Illegal axle weights?? - Luxury Coach Lifestyles
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:57 PM   #1
dentmac
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Default Illegal axle weights??

Hi,
Presently a Blue Bird owner and would love a Newell. The newer Newells are running a 28,000 lb drive axle. Although it is not usually enforced, the maximum single axle load allowed in most States is 20,000lbs with several being up to 22,000lbs. The Ohio turnpike has scales entering and has stopped at least one Blue Bird for over 20,000 steer axle.They re-arranged cargo. Will this trend get worse and will this high weight axle be a problem? The new coach has about 23,000 lbs on the drive axle -- dry weight)
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:19 AM   #2
Richard and Rhonda
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The short answer is that most Newells are equipped to adjust the pressure in the tag axle bags to achieve the weight distribution that you want.

Also, most have a switch at the drivers console that allows you to make a temporary adjustment, if you would ever need to do that. For example, in a low traction condition over muddy or uneven ground. Or, if you were crossing scales :-)
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:55 AM   #3
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Hi,
Thanks for the reply and I understand the airbag shift to/from tag. The new Newell has 28,000lb drive , 16,000 lb tag total 44,000. That is 10,000 lbs over a dual axle limit in most states. With a Newell CCC of about 7000 lbs, the drive must be at least 24,000 without cargo.
The average owner must be running at least 26,000 on the drive. I don't think there is available allowance on the tag.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:33 AM   #4
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I've traveled thru Ohio, 4 times per year, in my 94, 45' Newell, for the last 9 years and have always been told my weight distribution is improper. They then have me go thru the booth, complete a U-turn thru 6-8 lanes of traffic (with a 26' trailer behind), return towards the direction I just came from, and then complete another U-turn and enter the same lane in which I was weighed. Then they give me a "breakdown ticket and send me on my way. I have always wanted to write the state and complain about the safety of this situation but thought it might be best to leave well enough alone
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:10 PM   #5
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Dentmac,

Just out of curiosity, do you know how Prevosts and Bluebirds compare in that analysis of rear axle weights?
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:32 PM   #6
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New Prevosts 18,500 - steer
22,000 drive
14,000 tag

This makes them over 2,000 at GVWR in some states There is a 10 % error allowed in some, so 22,000 is OK.

Blue Bird 17,000 steer
23,000 drive ( upgrading to 24,000 on some since there is big overweight issue and recall running on 2005 - 2007 )
13,000 tag

The 450 LXi's are running 22,000 without cargo. There is no onboard method of increasing tag.

I believe some older Blue Birds had a 20,000 front rating(solid)
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:22 PM   #7
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Good info.

Don't get me wrong, I am not defending Newell or any other manufacturer. It looks like the analysis is based on rated axle weights and not actual axle weights. Am I interpreting it correctly?

Here's why I ask. It is my general understanding that Prevost is the heaviest total weight, followed by BB, then Newell. Maybe I am all wrong.
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:32 PM   #8
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Hi,
Prevost GVWR 54,500 lbs
Newell GVWR 63,600 lbs
BlueBird GVWR 54,000 Lbs

No ,the analysis is considering dry loading of the axles

The Bluebird has at least 22,000 lbs on the drive without any cargo.
I would think that a Newell with a CCC of no more than 9000 lbs would be 54,600 lbs without cargo. That would mean at least 24,000 lbs on the drive.
You are correct, a manufacturer can put a 30,000 lb rated axle in a rig. Safe, but can't drive it anywhere (legally).

Ross
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:51 PM   #9
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Wow,

I was dead wrong. I remembered (dangerous these days) that a Prevost clocked in at about 54K, and I thought BB was about the same. Since my is Newell much less, I was shocked at the 63600 figure. No matter how you divide that by 3 axles, it's still a big number.

I am laughing, I guess granite starts to add up. That and the slide mechanisms.

Maybe someone with a recent vintage will weigh in with their actuals.

Good points you made, and welcome to the forum. Many of us looked hard at BB's. A good product with many engineering similarities to Newell.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:21 PM   #10
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Right now on my 1982 36' classic I have the following loaded weights:
LF - 4,940
RF - 4,600
LR - 10,180
RR - 9,200

Still not sure why LR is almost 1,000 lbs. more than RR. Fuel and LP are positioned more to left of center, and water and holding more right of center. When I weighed the fresh water was about 1/2 full, and holding virtually empty, whereas Fuel was 3/4 full, and LP 3/4 full, so that may be the difference.
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:22 AM   #11
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Just weighed my 2009 front axle. 18,680 pounds.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:34 AM   #12
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Thanks for the information Mikeh. Looks like you are 20 pounds under the GAWR for the front axle. According to Newell's website, beginning with coach 1251, weight ratings are:

Front 18,700
Drive 28,600
Tag 16,000
GVWR 63,600

45' Prevost conversions have always fought with front end weight near or over the GAWR when loaded. BlueBird has a recall underway for their 450 LXI coaches built with overloaded front axles which they are solving by moving the generators further back in the coach and other changes. As the high end coaches have gotten long, wider, gone to larger and more slides and added new features, weight has steadily increased. Newell has typically had more Cargo Carrying Capacity than other high end coaches. Currently Newell has the highest GVWR of any coach. Newell works very hard to meet their customers demands and that means maintaining high quality standards while adding more amenities and more square footage with the slides extended.

