Drivewyze Offers Conference-Goers a Closer Look at Weigh Station Operations
March 19, 2018
Even for those involved in managing trucks and truck drivers on a daily basis, knowing exactly why some trucks must pull in to weigh stations while others don’t may seem as mysterious as making that load delivery in Seattle or Atlanta in the middle of the day without a single traffic delay. And, when trucks do get pulled into those scales, what happens next? Are they weighed to determine their gross vehicle weight? Do commercial vehicle enforcement officers even have time to actually look at all of the trucks that get pulled in?
Weigh stations have been around for a long, long time. A weigh station is a critical tool in the trucking industry, just like the CB. But ask someone who doesn’t inspect commercial vehicles for a living what happens at a weigh station, chances are pretty good you’re likely to get a blank look in response.
At the recent Omnitracs Outlook User Conference, Brian Mofford, vice president of government experience for Drivewyze, and Doug Hatch, a training consultant at Drivewyze and retired captain in the Texas Department of Public Safety with 25 years of law enforcement experience, were looking to change that. They provided conference-goers an insider’s look at what happens when trucks pull into weigh stations offering Drivewyze weigh station bypass and equipped with automated systems, like the ones built and installed by Drivewyze’s parent company, Intelligent Imaging Systems (IIS).
Mofford and Hatch explained how commercial vehicle enforcement officers rely on IIS sophisticated equipment to provide them, among other things, thermal images. The images help them to identify non-operational brakes, dragging brakes, overheated tires and other malfunctioning equipment. Overview cameras take images of trucks before they reach the stations, giving officers visual references they can use when the trucks approach and enter the weigh station facilities. Automated readers also scan U.S. DOT numbers, license plates, hazmat placards and CVSA stickers before trucks reach the station so the system can present CVE officers credentials along with the images.
Through a technology called vehicle waveform identification, IIS also offers enforcement officers the ability to automatically sort, route and track trucks as they exit the highway and enter a weigh station facility. This technology measures the displacement and movement of air over and around a truck and trailer combination as it travels down the highway. This displacement and movement of air is as unique to each truck and trailer combination as fingerprints are to each individual. And the system can also track and confirm the movement of many tractor and trailer combinations using these unique “fingerprints” as they pass multiple locations equipped with IIS equipment.
Information and images from vehicle waveform identification, plus all of the sensors, cameras and imaging equipment is then gathered and displayed on a hosted screening software system called Smart Roadside. This screening software also automatically searches official FMCSA databases for corresponding carrier credentials and then identifies and tags high-risk vehicles to which law enforcement officers will want to pay particular attention.
In trucks equipped with bypass services like Drivewyze, drivers are eligible to receive bypasses because they and their carriers have agreed to provide information that can identify the truck and carrier before the station’s automated systems can. Bypasses help CVE officers focus their efforts and their departments’ technology on identifying unsafe vehicles that require additional scrutiny.
For those approaching vehicles equipped with Drivewyze weigh station bypass, the Drivewyze app transmits an encrypted randomly generated code that identifies the carrier when the vehicle enters a 2-mile radius of the facility. The same technology that delivers mobile calls and data, and geo-fencing Drivewyze programmers established at hundreds of stations across the United States and in the province of Alberta, makes it possible for truck fleets and operators to use their ELDs and smartphones and tablets as transponders. The Drivewyze servers then query several different official databases, including an official database shared by a number of different local, state and federal agencies and the inspection selection system which reflect a fleet’s CSA scores. Using criteria that each individual state establishes, Drivewyze determines if that particular truck and carrier meet the state’s criteria for a bypass.
At the conclusion of their presentation, Moffard and Hatch responded to detailed questions from the audience about weigh station operations and procedures and the technology IIS has made available to CVE officers to help them improve their productivity and efficiency. Audience members were impressed with Mofford’s and Hatch’s expertise and knowledge and the improvement IIS technology can make in CVE officer efficiency. When CVE officers are more efficient they can concentrate their efforts on problem trucks and carriers, allowing safer vehicles to stay on the mainline. This ultimately improves the operational efficiency of safety-conscious carriers.