the per axle limits of 34,000 for the tractor drives, and the 34,000 for the trailer tandems. remember too that the steers do an awful lot now, so you want to keep the weight off the steers, or at least, NEVER max out the steers limits. 12,000 would be max for the steers, provided you are at 80,000 lbs total weight..........

3) I know some places require the tandems to be slid all the way to the rear before they will load. Or is this only if you are dropping the trailer? Once you get loaded and recieve the BOL and see the weight, is there a good start off point to slide the axle too?
i'd highly recommend that if you can, go inside and ask them what they want.....now, bear in mind, some tandems may not slide due to rusted tracks or broken rails/tracks. many trailers i have pulled over the years had the rails/tracks/carriage (whatever you wanna call it) welded, so it couldn't be slid........

if you pick up that trailer, ESPECIALLY A 53', MAKE SURE you slide the tandems forward by "at least" 15 holes (start point), till you get to a truckstop for weighing. if you don't, you will be in kingpin violation, and that ticket is the DRIVER'S TICKET.....

If you think of anything else, please feel free to share...
although i dealt with LTL freight, i hadn't too many worries with weight issues. then i hauled for a package delivery company, and weights were not a big deal either.

just keep the weights to the 34,000 for the drives and tandems. remember too, that the weight of the fuel (about 7 pounds per gallon) figures into your overall truck weight when sliding tandems on the trailer. this is why you do not want to add any more weight to the steers.

as for the tractor, i would leave my 5th wheel between the middle slots of the drive axles. i very rarely slid my 5th wheel. i would slide the trailer tandems first. NOW, even if you can not slide the tandems to get the "perfect weight distribution", many scales (DOT) don't get too picky, for say anything under 100 pounds..........BUT, that's the DOT guy's judgement call too. he can nail you for 10 pounds overweight if he wanted too.......
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Definitely weigh anything over 40,000 pounds.

The shippers are pretty much going to load the trailers however they want to, and generally you aren't going to be in the area when it is happening.

If the load is over 35,000 on a 53 foot trailers, they shouldn't be loading it past the 48 foot mark. If they do, make sure and weigh it as soon as possible because you might end up too heavy on the trailer tandems.
 

FlatBroke

Well-Known Member
I sure do appreciate that guy's...I been use to pulling tankers and flat bed's with spread axle's...Didn't have to worry about sliding the axle's any.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Del Monte/Saddlecreek in Fort Worth has a bad habit of not loading trailers very well. I have left there a couple times with the axles slid completely forward and still be 500 pounds overweight on the drive axles.
 
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