All About DOT Vehicle Weigh Stations

When transporting goods of any kind, all parties involved in the transportation must be aware of the weight limitations that must be followed. Check out our guide to get more information on the basics of weigh stations before your shipment.

What is a Weigh Station?

If you’ve ever taken a long ride on a highway, you have likely noticed signs reading “weigh station,” just before a pull-off to the side of the highway. Weigh stations are used as a checkpoint for truck drivers to check in on the total weight of the truck and its contents as well as a general safety inspection for the truck. There is a range of inspection types used by the DOT, so the actual inspection each truck receives during a transport will depend on a given weigh station. Inspections can be a level one through six with one being the more comprehensive to level six which is typically just a simple visual examination.

Which Trucks Have to Stop at Weigh Stations?

The specific laws about which vehicles have to stop at weigh stations vary slightly depending on the state but the general rule is that a commercial vehicle only needs to stop at a weigh stations if its gross weight exceeds 10,000 pounds. The truck driver as well as the logistics manager will be sure to know the weight of the truck as it leaves its origin so the truck driver will be advised as to if they should be stopping or not. Because these laws change from state to state, it is crucial that the logistics manager is aware of the weight laws for each state that the transportation is moving through.

Why Do Trucks Have to Stop at Weigh Stations?

Weigh stations exist as a way to enforce safety regulations on the road. There are limits to how many pounds a truck can carry, as to make sure it is a safe means of transport for the truck itself and other drivers on the road. Weigh stations allow the DOT to enforce these rules and regulations in real time, putting additional pressure on logistics managers to make sure they are meeting the state’s regulations. Though it may seem like an inconvenience for the drivers, weigh station stops move quickly, as long as the truck is within the legal weight limits and is safely operating. If a truck is overweight or missing the proper paperwork, it will likely be a much longer stop.

What Happens if a Truck is Overweight?

If a truck is overweight, there are many possible consequences for the driver and company they are driving for. First, your service will be delayed by the truck being held up for more time than originally planned for, costing you money and making for an unhappy customer. Most times, a fine is given for trucks that are overweight. The fine amount can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the state and the weight of the truck. In some extreme cases, truck drivers can even be taken into custody for driving an overweight truck so it is critical to ensure your truck is within the legal limits.

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If you’re in need of help moving commercial goods across the country, we’re here to help! The experienced staff at LogiWorld have two decades of experience helping businesses like yours to move their freight where it needs to go. Contact us today for a free quote on your next shipment!

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