They read, "WEIGH STATION: All Trucks Must Stop When Lights are Flashing," and we've all seen them. These trucking scales are scattered throughout the nation's interstate systems and check the weight of semi-trucks that transport cargo to make sure it is within safe limits. You might assume that one reason commercial trucks need to be weighed is to make sure they are in compliance with federal weight regulations, and you would be correct. However, there are other factors at play as well.
Vehicle and Road Safety
To ensure road safety, federal regulations for commercial truck weights were established in the first place for this very reason. There is a weight limit on the nation's roads, and when cars exceed that limit, they can lead to costly and hazardous structural issues for other drivers. Fortunately, only commercial vehicles like semi-trucks even come close to exceeding the weight limit on the road, which is why they need to be watched out for so closely.
State-specific weight restrictions apply on Certified weight scales, but the federal cap is 80,000 pounds. Roadways, overpasses, and bridges can deteriorate over time if a truck is heavier than what the law permits. Everyone on the road is in serious danger of experiencing an infrastructure failure if the weak spots in the roads are not found in time. And when the structural issues are discovered, whether early or late, someone will undoubtedly be left with a sizable debt.
Overloaded trucks also pose a safety risk to the vehicles themselves, so the dangers do not end there. Due to the truck's reduced ability to maneuver quickly when it is overloaded, the driver is more likely to be involved in an accident. Additionally, a heavier truck is more difficult to control when traveling downhill, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Increasing and Securing Profits
A company's sales and profitability are directly impacted by the process of weighing cargo because the value of many goods is determined by their weight. Therefore, for many businesses, accurately billing their customers is the main justification for accurately weighing their cargo. Over time, inaccurate weighing can cost a business thousands of dollars in revenue.
Operations managers monitor fair trade practices and weigh each load that comes in and leaves in an effort to cut costs and boost profits.
In order to determine the truck's taxes, trucks must also be weighed. Truck carriers must pay thousands of dollars in taxes to the government each year as compensation for the added strain they place on the roads. Truck carriers' tax payments support the upkeep of roads and bridges.
A commercial truck must split its load or apply for an overweight exception permit at the first Truck scales station it comes across if it ever needs to carry more weight than the allowed limits. As you might expect, this results in unnecessary headaches and shipping process delays. Before setting out on the road, carriers are aware of their weights to prevent this kind of inefficiency.
To give you precise calculations for your business, trucking scales make use of a range of technology, including wheel weighers, concrete decks, portable Truck scales, digital scales, and more.
What truck drivers should expect at a weigh station
Sooner or later, as a professional truck driver, you will need to make a stop at a weigh station. To ensure that truck weight isn't harming America's roads or other infrastructures, like bridges, the Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles, or other transportation officers keep an eye on these stops. Although you may find this requirement inconvenient, Certified truck scales at weigh stations are essential for ensuring everyone's safety on the road, including your own.
Knowing the rules and procedures for weighing on a Certified weight scale at a weigh station can help you be ready for what's to come and stop a minor inconvenience from becoming a major one.
When do truckers need to stop at a weigh station?
Be sure to keep an eye out for signs that warn you when a weigh station is coming up as you travel along the interstate. You can determine whether the station is open or closed by looking at the signs. Of course, you don't have to stop if it's locked up. There will likely be a sign indicating the speed limit that you must obey when approaching if it is open.
Other trucks might already be waiting in line at the weigh station. If so, you must observe proper protocol at the weigh station and wait in line. Pay attention to the signs and/or instructions the weigh station staff gives you. It is crucial that you follow the instructions for stopping, slowing down, and/or going over the posted speed limit as you cross the scale. If you don't, everyone may experience needless delays and inconveniences.
What happens at a weigh station?
Finding out if the vehicle is overloaded is one of the weigh station's most crucial tasks. At a weigh station, trucks may be weighed by the axle or the entire vehicle. You can keep the vehicle moving while it is being weighed at some weigh stations thanks to their rolling scales. Some Certified truck scales demand that you stop. If it is determined that your vehicle exceeds the weight restriction, you might be delayed at the station until another truck can pick up the extra weight.
The next procedure at a Certified weight scale on a weigh station is the examination of your tools and testing of your electronic logging device (ELD) to make sure Hours of Service rules are being followed. A more thorough inspection will be required if the inspection turns up any defective or missing equipment. Similar to this, a problem with your log data may result in lengthy delays. However, the weighing and inspection should be quick if everything is in order. The weigh station staff for Certified truck scales will input your DOT number into a computer system and check your safety rating in order to maintain the accuracy of your log.