If you have to ask that question, you're probably not a trucker. A weigh station is not a place to get your car or boat or camper weighed. It's a place where the states enforce federal and state weight regulations. It's also where the states enforce log book (hours of service) regulations and permit requirements such as IFTA, registration, and various state permits.

There are different types of stations truckers have to deal with. There's your plain, ol' regular weigh station- such as you'll find in Ohio, Illinois, Georgia and most other states. There are ports of entry- such as you'll find in Wyoming, Arizona and Utah. There are agricultural inspections- such as you'll find in Florida and California. There are immigration check points- found mostly in the southwest.

Some of the confusion comes from the many different names truckers have for weigh stations. We call them weigh stations, of course. But we also call them scales. Sometimes we call them Coops. And Chicken Coops. And Chicken Houses. We ask other truckers on the c.b. radio, "what's Ohio doing?" (or Colorado, or Alabama). And the reply might be, "all locked up." Or, "the coops are open and weighing your wagon." Or, "they're checking your ground pressure." The weigh station might have "the big word out." Or they might be "working." You never know until you get there.

Some truckers use transponders in their truck to get "pre-clearance" at many locations. There's PrePass, Norpass, Bestpass... all kinds of passes. Truckers who get "the green light" get to keep rolling down the highway without pulling into the weigh station. Truckers who get "the red light" must stop.

Most permanent weigh stations have signs on the freeway approach that light up to tell truckers if they are open or closed. Some even try to color code their signs- but the average trucker passes so many truck scales that we can't even begin to keep track of who does what and where, so that particular tactic seems a little over done. Some weigh stations have signs that light up as the trucker passes by to tell him if he can keep on rolling, even if he doesn't have a pre-clearance transponder. Some weigh stations are set up seemingly spur of the moment by DOT or state police and have only the most basic of signs, arrows, or cones to let a trucker know they are open just ahead.

If you're looking for a place to weigh your car or personal vehicle, you're not looking for a weigh station. You're looking for a public scale. You'll find these at truck stops and some trucking shippers- try flyingj.com, catscale.com, am-best.com or a truck stop guide.

is the only comprehensive online resource for over 1100 truck weigh stations and scales as well as state DOT weight regulations and policies. Knowledge of the varying policies and the ability to manage or avoid most weigh stations can save truckers thousands of dollars in ticket fines. For further information, contact Suzanne at information@coopsareopen.com or view Truck Weigh Station, Scales and State DOT Information at http://www.CoopsAreOpen.com

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What Is A Weigh Station
By Suzanne Roquemore
There are check stations and random roadside inspections and pull-out areas- which you'll find scattered throughout the country in unmarked and mostly unknown locations. You can't count on "the enforcers" being where you expect them to be at all times.