When you’re not a truck driver, you probably whiz right past weigh stations without really even thinking about it. But, if you’re thinking about becoming driver of a moving van, semi, or other large truck, taking notice of weigh stations will be a necessary part of your job.
To ensure the safety of truck drivers and everyone else on the road, the Department of Transportation has many regulations for large trucks. They consider tire-load safety, road width, bridge height, and other on-the-road conditions to create these regulations. While there are some overarching laws and requirements, each state can determine some of their own.
The variance of rules and requirement across state lines can make things confusing. However, most states’ laws are at least similar, including requiring trucks of 10,000 pounds or more to stop at all open weigh stations. Width restrictions are 102 inches in general, but some states require 96 inches or less.
So, how is it possible to know whether or not you have to stop, and which states require which laws? Many companies that employ drivers have approved driving routes, where they’ve checked to ensure that their trucks will be legal. When in doubt, stop at all weigh stations. Getting pulled over for disobeying any regulations will most likely result in a fine, as will being over the state’s regulated wight.
There are now some ways to bypass weigh stations, legally, without getting pulled over. In fact, it’s now as simple as enrolling in a program and using an app on your phone. However, not all systems are accepted by all states, so it’s imperative that you check before driving across state lines and attempting to use it. Try PrePass, Drivewyze, or NORPASS.
We’ve gathered these resources for you to learn more about weigh station rules. Try these:
AAA Motor Laws - A list of weigh station rules by state.
Coops Are Open - Search for weigh stations by state.
eHow - A basic DOT weigh station regulations overview.