Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Weigh Stations

Recommended Posts

As a MDT towing a 5'r are we required to stop and drive over the scales?  Any states that don't require this vehicle weight checks?  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

On EDIT:  Sorry for the long post, but there is no easy answer to this question.  See mid way through the post where I added a link with state by state general information.


If you come across a scale that has signage stating "All Trucks Must Stop" then you will have to pull in or risk being chased down (this assumes your MDT is registered as a truck, whether that be private truck or commercial truck). 

Just because you pull in, doesn't mean you will actually have to stop.  Often times when pulling an RV, you will be waved through with no issue (unless they think you are transporting the RV for hire - like a delivery driver).  Each state will have its own rules on what must stop at scales.  The rules typically include trucks over a certain weight rating.  For example in CA, you would be required to stop at all scales with any MDT (even for private use like towing an RV) because of the GVWR rating of the truck.  CA will see the truck as a big pickup or "motor truck" and in CA all pickups with a GVWR greater than 11500 lbs or more, unlaiden weight of 8001 lbs or more or not equipped with an open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length (think pick up box) and all motor trucks must stop at scales.

In CA, the reasoning for this is the following: According to CVC Section 471, pickups are a motor truck by definition, which is required to stop at the scales per CVC Section 2813. However, all California weigh stations have signs stating: "No Pickups." So, if a vehicle meets the definition of pickup in CVC Section 471, it is not required to stop at the scales because of the signs stating: "No Pickups." If the pickup has a GVWR of 11,500 pounds or more, an unladen weight 8,001 pounds, not equipped with an open-box type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length, or the pickup bed has been removed and a utility body or flat bed has been mounted, then it no longer meets the definition of pickup in CVC Section 471; it is then a "motor truck" under CVC Section 410 and required to stop at the weigh stations.

The above (except for the All Trucks Must Stop signage) is specific to CA.  Here is a link to some general rules listed state by state that AAA put together.

Ultimately it is your responsibility to be familiar with the rules of the state you are traveling in and abide by those rules.  Many of us on the HDT forum avoid scales because we are able to register our HDT's as motorhomes.  This title change means the HDT is no longer a truck, but is a motorhome and thus exempt from having to go into scales.  This is not typically an option for an MDT because the cabs do not typically allow the installation of items required for a motorhome title conversion.

You may also on occasion come across a scale or a checkpoint that states "All Vehicles over XXXXX lbs" must stop.  In this case, you would also be required to stop if your combination was over the listed weight, regardless of registration type or use.  This instance would include RV's and other large recreational vehicles that wouldn't normally be required to stop at a scale.  This signage is fairly rare, but is used on occasion.

You will get some who tell you to avoid the scales at all cost and hope for the best.  If you are registered as a recreational vehicle like a motorhome (like a converted HDT), then I would agree with that.  In the MDT world, a recreational vehicle/motorhome title is unlikely so you are stuck with the truck rules and should follow those for each state.

Edited by Chad Heiser

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Chad has good advise and as always a very good write-up.  I will say that we've towed our 40' coach from WA to Florida and everything in between and never have stopped.  Not saying we shouldn't have, but never did and LEOs never bothered us....including while bobtailing to sightsee.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

in talking to a scale opperator, yes a chp officer.

i got stoped for a ID check.

he said if you bypass a scale in ca. if you look like a rv on vacation. no problem.

if you look like a commercial truck towing to a dealer, then trouble if you bypass a scale.

this is one officer at a major scale in central ca. so your millage will vary.

but if your tow looks like a pickup. no harm. 

if you have heavly moded your tow and it looks commercial then better stop.


other officers may say other??



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this