It’s no secret that most of America’s goods are transported by truck. Because of this, states have enacted various laws and taxes to regulate the industry. Each state has its own laws on how much a truck can weigh when transporting goods. A common standard for the weight allowed is 34,000 pounds or 15,400 kilograms. The amount of weight carried per axle is called axle weight. The gross weight is the total of all the axles of the truck. Most states receive taxes from the truck weigh stations, which goes to improving the roadways. Trucks that are overweight are subject to heavy fines, which is why there are many high quality truck scales available for companies and contractors.
Truck scales are made out of concrete and steel. They are built to handle a large amount of weight each day all year long. The scales can handle up to 80,000 pounds or 36,000 kilograms per load. The weight is calculated by sensors that receive signals from a junction box. Strain gauges, which are wires are embedded in the concrete and have an electrical current running through them. These wires will compress when pressure from the weight of the truck is sensed. The weight is then displayed on a monitor in a booth where the attendant records the weight. It is vital that these systems are reliable and functioning, because if they aren’t it will directly affect their pocketbooks.
Another way that is used is called one-axle. In this instance the truck driver needs to place each axle on the truck scales one axel at a time. Once all the axles are weighed a total is given. This takes a lot of time out of the driver’s schedule. One stop weighing is where the driver can place the truck on one large scale and the controller will give a gross weight. The one popular method of weighting trucks is when the truck is in motion. The truck doesn’t have to stop at all. The sensors on the truck scales will pick up the weight and record it all while the truck is in motion.
Another reason that a company uses truck scales is because running an over loaded truck all the time would cause more wear on the truck. The engine would have to work harder which means you need to change your oil more often to accommodate for the extra stress. Tires would also wear out at a faster pace. Running an over weighted truck is a safety hazard as well as being illegal.
Fines for running an over weighted truck in some states have become much higher. Some fines ran 10 cents a pound for every pound you were over the weight limit, up to a fine of $500 per load. Those same states now are charging fines of 12 cents per pound with no limit to the amount of the fine. States are getting tired of truckers running loads that are overweight and ruining their roads and endangering other drivers. The heavy weight of the trucks does enough damage to the roadways at the normal weight. When to many over weighted trucks continually use their roads it causes repair needs to be done often. The taxes they collect go towards keeping the roads safe for all drivers. So we all have truck scales to thank for not only getting us our goods, but keeping us safe as well!