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Old 08-03-2013, 05:50 AM   #1
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Public scales procedure?

We're newbies, and need to know the gross weight of our trailer and tow vehicle. Can someone tell us the protocol for using public scales? We've seen them along the highway, but have never used one. Do we just drive in? Is there someone there to tell you where to stop? Where is the weight displayed? Is it a free service, or is there a way to pay? Thanks.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:05 AM   #2
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The DOT scale near us, we just drive up. There are stop/go lights and sign marks to direct you. There was a speaker just like the drive through at fast food. The operator asked if we wanted weights for each axle. We asked just for gcvw and that is what he gave us verbally via the speaker. It was easy and they were helpful. You shouldn't have a problem.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chechako View Post
We're newbies, and need to know the gross weight of our trailer and tow vehicle. Can someone tell us the protocol for using public scales? We've seen them along the highway, but have never used one. Do we just drive in? Is there someone there to tell you where to stop? Where is the weight displayed? Is it a free service, or is there a way to pay? Thanks.
I'm only familiar with the CAT scales at Pilot/Flying J truck stops, but if I were you, I would go inside to the tucker's counter and ask them how.

Basically, the scales are marked off showing you where to stop to weigh the truck's front axle, the drive axle and then the trailer. There should be an intercom and speaker on a pedestal by the scale to communicate with the scale operator. They will ask for your truck number. Just tell them you're an rv, then they will tell you to come inside to pay and pick up your weight slip. Usually costs about $10-$12.
My mh fits conveniently on the first two areas, and the toad fits in the trailer portion. I don't know how your rig will fit, thus my suggestion for going inside first to ask about it.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #4
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Last time i was interested in the payload I had on my 1 ton flatbed, I went through the elevator scales. They have a digital readout. Did the same thing in my 1/2 ton pickup in another town out of curiosity. If you find a grain elevator just be courteous and go through after hours or on a Sunday if they are not taking grain and still obey the posted rules and drive slow over them.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
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local sand and gravel supplier will weigh me as follows/ f axle of pickup with trailer/ both axles of pickup with trailer/ entire pickup trailer combo, then I drop trailer in their side lot and re run the pick up. Charge is btwn 10 and 20 dollars depending on who works the counter. I will wait if they have a number of customers buying stone or sand.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:27 PM   #6
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I've used CAT scales at truck stops for years. Drive onto the scale and pull up until your front axle is on the first pad, the drive axle is on the second pad, and the trailer axles are on the third pad.

The intercom button will be way up in the air above you. I open the driver's window and stand on the window sill to reach the intercom button. Mash the button and wait until someone says something to you. Tell them you are a private RV, truck number 1, name whatever. After a few seconds they will tell you they got it.

Then drive off the scale and park in the truck parking lot. Go into the store and get in line at the fuel desk. Tell the clerk you have a scale ticket for an RV, truck number one. The clerk will retrieve your ticket and tell you how much you owe. Probably $10 or so. Pay the clerk and you can go.

If you need to reweigh, maybe without the trailer, explain to the clerk. They will tell you how to go about it - and the reweigh cost is usually only $1.00.

Remember that the truckers behind you wanting to use the scale are in a hurry, so don't mess around when you are on the scale. Do your business, and get off the scale.

There are other threads on IRV2 that explain how to fabricate a long "arm" to reach the intercom button without standing on the window sill of the truck's door. I don't use an arm because I'm agile enough to climb up and stand on the window sill to mash the intercom button.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:44 PM   #7
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Do not underestimate the problem of hitting the intercom button. I had a 'fail' when trying to weigh my rig. Called the truckstop the day before and was told hitting the intercom button would not be a problem. When I got there I pulled in the middle of the scale and stopped. The call button was way too high for me to reach plus I was too far away.

I would make a dry run if possible with just the truck. Pull onto the scale. Check out where the call button is located as well as the direction you go when pulling off the scale. I pulled off and went right. Right into semi-trucks leaving the diesel pumps. The pumps were hidden by a building between them and the scale...ugh. So I ended up in the way of truckers. Had to back up into a parking slot to get out of their way.

It was a major fail.

Good luck
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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Here's a doosy of a story, I had an f350 dually and was pulling my 16 ft cargo trailer with some furniture in it so for sure curiousity I decided to hit the scales. Well my trailer with twin 3500lb axles weighed in at a whopping 5800lbs when I proceeded to get a "park and bring papers " light. As I walked in a jokes with the woman saying was just practicing when she handed me a $256 ticket for being overweight an then an application for an overweight permit at the tune of $49. Apparantly to save money my EDW lowered the gvw on the registration even though the door tag said it was legal. So moral of the story make darn sure all your paper work is in order and you will be under weight! ( and yes EDW stands for " ex dear wife) my new dear wife is way better!!
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:39 PM   #9
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I liked the part that the new DW is 'way better' the EDW!!!.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:53 PM   #10
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Check at your local recycling center. Our neighborhood center has a truck scale for paper loads. I have found the gal at the window will give me an "unofficial weight" for $5.
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