Weigh Station Basics: Everything You Need to Know
May 8, 2023
The more you drive across the U.S., the more you’ll likely realize there are a lot of weigh stations. In fact, there are more than 1,000 spread throughout the highway system. With that in mind, these stations are not just vital for truck drivers and trucking companies — they are essential to the overall safety of the roads.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of weigh stations and how Drivewyze PreClear is revolutionizing the weigh station bypass process.
What Are Weigh Stations?
Department of Transportation (DOT) weigh stations are essentially checkpoints to ensure there are no overweight vehicles (specifically commercial trucks) on the road. They also ensure that companies in the trucking industry comply with state and federal laws.
For the most part, weigh stations (also called “chicken coops”) are located on highway routes and at ports of entry at state borders. A commercial vehicle’s weight is important because if it is above allowable weight limits, it’s more likely to cause damage to public roads.
Trucks weighing over 10,000 lbs (gross vehicle weight) are usually required to stop at weigh stations unless they are eligible for bypass. If a truck is above the weight limit, it could result in fines, citations, and worse.
How Do Weigh Stations Work?
The weight of a truck is one part of the weigh station equation. However, many other things occur at weigh stations that you should be aware of. They include but are not limited to the following:
- Weigh-in-motion (WIM) systems: Sensors that can instantly tell a truck’s weight while it’s in motion. If the truck is within the allowable weight limit, it increases the odds of being able to skip the weigh station process (i.e., get a “green light”) and keep driving.
- Portable Scales: Suppose a truck is selected for closer inspection. In that case, DOT officials may use a portable truck scale to measure the axle weight.
- Department of Transportation inspections: During a DOT inspection, a highway patrol officer goes over all relevant details with a fine-tooth comb. This can include the driver’s logbook, hours of service, CDL compliance, International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) license, and more.
- Safety Inspections: Additionally, truckers may have to endure a safety inspection where law enforcement officials check things like tires, rims, hoses, the kingpin, and other safety considerations.
While weigh stations are important on many levels, they also have their drawbacks — namely, the time and money that trucking companies lose while their truckers are waiting in line.
What Happens if You Don’t Stop At a Weigh Station?
Generally, a trucker can “skip” the weigh station if it’s closed, out of service, or they’ve received the green light to bypass. Otherwise, it’s illegal for a commercial truck driver to ignore a station. While the penalties can vary depending on the state, in worst-case scenarios, it could result in massive fines and even jail time. For these reasons, it’s recommended that truckers and trucking companies stick to the rules and install a weigh station bypass app on their ELD.
What is Weigh Station Bypass?
Generally, DOT and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) officers are concerned with overweight trucks and other potential dangers to the roadways. With that in mind, they don’t have the time or resources to manually check every vehicle.
The weigh station bypass program allows certain commercial vehicles meeting specific criteria to skip the otherwise mandatory inspection and keep driving. This service is typically offered by states and third-party services like Drivewyze.
However, it’s essential to note that weigh station bypass isn’t available to everyone or at every weigh station. Continue reading to learn how Drivewyze PreClear has helped to revolutionize truck driving by saving truckers time and money.
How Can Drivewyze PreClear Transform Truck Weigh Station ByPass?
So, weigh stations are pretty important for our highways, right? But let’s be real, they can also eat up a ton of time and money. That’s where Drivewyze PreClear steps in, shaking things up for trucking companies and drivers navigating those pesky weigh stations.
Here’s what PreClear can help your fleet do:
- Stay on the “mainline” more and dodge those weigh station lineups whenever you can
- Keep your drivers happy and stress levels low
- Cut down on fuel and maintenance costs while making deliveries faster
Plus, Drivewyze PreClear has got your back with real-time safety notifications, giving truckers the scoop on potential hazards like low bridges or heavy traffic. Don’t let weigh stations slow your trucking company down — check out the perks of Drivewyze PreClear today.