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Old 05-15-2013, 07:30 PM   #1
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Truck Scale Etiquette

I'm picking up my LTV Unity on Friday and want to stop at either a TA Travel Center or Flying J on the way back to get wheel and/or axle weights at a public scale. Are most scale operators familiar with RV owners getting these weights? Is there a protocol or procedure to be followed? I don't want anyone getting disgusted or impatient while I attempt to get my rig weighed.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jackfish View Post
I'm picking up my LTV Unity on Friday and want to stop at either a TA Travel Center or Flying J on the way back to get wheel and/or axle weights at a public scale. Are most scale operators familiar with RV owners getting these weights? Is there a protocol or procedure to be followed? I don't want anyone getting disgusted or impatient while I attempt to get my rig weighed.
Nope... wait in line, if there is one , drive on , follow directions and go in and get your ticket. May cost 5 to 15 dollars. Also a Feed Mill, Southern States or similar place will also accommodate you.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jackfish View Post
I'm picking up my LTV Unity on Friday and want to stop at either a TA Travel Center or Flying J on the way back to get wheel and/or axle weights at a public scale. Are most scale operators familiar with RV owners getting these weights? Is there a protocol or procedure to be followed? I don't want anyone getting disgusted or impatient while I attempt to get my rig weighed.
The unity is a nice rig, which floorplan did you select?

I have a Libero, it has slightly larger tanks and a higher GVWR than the Unity, but that Mercedes 3500 chassis on the Unity is a great platform.

I am thinking of trading for a Unity with two single beds.

I weighed my Libero and it was right on vs the specs

Good luck
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Libero, I have the Unity U24MB with the murphy bed and theater seating. Sierra maple cabinetry and blue slate decor.

So what did you figure your payload was after weighing empty?
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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If you are weighing your new rig empty, also be sure to weigh it after it is fully loaded !
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:34 PM   #6
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Jackfish, I would go inside and explain to the scale operator that this is your first time. Tell them you wish to get individual axle weights. Some use red and green lights, others use a odd channel on a CB. Some use a speaker to tell you when they have your weight. This is why you need to explain this to them and so they know you don't know. DO NOT block the scales, this is a tool that working truck drivers use in a deadline situation, they might be trying to get a weight for a special permit and minutes could be critical. It will be up to YOU to place YOUR RV on the scales correctly. I started driving professionaly in 1973 with over 5million paid miles. This is how it is done.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:42 PM   #7
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Jackfish, I would go inside and explain to the scale operator that this is your first time. Tell them you wish to get individual axle weights. Some use red and green lights, others use a odd channel on a CB. Some use a speaker to tell you when they have your weight. This is why you need to explain this to them and so they know you don't know. DO NOT block the scales, this is a tool that working truck drivers use in a deadline situation, they might be trying to get a weight for a special permit and minutes could be critical. It will be up to YOU to place YOUR RV on the scales correctly. I started driving professionaly in 1973 with over 5million paid miles. This is how it is done.
The Cat scales I've used have an intercom button that allows 2 way conversation with the operator. It can be hard to reach as its positioned for 18 wheeler cabs. Last time I used one I had a broomstick handy to push the button. Just FYI, the State of Oregon leaves its commercial scales turned on all the time. When the weigh station is not staffed its ok to drive in and use the scales. The weight is shown on an overhead display.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:24 AM   #8
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When I've used the scales (Cat scales) the operator will usually ask you first for you truck number for tracking. Usually your out of site of the operator so they have no idea your a MH. Just tell them you have no number and are just looking for a weight. They will give you a number like 0000 and tell you to come inside and claim your ticket. Usually by then the truck has already been weighed.

I've never seen a Cat scale that doesn't automatically do axle weights individually although corner weights are another story.

As you pull into the scale you will see a picture indicating proper rig placement and as you drive on you will see the partitions of the scale. Just pull up so the axles are each in a unique portion and you'll be set. The rest is getting a number and going inside to claim.

No magic, just dont dally around, be purposeful.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:08 AM   #9
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Here is a CAT scale primer. At the top are links to the rest of the CAT site.

