No Cat scale before State scale

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by hunts2much, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. hunts2much

    hunts2much Medium Load Member

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    What do you do when you pick up a load and there is virtually no way to hit a Cat scale (even well out of route) before you have to cross a state scale?

    I *almost* had this situation come up yesterday in Milpitas, CA just off I680/Montague expy and it had me nervous. I simply could not find a Cat scale, no matter how far out of route it would lead me, were I wouldn't have to cross a State scale first. Turned out I didn't load at the shipper in question so it's not an issue now but I would like to know the answer for future occurrences.

    I've read a lot of replies here on this subject and haven't seen a concrete answer yet. I read a suggestion to call the State scale ahead of time but that wasn't a guarantee and might *earn* me an inspection. Calling ahead was the strategy I was going to roll with (along with a friendly attitude) but I don't like playing the chance game.
     
  2. RickG

    RickG Road Train Member

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    Cat scales aren't the only public scales . Look for gravel plants , scrap metal yards , feed mills , household movers , etc . They won't give you the guarantee the CAT scales will but they will give you some documentation .
     
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  3. mike76

    mike76 Light Load Member

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    moving companies have really accurate scales. Used them when i drove flat bed.
     
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  4. hunts2much

    hunts2much Medium Load Member

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    I use MS Streets/Trips with the Truck Stop Plus template and it shows all the independent scales as well as the Cat scales and none were available without crossing a State scale first. I should have worded my question better and not used the term "Cat" scale. For the purpose of this post when I refer to "Cat" scale I mean any available scale. The guarantee isn't what I'm after, it's the documentation as you pointed out.

    I never considered the other options you listed though, thanks for the tip!

    For information purposes only lets assume there wasn't any of the options you listed available either. Then what?
     
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  5. Kabar

    Kabar Road Train Member

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    Ask the shipper where the closest scale of any kind is. They know whether or not they load heavy and if they do where to go and weight it. As you go along learn where you set the tandems on different loads and you will learn to be close most of the time. I know how much gross weight I can carry and whether or not they have loaded it right or not by looking at the load and the way it fills when I move it. But I also have haul a few thousand loads.
     
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  6. hunts2much

    hunts2much Medium Load Member

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    Michigan
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    In my short time driving (1 year in 3 weeks) I have gotten to be fairly good at "guessing" the right hole for each load. I'm *usually* within 1 hole either way if not right on when I scale out but I'm just an obnoxious type person that really wants to know the absolute right answer rather than leaving things to chance.

    When I cross a State scale with a questionable load I want to be able to show some form of documentation or know word for word any rule if available that allows me to potentially avoid any "donations" when the situation simply doesn't allow me to weigh before crossing a state scale.
     
  7. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Heavy Load Member

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    Err on the side of caution.
    Load light.
     
  8. TripleSix

    TripleSix Road Train Member

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    I know youre probably inquiring about doorslammers, but I think I can still help.


    When you get your rig, fill up the tanks and get the net weight. Write this number down in your permit book somewhere.

    Hopefully, your truck has a suspension gauge. It may take some time to figure out, but eventually, you should be able to figure out where 34000 lbs is on your suspension gauge.

    Slide your trailer tandems before you load. Its much easier to do. From the front of the trailer, 4th hole on the sliders.

    Load carefully
     
  9. RickG

    RickG Road Train Member

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    Suspension gauges are only reliable when the truck is on level ground . It doesn't take much of an incline to throw them off .
     
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  10. JWinNC

    JWinNC Light Load Member

    Asking the shipper where a close by scale is that isn't on your map or software is the best course of action like the other poster stated. There might be another company right down the road that has one you can use or something like that.

    Most counties have a landfill and or recycling center that has scales that weigh steer, drives, tandems, and gross that have trucks rolling in and out all day long. I chose this option twice when I was OTR when in your situation.

    Once, for example, was go 40 miles out of route to go south and scale at the truck stop when load was going north across a state scale. I found out from the shipper the landfill was 1/2 mile away and only charged $7 for a scale ticket. This worked out beautifully!!! Saved a lot of time and got headed in the right direction without much of a delay or going the wrong way just to find out I had everything set the right way and was legal anyway.

    It's just another option to keep in mind and I hope this helps out any drivers that come across this pretty common problem in the day to day of it. This was just another one of those little lessons or things I learned while being a "newb" out there OTR.
     
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