Trailer Talk

Weight permits don't come cheap

September 28, 2012

In August I wrote about Peckham Materials and its use of extra-heavy rigs to gain productivity.

One I drove under the coaching of regular driver Jack Mirando weighed 102,000 pounds, all on five axles. It's allowed in New York State with a special permit and, of course, special care.

Fleet Supervisor Larry Fingar has since sent me a further description of how the permitting works and what it costs:

"Each class of permit, whether it is for 102,000 or 107,000 pounds, costs $750 for the permit and 1st trailer. Each additional trailer is $20.

"Most of our tractors have both Type 1A (102,000) and Type 7 (107,000). That's a total of $1,500 for the 2 permits plus $20 for each trailer after the 1st one. [We have] probably about 15 or 20 trailers for each Type 1A permit and 4 or 5 for each Type 7 permit.

"Total permit cost for each tractor would be about $2,000 per year. Plus, I believe there is a higher insurance coverage requirement, which adds some expense."

The heavier 107,000-pound rigs use three-axle tank trailers to carry hot liquid asphalt, as we did that day last summer, though ours had a normal-looking tandem-axle trailer. There's got to be a positive lesson here for anyone debating the safety of heavy rigs on our highways.