Weigh Stations!

Weigh station 2 miles

Weigh stations were originally created to collect road taxes before IFTA was created. Now they use them for enforcement of safety and tax regulations.

Weigh Stations Are A Hassle?

Weight station

Weigh stations are a hassle, but the enforcement officer is only doing his job too. I have always found the best way to deal with them is to comply. They do not want to hear excuses. I just stand there and answer all questions as they ask them. I do not volunteer any information because I may stick my foot in my mouth.

Get Me Out of Here!

They want to get you in and out of there as quick as possible. They know you are on a schedule and do their best to keep you moving. I have seen drivers argue with them and it gets them nowhere. I know they can make my life miserable if I want to argue and be difficult. In the end they will always win.

Check Points!

Weigh station

Weigh Stations are used for checking;

  • Gross weight
  • Axle weight
  • Equipment safety
  • Lights
  • Brake adjustment
  • Freight securement
  • Permits (if applicable)
  • Hours of service
  • DOT registration
  • Bills of laden
  • Driver’s license and endorsements
  • Medical certificates

Port of Entry!

Weigh staion open

Weigh stations are checkpoints located mostly at State Borders called “Port of Entry”. States also have weigh stations located at what are called “Choke Points”. You can usually find these where a lot of freight is loaded or delivered too.

Different Levels of Inspection!

There are eight (8) levels of inspection. A basic description of levels 1-8 is listed below. For the most part, the average driver will most likely be dealing with Levels 1-3.

Level 1 - North American Standard Inspection:

  • Driver’s license and record
  • Medical card certificate
  • Duty status
  • Hours of service
  • Seat belt usage
  • Vehicle inspection reports
  • Braking system
  • Cargo securement
  • Drivelines, driveshafts
  • Exhaust
  • Frame
  • Fuel system
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Lighting
  • Suspension
  • Tires, wheels, rims and hubs
  • Wipes and washers
  • Possibly others depending on what type of trailer you are pulling

Level 2 - Walk Around Vehicle and Driver Inspection:

  • A walk around inspection of everything included in a Level 1 inspection without getting under the vehicle

Level 3 - Driver and Credentials Inspection:

  • Driver’s license and record
  • Medical card certificate
  • Duty status
  • Hours of service
  • Seat belt usage
  • Vehicle inspection reports

Level 4 – Special Inspections:

  • Includes a one-time inspection of a particular item

Level 5 – Vehicle-Only Inspection:

  • A Level 1 inspection without the driver present, done at any location

Level 6 – North American Standard Inspection of Radioactive Materials:

  • Inspection of select radioactive shipments including Level 1

Level 7 – Jurisdictional Mandated Commercial Vehicle Inspection:

  • Inspection program for but not limited to school buses, taxis, shared-ride transportation, limousines, hotel courtesy shuttles and others

Level 8 – North American Standard Electronic Inspection:

  • Inspection is done wirelessly or electronically while the vehicle is moving. The driver is not in direct contact with the enforcement officer. This test falls under the Level 8 Electronic Inspection Definition.
  • An electronic inspection must include a descriptive location, including GPS coordinates, validation of who is driving the vehicle, driver’s license class and endorsements for vehicle operated and many of the things involved in a Level 1 inspection

Oh No!

When I was an owner-operator of a Tri-axle dump truck I used to think “Oh No” a weight station ahead. Of course, we all know what I really said?

Gross vs. Axles?

I never knew when I pulled on the scales if I was going to be over on any of the axles. When I got loaded it was only a matter of being within the gross weight limits of where I was loading. The significant difference for me was whether I was in MD or PA. The weight limits are different with a Tri-axle dump truck then with a tractor trailer. 

When I was loading in PA and delivering in PA I could haul 73,280 pounds. When I was loading in MD I was only allowed 70,000 pounds no matter where I was delivering too. If I was loading in MD for a PA delivery I could only load 70,000 pounds. Go figure! To make matters worse, I never hauled into WV or VA because their laws required less gross weight because of my truck configuration.

I do haul in VA now as an employee with a company truck. It is a tri-axle dump also. My truck is only allowed 56,400 lbs. gross. If I had more lift axles under the truck I could haul more. I must admit the truck has more power when loaded in VA.

  1. Home
  2. weigh stations