I can only imagine the look on the eyes of a tire dealer when one of these “Michigan Specials” rolls into the shop. I’ve often wondered how this unique trucking combination came to be and why some many axles are utilized. A straight foward answer comes from michigan.gov
Michigan has a unique system of truck-weight law based on maximum axle loadings, not gross vehicle weight (GVW). Gross vehicle weight includes the weights of the truck, cargo, fuel, and
driver; axle loading is the weight on a single axle. Maximum allowable axle loadings are the same for a standard truck in all states, but Michigan allows use of more axles in combination
with lower axle loadings, for a greater gross vehicle weight than other states.
While the maximum weight for nearly every state in the Union is 80,000 lbs trucks in Michigan can legally haul up to 164,000 lbs. One can only imagine how many maximum capacity loads this old Autocar hauled over the years but it’s safe to assume the average load was near capacity each and every time. As you can see, John found this truck in Munising, MI back in 2012 when it was for sale. If you hail from the mitten state send me a line with the status of Old 97.
Thanks for sharing John! Do you have a truck you would like to see featured on Autocar Mondays? Email firstname.lastname@example.org today!