APU Weight Exemption by State

APU stickerThere is a little sticker on the side of my truck that says I have a 400-pound weight exemption because I have an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) installed. My question has always been whether this was just for gross weight or whether that pertains to axle weight also?

In other words, am I legal at both 80,400 pounds gross and 34,400 on the drive tires? In the past, the peeps at my company had no clue. Well, I finally got to the person who had the answer. Well, sort of.

Now many of you may already know what the deal is here, but I am going to go on the assumption that if I had a question about this issue, there are probably other truckers out there who have the same question.

The short answer is yes, the APU exemption pertains to both gross and axle weights. But it’s not quite that cut and dry. According to an OOIDA article, the problem is that this federal law is not “mandated,” meaning the individual states can do whatever the heck they want to. And when the states get that right, they often use it. In short, some states have a 400-pound exemption and some have a 550-pound exemption, while others still haven’t made a decision yet. Some are enforced by law. Some are at listed as “by enforcement policy rather than by law,” whatever the heck that means. Not good.

Now for the most part I think state’s rights are a good thing, yet when it comes to something like trucking, which is an interstate thing, there needs to be a common rule. But since I’m not a legislator and I would rather have my foot run over by a fully-loaded semi than ever be one, there’s not much I can do about it.

What I can do is provide you with a list of current APU exemptions (at the time of this writing).

APU Exemption Guide

APU Exemption Guide created by Track Your Truck

And since this a graphic that is trapped in time, I will also leave you with a link to the state-by-state APU weight exemptions on the Department of Energy website.

Just be aware that even they have a disclaimer on their website that says they aren’t responsible for getting it right. Sheez Louise. What a mess. Once you’re there, just tap or click on the state you’re interested in and their rule will pop up. Hopefully it’ll be right.

[box]Do you have an APU installed on your truck? Have the fuzz ever given you any slack about being overweight because of it? Leave a comment below or send me an email at TruckerDump@gmail.com.[/box]
About the Author
I'm a 22-year truck driver with an interest in tech stuff. I do the Trucker Dump podcast and blog, which is all about life as a trucker. I have also written two trucking books, "Trucking Life" and "How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job."

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