The have not " always been this way". Enforcing regulations on commercial trucks, yes. Harassing a non-commercial 10,000 lb GVWR truck and trailer, no.
I totally agree, I don't want 80,000 lb POS on the roads either. These are apparently new regulations, the DOT around here would have been enforcing them a long time ago if they had been on the books.
I was the Equipment Manager for a construction company, when I left there you had to have a CDL if the GVWR was 12,000 lb or more and no log book was needed.