Cat Scales And When To Use Them?

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Eric P.'s Comment
member avatar

One thing that gets me is how do I know when to use a Cat scale? I know the GVWR is 80,000 lbs which means no more than 40,000 on the drive axle and 40,000 on the tandem trailer axle... Right?

Depending on what the cat scale shows will also let me know if I need to adjust the sliding tandems correct?

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

GVWR:

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

GVWR is the maximum operating weight of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer, minus any trailers.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

HAMMERTIME's Comment
member avatar

One thing that gets me is how do I know when to use a Cat scale? I know the GVWR is 80,000 lbs which means no more than 40,000 on the drive axle and 40,000 on the tandem trailer axle... Right?

Depending on what the cat scale shows will also let me know if I need to adjust the sliding tandems correct?

You forgot to calculate your Steers, I sure hope you don't plan on rolling around with that kind of weights. 12,000 Steers, 34,000 Drives, 34,000 Tandem's is legal.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

GVWR:

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

GVWR is the maximum operating weight of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer, minus any trailers.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

One thing that gets me is how do I know when to use a Cat scale? I know the GVWR is 80,000 lbs which means no more than 40,000 on the drive axle and 40,000 on the tandem trailer axle... Right?

Depending on what the cat scale shows will also let me know if I need to adjust the sliding tandems correct?

When to use them takes a bit of experience. Not every load has to be scaled out. I use as a general rule if it's 35k or less there should not be a weight issue BUT there can be. You will learn when to use them but to be on the safe side if there is any doubt then scale the load.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

GVWR:

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

GVWR is the maximum operating weight of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer, minus any trailers.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

James R.'s Comment
member avatar

I watched a video that recommended new drivers scale starting at around 32k.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

One thing that gets me is how do I know when to use a Cat scale? I know the GVWR is 80,000 lbs which means no more than 40,000 on the drive axle and 40,000 on the tandem trailer axle... Right?

Depending on what the cat scale shows will also let me know if I need to adjust the sliding tandems correct?

Scales will show your Steers, Drives and Trailer Tandem set(s).

And yes - you can use your initial scale ticket to slide tandems and adjust (within limits).

High Road Training, Wight & Balance section, found on this very site - gives some very good training on how to balance out loads. Actually - probably the best training I've seen on the subject for free on the web.

Many shippers have scales on premises, many do not. If you're not totally over-gross (which can't be fixed by sliding - only by re-working the load), then many times you can slide to re-balance the load across the axle sets (within the limits of the "bridge formula). Most regular shippers know how to load - and do not want to re-work a load.

WAY BETTER to find out you're over on an axle BEFORE you roll through a coop - than after. If there's any question - WEIGH IT.

Companies pay for scale tickets anyway - better safe than sorry.

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

GVWR:

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

GVWR is the maximum operating weight of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer, minus any trailers.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

HAMMERTIME's Comment
member avatar

Keep it simple, if you're Rookie. Scale every load until you get a general idea of how each it pulls at different weights. My first year I scaled every load, better Safe then Sorry. After awhile you will be able to tell how heavy it is by how it pulls and once you've been on the road for awhile you know how many Scales and what Scales you will hit.

Example, my current Load going from Milwaukee to Mankato, MN. I will hit no Scale, do I bother with a Cat Scale? Probably not!

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

Larry B. 's Comment
member avatar

What do you do if you are overweight and can't fix it by sliding the tandems and you couldn't scale at the shipper? Say you are quite a few miles down the road before you can scale. Do you have to go back to the shippper and have them take some weight off?

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HAMMERTIME's Comment
member avatar

What do you do if you are overweight and can't fix it by sliding the tandems and you couldn't scale at the shipper? Say you are quite a few miles down the road before you can scale. Do you have to go back to the shippper and have them take some weight off?

No Scale at the Shipper , run to the nearest place you can Scale and if you are overweight. There is nothing you can do about it, just run back to the shipper and tell them you are overweight and show them the Scale Ticket and they will take it off. I've never had a shipper push back and refuse to take the extra weight off. They know what they are doing and some places ship heavy and try to get away with it.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

What do you do if you are overweight and can't fix it by sliding the tandems and you couldn't scale at the shipper? Say you are quite a few miles down the road before you can scale. Do you have to go back to the shippper and have them take some weight off?

Exactly that. Go back to the shipper with your scale ticket and get them to rework the load so that it can be run legally. Make sure you notify your company that the load is overweight and that you're going back to have it reworked, and let them know what kind of delay, if any, that is going to cause in delivering on time. Don't be freaked out about it making you late if it does. Your company won't--or at least shouldn't--give you any static about a delay because the morons who loaded your trailer couldn't do it right the first time. That's what the customer service reps are for.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

Prime has a gauge in the tractor that measures the air pressure in the air bags and converts it to pounds. The trailers have this also, once you have calibrated the gauges they seem to be quite accurate. In three months I've only used a cat scale twice. Once empty weight, I was just curious, and once to calibrate the gauge in the tractor.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

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.

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