Recent Weigh Station Experience

Topic 32755 | Page 1

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Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I've posted about my luck in the past regarding inspections, but I feel like it's running out! I've had my CDL for a little over 5 years now and have never been inspected by the DOT. Although the first year and a half was very local where I'd go through a scale house once a week the past nearly 4 years at my current company I'm going through scalehouses nearly every day. My company has a pretty good safety record so we typically get the bypass but when we don't I'm usually waved through (or given green light) before I even come to a complete stop. My employer doesn't want to get the prepass for some reason (I believe they mentioned cost and we get to bypass most times anyways), oh well. Most drivers at my company that are inspected in our region say they were told by the officer that it's almost break time or they need to hit so many inspections so they'll do ours since our fleet is very well maintained. A few times the last couple months they'll close the scale after I enter, or give everyone the bypass while I wait to scale. Ive even had them pulling in several trucks right in front of me to inspect then I end up sitting on the scale for I swear a couple minutes even being empty before given the green light. Well today the Iowa DOT was in full force doing inspections at the Jasper County scale (WB just east of Des Moines). Officers all huddled together inside the window walking out the door before the truck is even on the scale completely and then given the light to go park. Of course today they had everyone roll over the scale....until I pulled in then everyone got the bypass. Until there was a trailer usually loaded at rendering plants. He pulled in behind me. The 4 trucks ahead of me all got the light to go park, thankfully I got the green after what felt like eternity. As I pulled off the scale the DOT officer came out the door to talk to the rendering plant driver.

I know eventually my luck will run out but I'm not too worried as I make sure I'm legal and my equipment is in a safe condition. Today would've been a terrible day to get an inspection though, I picked up a drop/hook from Tyson in Rochelle Illinois and some bonehead hit our drop trailer (didnt report it of course!) breaking the turn signal on the side of my trailer. Also had a rock get kicked up and cracked my windshield.

Needless to say I was a little nervous sitting there waiting my turn to get on the scale with everyone else being told to park it. Talked to another driver that went through 2 hours later and he had a similar experience with them doing many inspections. I suppose get em out of the way since it was 60 degrees today.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

In 9 yrs I have been inspected twice, knock on wood… Like it or not they do profile. They look mostly for ones they think will have issues. Occassionaly they will take some they think are good to get several done quickly for the numbers.

People told me when I got my authority I would never get by passed. Happens alot. I pay 18.00 a month for drivewyze. Best money I ever spent.

Keep your equipment looking like you care, mostly no issue

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

It's the end of the month, end of the quarter, and the end of the year. Tomorrow will probably be a big scales day across the country for the final Friday. I wouldn't be surprised at all if some places are open for business the full 24 hours. Pre trip and inspections while on your trip as if your license and wallet depend on it!

BK's Comment
member avatar

Rob, I had my own weigh station experiment. I went from MA to KS, 1441 miles, without getting pulled into a weigh station. Every one I came to was closed. Started the assignment the day before Christmas and delivered the day after. I guess working Christmas has a few perks, lol.

Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar

I had an interesting experience a few months ago.

I had delivered in Cambridge, Ohio in the morning and dispatch told me to head west on I70 to Columbus for my back haul to Cincinnati. I decided to stop at the large rest area just east of Columbus. As I rounded the bend to enter the truck parking area I see that Ohio is having a full scale DOT blitz. There were numerous white DOT inspection SUVs, State Patrol vehicles and several Road Service venders working on trucks.

I figured slow rolling back to the highway would surely draw attention so I decided that my best plan of attack was to exude confidence. I picked a parking spot right in front of the building, got out, said “Good morning“ to one of the parked State Patrol officers and walked on into the building. Came back to my truck got myself settled and leisurely exited without drawing any attention.

Entering my 6th year as a second career driver I have only had 1 DOT interaction. During the last day of Blitz Week in 2018 I was pulled over by Indiana DOT in Indianapolis and given a Level 3 inspection. Reason for the stop was 58 in a 55. No ticket but Ryder has a zero tolerance speeding policy so I got a “stern talking to” by my manager and a RAB for Risk Associated Behavior. A friend of mine was in the office at the time an said: “ Don’t worry about it. I have a stack of those an inch thick and they still have me train drivers”

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dan67's Comment
member avatar

Keeping a truck clean and getting stuff fixed asap are the biggest things you can do to avoid attention. But sometimes they pick the clean trucks.

I've been inspected 5 times in my career. Four happened on a single trip out west with a hazmat load from SC to NV. It was during one of those enforcement blitz weeks 3 years ago. Got level 1 in Georgia, Alabama, and twice in Texas. One right after another. Passed all with no issues. Had my truck in the shop the weekend before the trip. The mechanics went over the truck and adjusted the brake system. Prior to getting to the first scale house, I stopped at the local Blue Beacon and had the truck and trailer washed.

The latest inspection was last year at the SC scale near the company yard. They signaled me in and did a level 2 on me. The Officer doing it was being trained and I just cooperated with him and got it done. No problems.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Only got inspected twice in 3 years. !st with CRST, 2019 truck newish trailer, level 1 pass. The 2nd was while at Legends (2022 truck), of course, New Mexico, a level 3. Just so happens that my trailers left tail light decided to stop working. So I pulled out to park,after he was done and gave me the papers,I fixed the light, filled out the paperwork,signed it off as repaired, and went to the window showing officer it was fixed, said "Ok you're good to go".

Turned out the pigtail wiggled loose at that time as I had to make the tight u-turn from the scale, to inspection bay 2. lol,Turned our it was a little sloppy fit in the socket, so I used a wooden stir stick to jam in and tighten/fix connection. Even left the 4 ways on so the officer could see it NOW worked fine.

New Mexico's scale on I-40 almost always, got the pull in sign, east or west bound. Which usually, was for nothing, as there rarely was a body in the booth on left lane. If they were actually "working", I got the wave thru. My trainer taught me right off, to drive into the scale like you've been doing this for years, don't look scared/nervous hahaha that always stuck in my head.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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