When on the road, you may be thinking about how many miles are left in your haul or when you will stop next. It would be natural for you to feel that pulling over for a weigh station inspection is a hassle. However, it’s a routine part of being a truck driver and inspections don’t always have to be troublesome.
There are a number of things that you can do during and before inspections to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. In this blog, we will discuss what you can expect and how to prepare properly for weigh station inspections.
The Purpose of Weigh Station Inspections
Unless a truck has a bypass preclearance device, any commercial vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds is required to stop at every weigh station along its route. Weigh station inspections are conducted to ensure commercial vehicles are safe to operate.
While at the weigh station, trucks will be weighed via a rolling scale. Similar to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) speed regulations, trucks will be checked to ensure that they don’t exceed 80,000 pounds and are in compliance with federal and state regulations.
Keep in mind that weight is not the only thing checked at these stations and sometimes you have to undergo deeper inspections. Further inspections can be random, caused by drivers who are not prepared, or triggered by being unprofessional with officers. It’s important to know what to expect when pulling into a weigh station.
What to Expect
During an inspection, commercial vehicles will be checked for compliance with weight regulations, safety equipment, and other requirements. The following is what you can typically expect from the inspection process:
- Pre-inspection: Drivers will be asked to provide their CDL, registration, and insurance information. An officer will inspect the exterior of the vehicle and possibly ask for details about the load.
- Weighing: The vehicle will be weighed to ensure it’s not over the legal limit.
- Documentation: An officer will check the driver’s logbook to ensure that they comply with hours-of-service regulations.
- Inspection: An officer will quickly inspect the vehicle’s safety equipment such as brakes, lights, and tires. The load will also be checked to ensure it’s properly secured.
If any issues were to be found during the inspection, the driver may be required to make repairs before continuing on their haul. In some cases, drivers may be fined or their vehicles will be placed “out of service” until the issues are resolved.
Pre-Trip Checklist for a Smooth Inspection
Preparing before hitting the road is the best way for truck drivers to avoid long weigh station inspections. Here are some ways to prepare in advance for a smooth weigh station inspection.
Check Your Vehicle
Before starting a trip, drivers should always ensure their vehicle is in good condition to operate. Check that lights, brakes, tires, and other safety equipment is functioning properly. Also, ensure that the load is secure and not overweight.
Organize Important Information
An officer will ask to see your CDL, truck registration, and insurance information, so it’s important to keep all information organized and ready to go. You don’t want to waste time shuffling for papers at the weigh station. You should have it all together and ready to be handed over before you hit the road.
Maintain Accurate Records
Drivers need to keep accurate records of their hours of service and logbooks to ensure they are complying with regulations. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of repairs or maintenance performed on the vehicle.
Stay Ahead of the Game With Forerunner Insurance
Operating in the transportation industry is never an easy task. With new regulations and the risk of accidents, businesses in the industry need the help of a trusted partner. At Forerunner Insurance, we are driven by a team of trucking professionals. We understand the ins and outs of the industry to help provide you with adequate coverage and ensure you are in compliance with all regulations. For more information on how you can stay protected with Forerunner, please contact us today to set up an appointment.