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, 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.
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.
Stations are used for checking;
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.
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:
Level 2 - Walk Around Vehicle and Driver Inspection:
Level 3 - Driver and Credentials Inspection:
Level 4 – Special Inspections:
Level 5 – Vehicle-Only Inspection:
Level 6 – North American Standard Inspection of Radioactive Materials:
Level 7 – Jurisdictional Mandated Commercial Vehicle Inspection:
Level 8 – North American Standard Electronic Inspection:
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?
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.