5 Reasons Why Your Fleet Needs Weigh Station Bypass
If you think drivers can work without weigh station bypass, ask yourself: Am I prepared to lose a driver to a different fleet that will provide it?
Over the last few years, we’ve heard time and again just how quickly drivers discover the value of weigh station bypass in terms of time savings, stress reduction, improved safety, and more. As more drivers discover that value, its importance in attracting and retaining drivers has not gone unnoticed.
And while weigh station bypass helps keep drivers happy, more and more owners and managers at fleets of all sizes tell us that weigh station bypass also provides many other important benefits to their operations.
So here are the top 5 reasons why your fleet should consider using a weigh station bypass service:
Reason # 1 – Saves Time (More than you or your drivers might realize!)
When drivers spend more time on the road and less at the scale house, they can make the most of their hours of service (HOS). In some cases, drivers can even make more money.
Take Theodore “T.G.” Weeks, for example. Weeks drives for Dallas-based auto transport company Moore Transport, which operates a 218-truck fleet along the Eastern Seaboard.
When Weeks first started bypassing scales two years ago, he admits he really hadn’t given much thought to how much time he lost due to weigh station delays. But during those first 30 days, he certainly did. “I felt like I got more things done during the week and I could better plan my schedule since I knew I was more likely to make it to a certain location before I had to shut down for the night.”
More often, Weeks says he got home on Friday instead of Saturday. Then the bigger paychecks began rolling in. He says that’s because with weigh station bypass he has enough time left to make a fifth run before his HOS run out.
Just like T.G. Weeks, many drivers notice the time savings right away because weigh station delays earlier in the week can continue to impact their schedules throughout the entire week. Multiply that impact by several, dozens, hundreds or thousands of drivers – and you can start to see how those benefits can quickly accumulate.
Cypress Truck Lines, the largest gypsum carrier in the United States, hauling about 75 million tons of the wallboard on flatbed trailers annually, offers an example. The Florida-based flatbed carrier avoided 360 hours of weigh station delays in just one month with more than 400 drivers bypassing scales. Take a moment to think about what 360 additional hours of drive time per month could mean for your fleet. Your drivers could deliver more loads in a week and improve their on-time performance, and your fleet could lower its operating costs.
Reason # 2 – Saves Money
As you know, time and money go together like hand-in-glove in the trucking industry. Tick-tock. For Cypress Farms, 360 hours in time savings translated into an operational cost savings of $55,000. Cha-ching.
USA Truck offers another great example. As one of the nation’s largest truckload carriers, Arkansas-based USA Truck employs 1,750 drivers. For years, it found transponder-based weigh station bypass saved drivers valuable time, but managing the transponders proved to be frustrating for managers and drivers alike. Late last year, the company turned to the Drivewyze application and in the first six months of this year, the company saved more than 12,000 hours of drive time and over $1.3 million.
Since the company’s PeopleNet units come loaded with the app, drivers simply activate the service at the start of their shifts. This meant that USA Truck could make the most of their telematics investment while simplifying their in-cab equipment. A win-win!
Reason # 3 – Helps Recruit & Retain Drivers
Last year, we conducted a survey to find out just what drivers look for when they go job hunting.
We knew weigh station bypass was valued by drivers because drivers are continuously providing feedback on the Drivewyze service. We suspected that it might be somewhere on their top 10 list. But we weren’t sure just how important it is. We figured if weigh station bypass appeared high on the list, it could be an effective part of a fleet’s driver recruitment and retention solution.
What we found not only confirmed what we’ve heard, but also it showed us just how important drivers rate weigh station bypass. Among the top 10 employee benefits, company-paid weigh station bypass ranked second only behind core company benefits such as pay, time off, medical and retirement, and a rider policy.
The survey also found:
- 63% of the responding drivers who have worked for companies providing weigh station bypass felt more positive about their job and their company;
- 79% of responding drivers who did not receive a company-paid bypass service say they would view their job and employer more positively if they did offer it.
Reason # 4 – Improves Fleet Efficiency & Driver Productivity
When circumstances beyond your control can upend your business, efficiency often makes a huge difference. Take the recent bankruptcy announcement by Hanjin Shipping, which has upended the intermodal industry. lntermodal carriers like Minnesota-based BarOle Trucking are relying even more heavily on tools that can help their operation remain as efficient as possible during the turmoil.
“Weigh station bypass significantly reduces the chances that our trucks get sidelined for an inspection,” says BarOle Trucking safety manager Karol Smith. “Before we started bypassing scales, we would see two to four of our trucks get pulled for visual inspections each month.”
With a weigh station bypass service in place, BarOle increased the productivity of its out-of-state division trucks by up to four additional loads each month, and avoided 17 hours of weigh station delays each month.
“Anytime you have to go through an inspection, it’s automatically an hour of down time,” Smith says. “We don’t have that uncertainty anymore.”
Smith says that with the Hanjin bankruptcy there’s already enough uncertainty involved. She’s glad she doesn’t have to also contend with the uncertainty of weigh station inspection delays.
Reason # 5 – Improves Safety and Reduces Driver Stress
Weigh station bypass can help your drivers avoid risky situations. USA Truck team driver Jodie Yoder says that bypasses help keep him out of harm’s way by allowing him to stay out of the backed-up traffic in and around weigh stations. “The bypasses mean I don’t have to merge back into traffic after leaving the weigh or inspection station.”
Weigh station bypass offers another common benefit, the removal of stress from a driver’s daily routine. Changing lanes in heavy traffic to exit to the weigh station and then merge back into traffic can be brutal. Add to that the stress of going through the inspection process.
Fleets using Drivewyze weigh station bypass get an additional benefit – Heads-Up notifications, which provide drivers drivers with 2-mile and 1-mile alerts of upcoming weigh stations and inspections sites nationwide, Company trainers with USA Truck say that Heads-Up notifications give drivers ample time to slow down, change lanes and prepare for an inspection. Many USA Truck trainers consider these heads-up notifications, which can reduce stress on the road for drivers from rookies to seasoned veterans, to be an important feature.
Fleet managers tell us that by providing drivers with Heads Up notifications at all sites across the country (even those not participating in the Drivewyze bypass program) incidences of “accidental weigh station avoidance” have dropped significantly, and have in turn increased CSA scores.
So there you have it – the top five reasons why your fleet should consider using a weigh station bypass service. There are more, of course, but whether you want to save time and money, improve driver retention, or increase your fleet’s efficiency– weigh station bypass is an important tool that can help you improve your business.