Weigh stations dot the nation’s interstates from coast to coast, weighing commercial vehicles to ensure they’re following all federal regulations. Few truck drivers look forward to the inspection, as it slows them down on their routes. But getting through one is pain-free if you know what to do. Here are a few guidelines to smooth out the process.
Stop when required
By law, all truck drivers need to stop at every open weigh station along their designated route. Failing to do so will inevitably result in fines, and the state may even revoke a driver’s CDL. Once you exit the highway to enter the weigh station, be sure to line up with the other trucks and wait patiently while the agents process each vehicle.
Sort your paperwork
While you wait, take the opportunity to get all the necessary paperwork in order so that you can get through your inspection as quickly as possible. If you’re keeping logs on an ELD, this process should be simple, but if you’re using paper, it’s crucial to have everything together and orderly. Any missing documents could result in significant delays.
Observe all signs and instructions
Many weigh stations these days have rolling scales that allow for agents to weigh a truck while it’s still moving. While using a rolling scale, stick to the speed limit and follow all signage and instructions as closely as possible. Going too fast will mean you need to start over, causing further delays for you and inconveniencing the other drivers at the station.
Exit the truck
Unless the agents at the weigh station explicitly ask you to step out, there is no need to leave your vehicle. If your vehicle is unattended when it’s time for the line to move forward, you’ll be delaying everyone around you and causing them frustration.
It may be tempting to speed through the scales or find another way around the inspection process to get back on the road faster, but this is more likely to cause trouble than it is to save time. Instead, give the agents exactly what they ask for and follow their instructions as closely as possible. The fastest way through is to do what they tell you.
Disrespect the agents
On occasion, the agents at the weigh station will find that your truck is too heavy or otherwise in violation of the rules. This is frustrating for many truck drivers, especially when it’s not their fault. However, it’s important to remain polite and respectful of the agents when this happens. They will work with you to resolve any problems, and making their job harder will only slow the process down.
If you’re ready for a career on the road as a long-haul truck driver, enroll in the CDL program at Hamrick School in Medina, OH. For over 40 years, this fully licensed and accredited trucking school has given drivers the tools to be safe and successful on the road. Learn more about their admissions online, and call (330) 239-2229 to discuss financial aid options.
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