Deep Thoughts with Roy Garber: Avoiding Extra Fees and Fines When Going State to State

Deep Thoughts with RoySince the economy has been in the crapper and state budgets have fallen short, states are now finding every which way to squeeze revenue out of you with tickets and violations — no matter how big or small. Speeding tickets are the most obvious, but over the last 5 years I’ve seen a big increase in other citations as well.

Speeding Tickets: Don’t get ‘em 

Speeding tickets are the most obvious approach states have for collecting on professional haulers. Certain states take more than others. For instance, Pennsylvania is notorious for forcing large fines upon those that plead “not guilty,” without even giving drivers a chance to defend themselves with a court date–I’d say 85% of the time. Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Oklahoma are also notorious for driving both state and municipal revenue with citations for speeding.

Permits: Get ‘em

Some states have upped the price of permits if you are travelling with an oversize load– which means your haul is over weight, over length, over height or over width. All oversize shipments require permits for all states. If you are traveling over more than one state line on your haul, you’ll be subject to pay a different fee for each state. If your load is especially oversized, you’ll be required to hire pilot cars to escort you over the road. Permit violations or failing to obtain a permit can result in denial, suspension or revocation of permit privileges within that state, where it will cost a lot more to resolve the issue than applying for the permit in the first place.

Weigh Stations: Prepare for ‘em

Weigh stations exist to keep everyone within their legal limitations of hauling. Once used to collect road taxes, weigh stations now mostly just run inspections. Some stations still require you to pay a tax to the state when stopping, while others check safety regulations like fuel tax law compliance, weight restrictions, equipment safety and compliance with Hours of Service regulations. Each state governs its weigh stations and as such, they have different requirements. The fines for not obliging with this paperwork will go straight to the state’s pocket. STAY COMPLIANT and you won’t owe. The stop is already costing you precious time and money so don’t give them a reason to take more of both.

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