Banks, Highway 26, News

Truck driver fined $20,000 near Banks for unpermitted heavy load

A truck driver was handed a $20,256 fine Thursday morning at the scales on Highway 26 near the Highway 6 junction east of Banks for an unpermitted heavy load.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, deputies with the Traffic Safety Unit stopped a tractor-trailer for multiple violations—an improperly secured load and missing warning flags among them—Thursday just before 8 a.m.

“The driver did not have the permits required to haul a load this large and heavy,” the sheriff’s office said.

After weighing the truck and trailer at the scales, deputies determined that the truck, carrying heavy equipment, was so overweight it never would have qualified for a weight variance permit.

Just how much over the limit was the vehicle?

84,400 pounds, the sheriff’s office said.

Or, to put it in more comprehensible terms, the equivalent about 562 medium-capacity top-loading washing machines.

“Because the truck and load were such a safety concern, the truck was placed out of service and the company was required to bring in a larger trailer with more axles to accommodate the weight,” the sheriff’s office said.

Heavier loads cause added wear and tear on roads, and can even overwhelm some bridges and roads not built to handle the moving of such objects. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office partners with the Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation to help fund two two weighmaster deputies who enforce various commercial motor vehicle issues.

Drivers can see what type of permits they may need for other-than-usual loads online.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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