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Thread: California Legal

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    Jumbo's Avatar
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    Default California Legal

    Why do you have to slide your axles up in California? I see all kinds of trailers with a sliding axle they say California legal. What happens if you have a spread axle and get to Cali and slide it up. You go from being able to have 40,000 on a spread to 34,000 with a closed tandem. Or am I missing something in this equation?
    Don't trust anybody. Especially that guy in the mirror.

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    ThumperS25 is offline Member
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    Default Re: California Legal

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumbo
    Why do you have to slide your axles up in California? I see all kinds of trailers with a sliding axle they say California legal. What happens if you have a spread axle and get to Cali and slide it up. You go from being able to have 40,000 on a spread to 34,000 with a closed tandem. Or am I missing something in this equation?
    I am not sure about spread axles, However tandems, must be slid to the fifth or sixth hole on many trailers. Its State specific laws. As far as being over on your axles if you slide, best thing to do is be legal for Califronia in Florida so as to not have to worry about it.

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    jiptwoo is offline Member
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    There is a thing called the bridge law, to keep it simple it has to do with the weight in your trailer being spread out so as not to have too much in a short space. Ex. so not to have 30000 lbs. in the first 20 ft. of your trailer and 10000 lbs. in the last 10 feet of your trailer thereby causing damage to the roads and possibly over stressing the supports and decking while crossing bridges. Ca. and a few other states are the toughest with a bridge length of 40 feet measured from the center of your rear drive axle to the center of your rear axle on your trailer. When you slide your axles to legal out you have to do it within this length measurement. I pull 48 footers so I don't have to worry about it but with 53's you have to load to be able to axle out within these perimeters. That is why you'll see a painted line inside 53 ft trailers saying not to load beyond this line. I believe if your load is 40000 or more you will have problems legaling out on your trailer if you load beyond the line.

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    GMAN's Avatar
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    I have a 53' step deck with a sliding rear axle. I only have 2 positions on the axle. It is either a spread axle or closed tandem. It complies with the California bridge law when the axles are closed. Most trailers have a sliding tandem on them. In other words, both axles slide together. You will usually need to shorten up the tandems most of the way forward to make it legal for the California bridge law. If there isn't a mark on the trailer, you will need to measure to make sure your trailer is legal. As was mentioned, you need to make sure you can be legal for California before you leave your shipper.

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    silvan's Avatar
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    How does this work in "other states?" I regularly pull an average of 43,000 pounds, loaded to within about half a pallet of the doors. I aim to run about 32,000 on the drives and the trailer tandems to balance this out, though I'll go different ways (30,000 on drives, 34,000 on tandems, or vice versa) depending on where the tandems were when I started.

    I've always wondered if I could get in trouble for having them too far back. The perfect 32/32 balance puts them so that the mudflap bracket is about a foot from the edge of the door, when the doors are open. That feels quite far back to this old stick hauler, who used to pull 45s with the tandems slid all the way up. It's really hard to drive down certain roads without eating more than my lane, and I have to be careful not to over-steer when backing one of these things. (That was the hardest thing for me to learn, and I looked like an idiot for some weeks before I reached a point where I could do a hard 90 and get straight with a dock in one smooth, awe-inspiring motion. (Had some management type remark "Damn, you make that look easy." once. Thankyaveramuch. I'm pretty good at this if I do say so myself!))

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    GMAN's Avatar
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    Most states have a king pin law. California tends to be more aggressive in their enforcement efforts. I have been told that Georgia also gets aggressive in the enforcement of their king pin law, but have never had a problem in Georgia. In fact, I have never had a problem with any state as far as their king pin laws are concerned. 8)

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    no_worries is offline Senior Board Member
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    I got a ticket in SC while empty :x CA is 40' from kingpin to rear axle.

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    tweety bird is offline Senior Board Member
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    Default Re: California Legal

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumbo
    Why do you have to slide your axles up in California? I see all kinds of trailers with a sliding axle they say California legal. What happens if you have a spread axle and get to Cali and slide it up. You go from being able to have 40,000 on a spread to 34,000 with a closed tandem. Or am I missing something in this equation?
    California does this in order to make you work harder. After all, why should they settle for "good enough for every other freakin' state" when they can get "let's make the truckers have one more regulation they have to take into account" for free.

    We used to have a sliding king pin (yes, king pin) with a trailer that had fixed axles. The "California legal" position put the trailer real close to the back of the cab. We never ran that way and never got caught. I knew guys who did, though. They could fix it, sure, but they got a ticket for it. We were just lucky. No longer have that problem.

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    Colin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no_worries
    I got a ticket in SC while empty :x CA is 40' from kingpin to rear axle.
    Within a couple weeks or so of driving OTR for the first time, I was hauling pillows in TN and got a ticket for being stretched all the way out. :shock:

    I just didn't know any better. I had never hauled a sliding axle trailer in 7 years of driving.

    Oh well. :P

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    no_worries is offline Senior Board Member
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    At least it's a cheap lesson. My ticket was like $40 and I don't think I ever paid it. Now, with all the states being linked you probably couldn't get away with that :lol:

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