Weigh Stations are an inevitable aspect of freight transportation. You know the drill – drivers pull up in an inspection station to get their trailer and truck weight checked.
Most carriers and drivers have come to terms with the fact that weigh stations are a necessary annoyance. As important as weigh stations are, they can also be very frustrating and waste precious time and gas for truck drivers and carriers.
What are DOT weigh stations for?
Weigh station inspections are intended to ensure that goods are being transported properly and safely. Originally, weigh stations were used to collect taxes. Now they are mainly intended for checking the weight of trucks in order to ensure they are complying by the state’s laws. These rules were put in place in order to ensure the weight of the trucks do not damage the roads and highways.
At each of these DOT weigh station checkpoints, a DOT representative will be able to inspect vehicles for safety purposes. For safety purposes, they may occasionally inspect the contents of the truck or various parts such as tires and breaks as well.
How much does it cost to pull-in?
Put simply, repetitive weigh station stops increase fleet costs. Time spent idling at weigh stations results in lost time and wasted fuel.
It costs $9.27 per pull-in per truck according to a study of 94 million pull-ins. That adds up!
If you are an owner operator who stops at 10 weigh stations a month, that’s almost $100 less off your income every month, or $1200 a year.
If you manage a fleet of 10 trucks, that could be upwards of $1200 a month!
How can you avoid weigh stations?
Drivers can’t just pretend they didn’t see the weigh station pull-in sign and skip it without the proper permissions.
However, bypass program transponders and mobile apps now have the ability to relay the safety record and credentials of the truck and its fleet to the weigh station.
When a truck pulls into a weigh station, cameras read the license plate number or the DOT number of the truck.
Those credentials are cross-checked against a computerized “hot list” of stolen vehicles and fleets with unpaid citations.
When scales focus on the important fleets, good drivers are allow to pass through and skip the weigh station, saving both the driver’s and the scale’s time and effort.
How do I get onto these bypass programs?
If you’re not already leveraging weigh station bypass capabilities, you are missing out. This translates to hundreds or thousands of dollars in monthly bottom-line cost reduction associated with idling time and fuel usage, and exceed customer expectations with faster load delivery.
There are various solutions out there that will let you compliantly skip the weigh station. However, not all are made equal.
Most times, these programs or solutions require you or your drivers to install an additional transponder that will communicate with the weigh station. Not to mention the high monthly fees.
With Switchboard Bypass, no transponders are required to be installed in the vehicle. Switchboard Bypass is integrated into the Switchboard technology, streamlining the process of bypass services for vehicles on the road. Learn more about Switchboard Weigh Station Bypass here.
As mentioned earlier, only good drivers are eligible for these bypass programs. This means that your company must have a good CSA/ISS score.
If your company is experiencing hours of service violations that are affecting your safety rating, take a look at this article to refresh on all the hours of service rules.