How Do Scales at Truck Weigh Stations Work?

July 20, 2017 10:44 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Weigh stations are a frequent sight along most major American and Canadian roadways. These specialized pit stops exist solely to log and record the weight of commercial freight trucks on industrial truck scales in Montana and beyond.

These stations were first erected to collect state fuel taxes from commercial trucks that are composed of three or more axels or weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Today, truckers instead file quarterly reports to pay their fuel taxes, but the stations still exist to log and document their weight as they pass through certain areas.

Truck scale installation in Montana is an important industry that benefits both local governments and truck drivers.

Truck scales at weigh stations typically utilize one of three common measurement systems:

  • Load cell systems: These scales are composed of a material, such as concrete or steel, with a sensitized strain gauge embedded inside of it. The strain gauge, which is usually an electrical wire, will emit a small amount of current as it is compressed by the weight of the vehicle. A junction box reads the amount of current flowing through the wires, which is used to determine the exact weight of the truck in question.
  • Bending plates: Bending plates are metal platforms with strain gauges attached to them. When the plates are compressed, the strain gauges emit varying currents to the junction box. The amount of current emitted from each plate is totaled to determine the ultimate weight of the truck being examined.
  • Piezoelectric: Piezoelectric sensors are embedded in a conductive material, which changes the amount of electrical current being sent to the sensors when pressure is applied. These types of scales require the amount from each sensor to be totaled to determine the final weight of the truck in question.

Trucks are weighed in a variety of ways at truck scale weigh stations. Some modern systems allow truckers to get back on the road more quickly, and reduce the staffing requirements of the governmental agencies responsible for administering weigh stations. Truck scale installations are often completed at existing sites in order to update outdated infrastructure.

  • One-axle: One-axle measurements require truck drivers to slowly crawl over a single scale, stopping for measurements each time a wheel is positioned over a scale.
  • One-stop: In one-stop arrays, a number of scales are strategically placed so that truckers only have to position their truck one single time for all of the relevant measurements to be gathered.
  • Weigh-in-motion: Weigh-in-motion scales allow drivers to run their trucks over a sensor array, which reads the weight of their truck as they operate the vehicle. Some weigh-in-motion systems have been installed on highways, eliminating the need for truckers to lose valuable driving time while operating their route.

Rockwell Scales has been providing high-quality weighing solutions since 1980. To learn more about our expert truck scale installation in Montana, reach out to one of our friendly staff members today. We can work with private entities and governmental agencies to provide them with sensible measurement solutions.

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