How To Weigh | CAT Scale

There are ways to get 4 corner weights on a cat scale. CAT officially doesn't support weighing only one side of the RV to get 4 corners but I haven't had a problem doing it. The trick is to get full axle weights the first time around then a single side the next time around. This works for MHs but I am not sure it works as easily with TT or 5ers.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:23 AM   #10
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The scales can't give you axle weights automatically, I don't think? They need to be on separate "tables" to register independently.

As you drive on to the scales you'll see they're divided into sections, with yellow lines to help you see that. Each "table" able to report the weight on them separately. You'll need to spot the trailer so the yellow line/gap between the tables, is between the axles?

If the rear axle of your tow vehicle is on the same "table" as the front trailer axle, the resulting weight slip will show the total of the 2 axles - so you may have to mess with that a bit?

I've found the scale operators cooperative, though generally not very helpful when it comes to such things. They've been shown how to weigh trucks. That's all they know?

I've been on several Cat scales here in the Midwest. The charge is generally 9.00. If you see a screw up or something makes you want to try again, "re-weighs" cost an extra 2.00.

I've never had a truck waiting behind me when I was done.

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Old 05-16-2013, 09:41 AM   #11
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Here is a CAT scale primer. At the top are links to the rest of the CAT site.

How To Weigh | CAT Scale

There are ways to get 4 corner weights on a cat scale. CAT officially doesn't support weighing only one side of the RV to get 4 corners but I haven't had a problem doing it. The trick is to get full axle weights the first time around then a single side the next time around. This works for MHs but I am not sure it works as easily with TT or 5ers.
I don't know if anyone else has actually read the part in the referenced link about weighing a motorhome... BUT... it says "We cannot provide individual wheel weights and, to prevent damage to your vehicle as well as our scales, do not allow that type of weighing." I know some have mentioned weighing a second time with just one side of the motorhome and doing the math to get the 4-corner weights, but it looks like this will not always be an option, but more depends on the scale operator.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:39 AM   #12
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I don't know if anyone else has actually read the part in the referenced link about weighing a motorhome... BUT... it says "We cannot provide individual wheel weights and, to prevent damage to your vehicle as well as our scales, do not allow that type of weighing." I know some have mentioned weighing a second time with just one side of the motorhome and doing the math to get the 4-corner weights, but it looks like this will not always be an option, but more depends on the scale operator.
Like I said... It can be done but, you are exactly correct in how you read their rules and how they can be fudged. HOWEVER...make sure that if one chooses to do it that way they don't delay any trucks behind because you are gonna have to back up a bit on the re-weigh because you can't get the front on pad 1 and you have to miss the protective arch.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:00 AM   #13
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Went to a CAT scale for the first time 2 weeks ago. Had no idea what to expect. Turns out it was a piece of cake and in the hour or two I was there (multiple passes with TV and trailer) not a single commercial truck or anyone else went through the scale. Lost sleep over nothing.

Comments:

Do not stand outside your RV or tow vehicle to be able to push the button on the intercom. You might get weighed without you inside.

A 3' or so pole (like broomstick handle or just say a length of 1x2 wood) is almost mandatory unless you are higher up in a MH. The intercom I was at is a hard faced button and it doesn't move in really. So a wad of soft tape at the end of your stick would help. I ended up using a 2' long breaker bar I had with me and had to lean way over.

You cannot really weigh the left and right sides unless you back onto the scales. Not really feasible and I would not try it unless you go inside and ask them. Could be useful info. but I'm sure they'd say no though.

When you go onto the scale and hit the button, they will ask if you are there for a "re-weigh". You can go through as many times as you need to and just tell them it's a re-weigh for subsequent passes.

You need to make sure you are on the scales fairly quickly and ready for a weigh-in. I had one or two weighs done by the girl inside before I had hit the button and before I had opened the door to check and see if I had all 3 axles on the pads.

Drive out or around in the direction the commercial trucks do. Don't take a shortcut the wrong way when circling around for another pass.

The commercial drivers are pretty nice and accommodating will help you if needed.

I noticed gas at their pumps was quite a bit cheaper than elsewhere so I'd plan to gas up there. Don't forget you should have a full tank of gas before going on the scale.
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