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Does a Moving Truck Need to Stop at a Weigh Station?

moving truck
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If you’re embarking on a long-haul move, chances are you’re using a moving truck. Crossing over state lines means facing a variety of highway regulations, including whether or not you should stop at a moving truck weigh station.

You’re probably asking yourself, do U-Hauls have to stop at weigh stations? The answer to that question is: it depends. In states like California, for instance, moving trucks are classified as a truck that has to stop at a weigh station. In other states, that’s not the case. Read on to learn more.

What is a weigh station?

A truck weigh station is a location alongside a highway where officials calculate the weight of vehicles. The departments responsible for conducting these duties include the Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Transportation, or highway patrol officers. When truck drivers stop at a weigh station, they must park on a portable or stationary scale. The officials read the weight of the truck inside the office of the scale house.

What is the purpose of weigh stations?

The purpose of a weigh station is to ensure trucks are operating safely on roadways. That means making sure the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is not too high, so the trucks aren’t causing damage to roads or other infrastructure. The GVWR is the maximum loaded weight, including people and possessions, of the truck. There are weight limits on certain bridges, overpasses, and roads. If an overweight truck passes over them, it could cause structural damage.

What trucks have to stop at weigh stations?

Every state has varying rules for highway safety, including whether or not trucks have to stop at a weigh station. If the truck driver is in a state that requires weigh station stops, regulations usually base it on the GVWR of the vehicle. For example, most states requiring a weigh station stop have a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more.

How do weigh stations work?

When a truck driver sees an open weigh station in a state requiring stops, they must pull off and roll onto the scale. The scales are convenient and allow the truck driver to stay in the vehicle the whole time. If they meet weight requirements, then they can proceed back onto the highway. If a red light flashes, then the driver must resolve the weight issue. That might mean unloading some cargo to meet weight requirements, paying a fine, or a combination of the two.

In some states, a driver could get up to two months of jail time if the truck’s weight exceeds 80,000 pounds. They could also have their commercial driver’s license (CDL) revoked. The states that enforce this include Alabama, Delaware, and Ohio.

What happens if a truck doesn’t stop at a weigh station?

The only time a truck can pass a weigh station is if they see a sign stating it is okay for them to proceed. Even if your truck is empty, you must stop if the weigh station is open and the bypass sign is not flashing. Because many weigh stations have cameras, they can take pictures of all trucks passing without stopping. Before long, that information can reach local officials. If drivers do not stop, they could receive a fine for up to $300.

Weigh station rules: What states require moving trucks to stop at weigh stations?

State Rules
Alabama No
Alaska Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Arizona Yes [If the GVWR 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Arkansas Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
California Yes [According to CVC Section 410, a moving truck is defined as a motor truck and most stop.]
Colorado Yes [If the vehicle’s GVWR exceeds 26,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Connecticut No
Delaware No
Florida Depends [If the moving truck contains agricultural products, drivers must stop at an Agricultural Inspection Station.]
Georgia Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Hawaii Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Idaho No
Illinois No
Indiana Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Iowa  Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Kansas Yes [All vehicles with a truck registration must stop.]
Kentucky No
Louisiana No
Maine No
Maryland No
Massachusetts No
Michigan No
Minnesota Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Mississippi  No
Missouri No
Montana Yes [If a truck’s GVWR exceeds 8,000 pounds or is carrying agricultural materials, drivers must stop.]
Nebraska Yes [If the moving truck exceeds one ton, drivers must stop.]
Nevada No
New Hampshire No
New Jersey Yes [If vehicles exceed 10,001 pounds, drivers must stop.]
New Mexico Yes [All drivers must stop if the truck’s GVWR exceeds 26,001 pounds.]
New York No
North Carolina No
North Dakota Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Ohio Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Oklahoma No
Oregon Yes [All vehicles that are 26,000 pounds or more must stop.]
Pennsylvania Yes [No matter the size, all trucks must stop at a weigh station.]
Rhode Island  No
South Carolina Depends [If the vehicle’s weight appears unlawful, the Department can require drivers to stop at the nearest weigh station.]
South Dakota Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 8,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Tennessee No
Texas No
Utah No
Vermont No
Virginia Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 7,500 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Washington No
West Virginia No
Wisconsin Yes [If the GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds, drivers must stop.]
Wyoming Depends [Trucks are chosen at random for inspection or are required to stop when instructed by a black and white regulatory sign.]

*Data sourced from Your Mechanic

The bottom line

Weigh stations are an essential part of the highway safety system to ensure heavy weighted vehicles are not causing damage to roads and other related infrastructure. If you’re driving a rented moving truck and aren’t sure if you should stop at a weigh station, your best bet is to pull in and find out. The laws vary by state so, if you are traveling through several states, it’s easy to get confused about weight limits and other highway regulations. Checking in at weigh stations helps avoid the risk of receiving a fine.

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