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Old 12-17-2012, 12:41 PM   #1
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Use of Weigh Station Help

Have a new 5th wheel (39' Redwood) and truck (F-350 dually) and have begun full-timing in early November. Getting ready to take our trial trip (30 minutes away from our base park near Wetherford Texas). I'd like to weigh the truck and RV (loaded) while on the trip and have never done this before.

1. Any suggestions on where/how I can find a weigh station?
2. Do all weigh stations cost and operate about the same?
3. What's the process?
4. Are the folks working these weigh stations receptive to RV's pulling in?
5. Any other suggestions or things to watch out for?

By the way, our base RV park is Cowtown RV in Aledo, TX and we're headed to Granbury Texas for New Years weekend.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:55 PM   #2
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Just go to a truck stop like FlyingJ that has a CAT scale. Last time I went there was a pay machine alongside and you just put $5 in the slot. Doesn't hurt to go to the pay desk and ask for help if you are not sure.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcakia View Post
Have a new 5th wheel (39' Redwood) and truck (F-350 dually) and have begun full-timing in early November. Getting ready to take our trial trip (30 minutes away from our base park near Wetherford Texas). I'd like to weigh the truck and RV (loaded) while on the trip and have never done this before.

1. Any suggestions on where/how I can find a weigh station?
2. Do all weigh stations cost and operate about the same?
3. What's the process?
4. Are the folks working these weigh stations receptive to RV's pulling in?
5. Any other suggestions or things to watch out for?

By the way, our base RV park is Cowtown RV in Aledo, TX and we're headed to Granbury Texas for New Years weekend.
Any truckstop with a CAT Scale,$10 just pull on and listen for directions. If you pull into a state run weigh station they will confiscate your RV for ignorance
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:01 PM   #4
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If you are referring to weigh stations operated by Dept Of Transportation at different areas for semis you will find them a lot less than receptive to your pulling into their areas with any RV.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcakia View Post
1. Any suggestions on where/how I can find a weigh station?
CAT Scale Locator | CAT Scale

On the above link, fill out your info and the website will point you to the CAT scales in your area.

CAT = certified automated truck (CAT), not Caterpillar or some sort of feline.

Or just drive down the interstate looking for huge truckstops such a Pilot, Loves, Flyin' J, etc. Almost all large truckstops have CAT scales (or equivalent). Some of the older Flying J truckstops may still have their J Scale, but it's just a CAT scale by a different name.

Quote:
2. Do all weigh stations cost and operate about the same?
All the CAT scales, yes. If you're trying to get by cheap, such as a cotton gin or grain elevator or DOT weigh station, I don't know.

Quote:
3. What's the process?
Get in line at the scale entrance. When it's your turn, pull onto the scale. Put your front axle on the first pad, the drive axle on the second pad, and the trailer axles on the third pad. Pull forward or back up a bit until the axles are all on the correct pad.

Then somehow reach up to the button on the intercom and press it. I usually have to stand on the pickup windowsill to reach the button.

The nice lady will ask for your truck number. Answer "Private party pickup number one" or some such. She'll probably ask you to repeat it.

In a few seconds she will say something like "okay, I got it". You then pull off the scale and park somewhere, then go into the office and pay your bill.

Quote:
4. Are the folks working these weigh stations receptive to RV's pulling in?
Yes, unless you are a slowpoke that that causes a traffic jam at the scale. So don't be a slowpoke.

Quote:
5. Any other suggestions or things to watch out for?
A re-weigh is free or cheap. If you want to weigh twice, maybe once with the trailer and once without, or perhaps once with the WD bars hooked up and again without the WD bars, then go in and find out how to do that before you enter the scale the first time.

Quote:
By the way, our base RV park is Cowtown RV in Aledo, TX ...
From Aledo, go west on I-20 to Weatherford. There are big truckstops with CAT scales at most exits. I prefer to go through town and get off at the Pilot on the west end of town.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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My small nearby (7 miles) town has a grain elevator/feed store/ feed mill with scales. Their open 24/7 with a digital read out that can be seen through the stores front window. I can weigh my trucks front and rear axles separately loaded or empty .

Its handy and costs nothing. You may have one in your area.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:03 PM   #7
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Go to Google Maps. Enter "Aledo, Texas" then enter "truck scales".

I did that and found the Petro Shopping center in Weatherford, TX on I20 has scales. Looks like about 12 miles from you.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:04 PM   #8
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I have found in the southwest that the weigh stations on the Interstates are often closed. IF they are I look to see if the light for the scale shows a zero, if so the scale is on. I drive through and do a rolling weigh 3mph usually which is accurate. Have a passenger write down the numbers during the rolling weigh.

Do not go into an attended working weigh station on an interstate.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:16 AM   #9
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gkakia,
There is a Petro station on !-20 near where you live, also a Loves. One of them surely has a CAT scale. The bigger problem is the intimidation of all the semis running around.
If you ever go up 287 north of Decatur, there is an Exxon station with scales that is never crowded.
Here is what I do on the CAT scales to get pin weight without dropping the trailer:

Talk to the cashier about needing 2 weights--this will save a little money if you don't get off the scales between weighings.

Drive onto the scales and position the front axle of the truck on the first pad; the rear axles of truck on the second pad; and the trailer completely on the third pad with the front jacks positioned just on the leading edge of the third pad. This takes a little care...don't fall off the scales if they are elevated.

Get a weight reading as it sits, then lower the front jacks to just where the weight of the pin box comes off the truck hitch. This point is easy to see if you watch the hitch--do not raise high enough to start raising the truck. Get another weight reading. The trailer has to be completely on one pad for this to work.

These two separate readings will generate all the figures needed to determine axle weights, pin weight, truck weight, trailer weight and gross combined weights. This won't determine individual wheel weights.

Joe
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:56 AM   #10
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If there is ANY question about your weights,
I would stay away from official DOT scales until you correct your issues...

cat scales are too common and cheap - $9 first weigh and $1 reweigh IIRC

If u want a passenger that can assist,
I'm near Burleson and the cat scale is right up I-35W, just give me a shout !
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:20 PM   #11
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Once you find your scale, this may help:
How To Weigh | CAT Scale
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:31 PM   #12
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Thanks

Can't tell you all how appreciative my wife and I are for the time you all took to provide such detailed responses.

This site is so valuable to us rookies.

I'll be sure to return the favor in a few years when I have some added knowledge to share.

Thanks again!

Gary and Karen
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:35 PM   #13
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I've received a surprised comment from the scale operator at a truck stop a few times. They are so used to 40 ton trucks on the scales, they think I am joking around with them when I pull on with my truck/5er combo. However, i did get a comment once from a truck driver. He said he wished more RV'ers weighed thier rigs.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:14 AM   #14
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My local cat scales are very receptive to RV using the segmented scale. The only down side to a grain elevator scale is that it is only a single scale. They are only concerned with total weight difference. The CAT or J scales are segmented to give front axle weight, drive axle weight, and separate trailer weight, as well as total vehicle weight. All of these numbers are important to properly evaluate the loading of your tires.
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