im about to take a job over the road, the one thing im scared to death of are weight stations.
when entering a weight station do you stop? do you keep driving at a slow pace? what about if there are three different lanes open what one do you go to?
and assume there is no sign to walk you through the processes. then what?
It sounds like you are either a new driver or haven’t been OTR before, but don’t worry. If you are a new driver with a reputable carrier, you will have a trainer to walk you through the process, but if you haven’t been OTR, get to talking to other drivers to get more tips than I can give you.
Weigh stations will depend on the state. Each state has its own policy & methods for commercial vehicle enforcement above & beyond federal minimums, but start by keeping your log book current, permit book updated, & your vehicle in good working condition. Also, do some preplanning, so you can prepare for each weigh station (Rand McNally Truckers Road Atlas & the Truck Stop Directory has symbols where the scales are at).
Watch for the signs when you come up on a weigh station. If it is closed, have a green light on your Prepass (windshield mounted transponder for scales), or if weigh in motion sign gives you the bypass, you can keep trucking along. If you do see the open sign, have a red or no light on Prepass, or instructed by Weigh in Motion, you must comply & enter the weigh station. Follow all lights & signs when you enter. Go a little below posted limits to see what the scalemaster wants you to do. If you are light, you may recieve the bypass or creep across the scale at 3-5mph, but if you have a heavy or badly balanced load, they may want you to stop on the scale. As for the lanes, follow the lights or as in some scales, like WA & NC, choose the shortest or the line that exposes your best side, if both sides are opened up.
If they want you to go around back, follow their instructions. Have your bills, driver’s license, medical card, permit book, & log book with you when you go into the scale house. Be nice to the officer & they will be more lenient on you. Sometimes, like last week at the Kewanee MS scale, they red lighted all drivers for a license, registration, & IFTA spot check, but other times, it is your lucky day for a Level I DOT inspection, which checks paperwork, lights, brakes, etc. As long as everything is current, you won’t have any problems. if you push your luck or ignore problems, that will be a different story. Good luck at OTR!!