24

On US interstates, there are weigh stations for trucks.

Are they for trucks only? What are the exact categories of vehicles that must/may enter?

  • If I rented a UHaul or Penske truck, would I be required to enter into an open weigh station? I know that, when a speed limit sign says 70 Trucks 60, UHaul, Penske or large motorhomes are limited to 60 mph. Does that mean that they also need to submit to weigh stations?

  • If I drove a 30 - 50 ft motor-home, would I need to go through the weigh station?

What dimensions or attributes of a vehicle would require it to submit to weigh stations?

15

The short answer is yes, larger trucks like moving trucks will be required to go through a weigh station in some states; AAA has a guide to weigh station requirements in Canada and the United States, and you should also ask the agency you are renting from.

You will not necessarily have to stop at the weigh station for an inspection, as modern weigh stations have rolling scales— or you may simply be waved through by the agent or officer. Sometimes, there is even a special lane for moving trucks. But it is better to be safe than sorry, as the ticket for failing to stop at a weigh station when required can be costly.


To generalize, most states require only 1) commercial vehicles, of which your rented moving truck or pickup would not be included, and 2) vehicles over a certain weight, again, which your rented moving truck or pickup is unlikely to exceed, to stop at weigh stations. Some explicitly include or exclude trailers, motor homes / recreational vehicles (RVs), or campers.

The most common limits are 8,000, 10,000 lbs and 26,000 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). It is extremely unlikely that a motorhome or a moving truck of personal goods would exceed 26,000 lbs., which is a common level at which a commercial driver's license is required.

But many of the larger trucks you can rent from Penske, U-Haul, and so forth would fall under the regulation. The Movers.com Weigh Stations page offers the following table of approximate gross vehicle weights:

  • 14-foot has GVW of 14,050 pounds
  • 17-foot has GVW of 14,050 pounds
  • 24-foot has GVW of 18,000 pounds
  • 26-foot has GVW of 20,000 pounds
  • Do you have to stop at every weigh stations, once per state, once for good? – Vince Nov 21 '14 at 22:38
  • 6
    @Vince If you are required to stop, you are required to stop at every weigh station. – choster Nov 21 '14 at 22:39
  • 2
    @Vince Typically not every weigh station is open at the same time. They usually open somewhat randomly. – Michael Hampton Nov 22 '14 at 1:23
  • 3
    Admittedly this was 20 years ago, but I went from Ohio to California in a 21 or 24-foot Penske truck. At the first weigh station, we pulled in, and they basically said, 'get out, and don't stop at any other weigh stations'. They were...unamused. – mkennedy Nov 23 '14 at 1:41
  • 2
    @mkennedy How does this contradict my post? In Ohio, only commercial vehicles (driven by a commercial driver) are required to stop at weigh stations. – choster Nov 23 '14 at 15:49
2

When I have used a moving van (3 or 4 times in 20 years), I was always told by the van company to stop at weigh stations. Whenever I pulled into a weigh station, I was simply waved on through with a smile. (So I played it safe but was not delayed.)

But when I traveled, 9 of 10 weigh stations were not even open, so I only pulled in once every 1000 miles or so (it seemed.)

Ask the company from which you are renting.... (I rented, most recently, from Penske. I've also used Ryder and U-Haul. It depends on who you talk to – the clerk processing paperwork may not have an answer for you – but the rental company know the answer to the question and has answered that question for other customers.)

  • Most recently, Penske. But I've also used Ryder and U-Haul. – KenWSmith Nov 27 '14 at 20:43
  • Here's an external link with a summary of which vehicles need to stop at weigh stations for each state: drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/weigh-stations – Johnny Feb 25 '15 at 16:05
2

My parents used to rent Ryder trucks, and then Budget trucks, once Ryder went commercial only, between 1983 and 2007. We would tell all of our customers to stop at all weigh stations.
More currently, though, in the state of California, ANY vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds HAS to go over the weigh station. This includes any motor homes, rental trucks, commercial trucks, and pickups that weigh that much or more.
Although, I know that the weight is going down to include some pickups and smaller trucks starting in January, 2016.
I know I'm late to the conversation here, but I hope I was helpful.

Source- California Highway Patrol V C 34501.12 if you really want to read all of the legal jargon

  • And, YES, weigh stations are to check for Safety of the vehicles on the road, illegal immigration, illegal trafficking, permits, documentation of logged hours(for big rigs), among other things. – Cheryl Nov 17 '15 at 19:26
-2

Truck stop is also Homeland Security, they aren't just looking for overloaded trucks. Be smart, pull thru the weigh station and save yourself a roadside inspection 10 miles down the road.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.