- Commercial & Industrial Vehicles
Weigh Station Tips For Truck Drivers
Weigh Station Tips For Truck Drivers
Every truck driver on the road visits at least one or more weigh stations a day. At first, it can be nerve racking to roll through these ports. As you become a more experienced driver, you'll find out that these weigh stations are not that big of a deal. In fact, much of the hype spread by truck drivers is inaccurate at best. In this article I want to give you some tips to help you settle your mind about these random checks. This way you can avoid making simple mistakes that will cost you money and time. If you're a new trucker, you'll learn about them when you do your truck driver training.
Don't Miss Your Weigh Station
The first tip to help you with successfully navigating a weigh station is the simplest. Don’t miss the weigh station and don’t try to go around it. This will get you into a whole lot of trouble and cost you good money. Not only that, you may look a little suspicious through the entire process. Make sure you have an up-to-date atlas and take a look at it before you take off on your trip. This should be part of your normal trip planning process. Before you go anywhere on the road, you should be planning ahead. You need to know where the scales are and remind yourself of them while you are driving. And if you are too lazy to do this, just remember, weigh stations are usually located at the state lines, just across state lines, or somewhere in the general facility.
PrePass For The Weigh Station
The second weigh station tips that we have for you is to invest in a PrePass. This awesome little box is placed to your windshield with adhesive, very easy to install. As you roll over the scale and head toward the weigh station, you'll pass the sensor that reads your box. Now, this box communicates with the ports computer and determines whether you have the correct permits and if your weights are good. This little gem has personally saved me hours and hours over my career. It also makes it very possible to assist me in making a 700 mile run every day. When your a truck driver, time is money and money is time. If you can save a second, it matters. Over time, just like me, you'll save a lot of time and money in the long haul.
Maintain Weigh Station Speed Limits
If you can’t afford a PrePass or get pulled into the weigh station, the best practice is to watch the signs and match your speed accordingly. You don’t want to fly up to the scale or the bypass lane. I have seen more truck drivers get pulled into the office for simply going to fast through the port. Follow the signs and eventually before you roll over the scale shift into first gear and slowly idle over the scale. If you are in the bypass lane second gear should work at an idle. DO NOT ACCELERATE! The only time you want to accelerate is when you have rolled all of your axles across the scale and you are right under the light or message board. If you still have the green light or the message to proceed, this is when you should accelerate slowly at first. I have spoken with many officers at weigh stations and they tell me that it’s the guys that have fishy stuff with their truck or the guys that get on the throttle too much that throw up a red flag.
Plan Ahead For Weigh Stations
Pre-trip inspections are crucial to your success at a weigh station. If you are missing a mud flap, have a flat tire or have a light out, these are the quickest ways to get pulled in. You can avoid all of this and much more by simply doing a pre-trip inspection on your truck. When you do your Pre-trip inspections, make sure you double and triple check these items. Also, if you have any thoughts that you may have a flat tire or cannot see your lights, you need to pull over and check it out. One tell-tale sign that you may have a flat tire is a drop in your fuel mileage. If the wind is behaving and there is no other reason for your mileage to be down, make sure you check your tires.
Update Permits For Weigh Stations
Make sure you check your permit book every 3 months at the least, unless you are heavy hauler and need over-length permits that expire monthly. By checking your permit book every 3 months, you'll be able to make a mental note of when different permits expire and how to acquire them as necessary. If you need monthly permits or do some type of specialized hauling, you'll obviously need to check your permits more often. The last thing you want to do is enter a weigh station without proper permits. Once again, as I always say, time in money and money is time.
If you follow these simple weigh station tips, you'll have a much easier time. Not only that, you're going to save a lot of money and time in the process. Weigh stations don't have to be a bad thing. In all honesty, their in place for a reason. Learning and having proper truck driver training will help you in all aspects of trucking. Be safe.