I've owned a trucking company for 20 years, the DOT has always been this way, the Patriot Act didn't change anything. They'll write their own mother a ticket.
It's like dead beat dads, it's politically correct to fund and enforce. No legislator will defend loosening the regulations, and honestly, I don't want an 80,000 pound truck running down the road that isn't mechanically sound either. My wife and children are on these roads too.
I believe a pickup must be registered as total weight including the trailer it's pulling, and that is where you qualify for the DOT shakedowns. Contact an attorney that is familiar with the trucking industry and arm yourself with whatever documents are required by the state you are licensed in. Once you pass the weigh stations you have left the "commercial zone" of the city and fall under DOT jursidiction.