Enforcement of Kansas law raises concern among specialty haulers

| 7/24/2002

An old Kansas law is now being enforced across the state by the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Highway Patrol. It requires a fully laden trailer to have all axles on the ground at all times.

Bill Samples, a driver leased to Pacer, told OOIDA members Mark and Kathy Martin he had been told at a Kansas scale to "put it down or get a ticket."

Both the Martins and Samples pull overweight and overlength loads with flip axles. "We often cross Kansas, but this was the first we had heard of the law requiring us to set all axles on the ground," Kathy Martin said. "No one seems to be able to tell us if the law, the way it's written, applies to empty trailers or just loaded ones."

Samples was given a copy of the part of Kansas' law that applies to his type of haul. Chapter eight, article 19, subsection c says "any axle located within seven feet of any adjacent axle shall be a weight-bearing axle and shall carry at all times its proportionate part of the load permitted on such axles."

"How are we supposed to set our extra axles on the ground just in Kansas, if it takes a forklift to pick them up," said Kathy, "they aren't thinking clearly." Enforcement personnel at the Olathe, KS, scale told Land Line they were still "in the process of handing out warnings."

Rick Craig, OOIDA's executive director of regulatory affairs called the KHP on the Martin's behalf. He was told that the patrol is now giving warnings but soon would enforce the axle law. "If a trailer is fully laden, all axles must be on the ground," they said.
--Donna Carlson, staff writer