There are certainly ways to reduce the weight of the high end coaches using techniques employed in the private aircraft conversion industry but the cost impacts are significant. An example is granite. Granite weighs about 168 pounds per cubic foot versus ceramic tile which weighs about 45 pounds per cubic foot. In some private jet conversions, the granite used is a thinner layer of granite bonded to an aluminum honeycomb, thus significantly reducing its weight while retaining the benefits of real granite.

It can be surprising that even some of the plastic (fiberglass) coaches, including the Country Coach Affinity and the Newmar KingAir, have increased GVWR to 54,000 pounds to meet the high weights associated with large quad slides and increased levels of ammenities.
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:44 PM   #13
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Default Safe, great CCC, Just can't go on the roads.

There are two overweight issues to deal with.
1, Safety related-- also legal - NHTSA involved
The loaded coach must be below the rated GAWR as stated and designed into each RV. Consideration must be given for side to side weights and therefore tire/wheel overloading.
Manufacturers routinely purposely confuse the CCC of a coach by not simply presenting the accepted standard of CCC = GVWR -(empty RV + full water+ full Fuel +full propane + 616 lbs for 4 people)

2, Federal and State DOT limits.
No vehicle can have a single axle over 20,000 lbs or a tandem over 34,000lbs.
Some states have a grandfather clause allowing up to 22,000lb.


Excerpts from the conclusions of the defect investigation for the Blue Bird:

Similarily,owners whose vehicle’s rear axle load exceeds the FHWA-specified 20,000 lbs maximum axle load when operated on the interstate highway system……. ,bear the risk of penalties as deemed appropriate by the state authorities responsible for enforcement for this regulation. NHTSA is not directly or indirectly authorizing an exceedance of this loading limit.

FHWA verified that in accordance with 23 U.S.C 127(a)(2) the maximum allowable axle load limits on the interstate system are 20,000 lb for on a single axle and 34,000 lbs on a tandem axle. This statutory provision conditions the receipt of Federal-aid for the National Highway System on the adoption of these limits by the States due to the concern of the potential adverse effect of the higher weights on the highway infrastructure. Enforcement is a State responsibility. Though all vehicles, including personal use vehicles such as motorhomes,are expected to comply, enforcement efforts generally prioritize on commercial vehicles.

Full article is:http://nhthqnwws112.odi.nhtsa.dot.go...8004-31325.pdf

A great,ethical manufacturer builds a strong, safe coach.Doesn't minimize axles or tire /wheel size. NHTSA is satisfied.
Problem: Can't drive it anywhere.

It is only time until the individual cash-strapped States try to reduce the road damage costs and access this cash cow of significant penalties.
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:00 AM   #14
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Were weight monitoring and enforcement applied to private motorhomes, it is likely that it would require over-weight permits be purchased in each state the motorhome operated. That is a common practice in the commercial transportation world where enforcement, as you point out, is stringent.
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:59 PM   #15
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Default Question?

As I have plans one day to move up with the "Big Boys", the Heavy Weights.. I read this thread and wonder if anyone has considered installing
the "Right-Weigh Onboard Load Scale" the 2" gauge mounts in the interior.
they are used on the Big Rigs with air suspension.. They are designd to work with an single ride valve but that could be overcome with more than one or a switch.. Their not too pricey compaired to overloading the coach or $$$Fines... Any added value to this???

There are several models here is one:

http://www.ryderfleetproducts.com/cg...uct_detail.jsp

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Old 09-26-2010, 09:38 PM   #16
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Jimmy,

Newell puts a dash mounted switch to shift weight to the tag for such reasons.

If you installed an auto sensing device then some valveing would have to be used to discern tag from drive.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:18 PM   #17
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Default Got-it

So there is an indication or some sort of chart/pressure of the actual weight that you are putting on the TAG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard and Rhonda View Post
Jimmy,

Newell puts a dash mounted switch to shift weight to the tag for such reasons.

If you installed an auto sensing device then some valveing would have to be used to discern tag from drive.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:33 AM   #18
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Not that I have been able to discern. It's a complete SWAG. It's not an issue for me, since I am not running illegal weights on any axle, but I think some of the new big boys have some significant issues.

It would be real nice to have a gauge set that gave you bag pressures on all three axles.
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:05 PM   #19
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Default I agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard and Rhonda View Post
Not that I have been able to discern. It's a complete SWAG. It's not an issue for me, since I am not running illegal weights on any axle, but I think some of the new big boys have some significant issues.

It would be real nice to have a gauge set that gave you bag pressures on all three axles.
Thats what this product does.. It's an onboard Load Scale showing Lbs or Kg . There is an electronic version that shows all but the less expensive version you would need three gauges one for each axel. You calaibrate it by having the vehicle weighed on each axel and adjust the gauge to match.. then your set.. nice toy .. but most likely only needed on the newer coaches.. Gota love toys....
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