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What is a Weight Station?

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A lot of weight stations can be found along the roads across the country. They are proposed to control the weight of heavy vehicles and due to make truck drivers to be awake, alert and follow federal regulations and laws.

Heavy trucks are very dangerous, because they are not so maneuverable and are difficult to control. It takes a lot more effort and time to slow down before a complete stop. Due to such peculiarity, most states adopted strict limitations on the weight of heavy trucks. 

According to federal law, a big truck has a weight limit of 20000 pounds per axle, and a maximum weight of 80000 pounds with a trailer.  Every vehicle that is over 10000 pounds is obligated to cross weight control on the station. It means that almost all commercial motor vehicles have to stop at any weight station along the freeway. There it will be weighed via rolling scales and if the truck is under the established limit, the driver will get the green light to continue his trip. If not, the state inspector officer can flag for further inspection. 

Other directions of inspection are as those: 

  1. Brake malfunction.
  2. Broken springs.
  3. Unlocked kingpin. 
  4. Hose or tubing leak.
  5. Securely mounted fuel tanks.
  6. Cracks in wheels and rims.
  7. Low or flat tires.
  8. Tire tread. 
  9. Oil, fuel leaks.

Freight Assist, a freight and transport company Brisbane, comments that a violation of any of these can lead to a truck being declared out-of-service. It must be towed and not operated until repairs are completed.

But weight and malfunctions are not the only parameter checked on the station. The driver’s logs are also inspected. And there can be a great surprise over these inspections! The logs from electronic logging devices show how many hours the driver has been on the road and how long his rest periods lasted. The driver’s Hours of Service are strictly controlled by the FMCSA in order to avoid driver’s fatigue. If the violation of law is defined, both the driver and a commercial vehicle company will be fined. The fines can range from 150 to $1000. 

Department of transportation HOS regulations include: 

  • maximum 11 hours of driving during a 14-hour period;
  • no more than 60 hours total in 7 consecutive days on duty;
  • no more that 70 hours total in 8 consecutive days on duty;
  • 10 consecutive hours of rest after 11 hours of driving. 

Weight stations can be located at choke points or areas where freight originates or is delivered. Station located between two countries or states is called a port of entry. It is obligatory for all CMVs. 

To find a weight station near you, you can download the Trucker Path app, which helps to determine the location of the nearest stations along your route. The law requires that you stop at any open station whenever you come upon one. If you don’t, the penalties may be various: from losing your commercial driver’s license to some jurisdictions under which you can even face jail time.