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CHP cracks down on overweight debris-hauling trucks

The California Highway Patrol is working with other state agencies to stop the overloading of trucks and get drivers and contractors on board for the safety of the public.

Posted: May 21, 2019 1:49 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - The California Highway Patrol is working with other state agencies to stop the overloading of trucks and get drivers and contractors on board for the safety of the public.

Steve Clark, owner and driver for the Two Brothers Fire, said his company has been hauling Camp Fire debris since January.

He said some trucks are overweight because drivers do not have scaled to check the weight of their loads. 

"I never get to put eyes on my load that I'm federally responsible for," he said. "From the time I leave the job site its mine, when I pull in here if I'm overweight the tickets comes to me - it doesn't go to the contractors - it comes to me personally."

Most of the time Clark is able to size up his load, he said. But the debris removal process after the Camp Fire has been different. 

Clark said that Cal OES has put restrictions on sizing up the debris since it is considered a hazmat situation. 

"We can't glance into the truck, which makes it difficult for truck drivers to know what they're hauling," he said. 

Clark said contractors get paid by the ton. 

California Highway Patrol Officer Joyce Dicharry said they see several hundred dump trucks from the Camp Fire area daily. 

"If anything is overweight it sets off an alarm at the scale head and basically we pull the truck back around and bring them through the front scale in the static lane and we weigh them out," Dicharry said. 

When the debris cleanup first started, authorities said they were stopping at lead 20 overloaded trucks per day. That number has now dwindled down to about three. 

"They can be from 1,000 pounds all the way up to, we've seen as bif as 8,000 pounds overweight," she said. 

When the trucks are overweight, the patrol takes them offline. 

"We have to call a low bed service out and they load the dump trucks up onto the load bed and then they take them out and drive them out to the dump where they offload them at the dump," Dicharry said. 

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