Do rental trucks have to stop at weigh stations? If you plan to move yourself by driving a truck rental, then you’ve probably pondered this very question. The answer is – it depends. While some states require certain truck rentals to stop at weigh stations along the way, others do not. Below, we’ve included a list of frequently asked questions surrounding this dilemma, as well as state-by-state rules for stopping at weigh stations.
Who should rent a moving truck when moving?
Preparing a do-it-yourself move? If you’ve decided to forego the help of professional movers, then you’ll need to figure outhowexactly you plan to move without them. For many, this typically means renting a moving truck from a truck rental company such as U-Haul, Budget or Penske.
If you aren’t moving far away, then renting and driving a moving truck should be a cinch. However, if you’re planning a long-distance move –whether across the state or across the country– be prepared for quite a few challenges. Not only will you have to deal with frequent gas station stops and fatigue from long hours on the road, but you’ll also need to be aware of weigh stations along the way.
What exactly is a weigh station?
When driving on the interstate, you’re sure to encounter several weigh stations for large trucks. These checkpoints, located right off the highway, allow a representative from the state’s department of transportation or state highway patrol to inspect a vehicle for safety purposes. While they were originally used to collect taxes, weigh stations are now primarily used to check a truck’s weight and compliance with state laws.
Weigh stations are important for a number of reasons. For starters, weighing trucks ensures that they do not damage or destroy roads. After all, roads and bridges can only handle so much weight. If a truck is over the regulated weight limit, it could cause irreparable damage to the highway. A truck’s tires, breaks, contents and other features can also be inspected at a weigh station to ensure that they are in compliance with local laws.
Do moving trucks have to stop at weigh stations?
The answer is it depends. You most likelywon’thave to stop at a weigh station when driving a truck rental because your move isn’t considered a commercial move. Many states only require commercial vehicles to stop at weigh stations. However, there are several states that do require non-commercial trucks exceeding a certain weight (typically more than 10,000 lbs.) to stop at weigh stations. Keep in mind, though, that your rental truck may not exceed the weight limit.
What states require rental trucks to stop at weigh stations?
Commercial vehicles are required to stop at weigh stations in the majority of states. However, only certain states also require that rental trucks carrying household goods (in other words: non-commercial trucks) stop at weigh stations. If the rental truck weighs over 10,000 lbs., it may need to stop at weigh stations in certain states. Below is a summary of the rules and laws surrounding trucks and weigh stations, according to the AAA Digest of Motor Lawsand the state’s department of transportation.
|Alabama||No||“An officer may require the measuring or weighing of truck or trailer.”|
|Alaska||Yes||“Trucks over 10,000 lbs. GVWR are required to stop.”|
|Arizona||Yes||“Gross weight fees apply to trailers and semitrailers with GVW of 10,000 lbs. or more and all commercial trailers and semitrailers.”|
|Arkansas||Yes||“The following vehicles must stop at weight/inspection stations: (1) agricultural vehicles; (2) passenger or specialty vehicles, whether single or in combination (towing a trailer) with GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or more; (3) commercial trucks with GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or more.”|
|California||Yes||“Rental trucks can be a U-Haul, Ryder, Sears, Budget, Enterprise, etc. A rental truck is a motor truck, according to CVC Section 410, and must stop at the weigh stations. Most scale facilities make this very clear with signs reminding drivers: ‘All Daily Rental/Moving Trucks Must Stop At Scales When Open.’ However, if the rental truck is a pick up, it does not necessarily have to stop… If the rental truck is a flat bed or utility bed, then YES, it does have to stop.”|
|Colorado||Yes||“Every owner or operator of a motor vehicle having a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of over 26,000 lbs. shall secure a valid clearance from an office of the DOR, from an officer of the Colorado State Patrol, or from a port of entry weigh station before operating such vehicle or combination of vehicles in the state.”|
|Florida||Yes||“(Yes, but only those carrying agricultural products or stopping at an Agricultural Inspection Station)|
“The following vehicles must stop: (1) agricultural, motor vehicles (including trailers) which are or could be used in the production, manufacture, storage, sale, or transportation of any food product or any agricultural, horticultural or live stock product, except private passenger automobiles with no trailer in tow, travel trailers, camping trailers, and motor homes; (2) any commercial vehicle (a) with a GWR of 10,000 lbs. or more, (b) designed to transport more than 10 passengers, or (c) used to transport hazardous materials.””
|Georgia||Yes||“The following vehicles must stop…(2) passenger or specialty vehicles, either single or in combination (towing a trailer) with GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or more”|
|Hawaii||Yes||“Trucks over 10,000 lbs. GVWR must stop.”|
|Idaho||Yes||Trucks over 26,000 lbs. GVWR must stop.|
|Illinois||Yes||Trucks over 16,000 lbs. GVWR must stop.|
|Indiana||Yes||“All trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,000 lbs. or more must stop.”|
|Iowa||Yes||“All vehicles weighing over 10,000 lbs. must stop.”|
|Kansas||Yes||“All vehicles registered as trucks are required to stop at motor carrier safety and weight inspection stations when signs direct them to do so.”|
|Maryland||Yes||All vehicles with a GVWR greater than 10,000 lbs. must stop.|
|Minnesota||Yes||“All vehicles with a GVW rating in excess of 10,000 lbs. must stop.”|
|Missouri||Yes||Vehicles with a GVWR greater than 18,000 lbs. must stop.|
|Montana||Yes||All vehicles with a GVWR greater than 26,000 lbs. must stop.|
|Nebraska||Yes||“All trucks over 1 ton must stop, except a pickup truck pulling a recreational trailer.”|
|New Jersey||Yes||Trucks with a GVWR greater than 10,000 lbs. must stop.|
|New Mexico||Yes||“Trucks with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more must stop.”|
|New York||Yes||All vehicles with a GVWR greater than 10,000 lbs. must stop.|
|North Carolina||Yes||All vehicles with a GVWR greater than 10,000 lbs. must stop.|
|North Dakota||Yes||“All vehicles with a GVWR in excess of 10,000 lbs. must stop. Exception: recreational vehicles used for personal, recreational purposes.”|
|Ohio||Yes||“All commercial vehicles over 5 tons (10,000 lbs) are required to cross the scales if the weigh station is open in Ohio.”|
|Oregon||Yes||All vehicles with a GVWR in excess of 10,000 lbs. must stop.|
|Pennsylvania||Yes||“Regardless of size, the following vehicles are subject to inspection and weigh station examinations: (1) agriculture vehicles when using public highways; (2) passenger and specialty vehicles towing large trailers; (3) large recreational vehicles, and (4) trucks.”|
|South Carolina||Yes||“If the Department has reason to believe that the weight of a vehicle and load is unlawful, it may require the driver to stop and submit to a weighing of the vehicle and load either by means of portable or stationary scales and may require that the vehicle be driven to the nearest public scales.”|
|South Dakota||Yes||“The following trucks must stop: (1) agricultural vehicles with a GVW rating over 8,000 lbs.; (2) trucks over 8,000 lbs.; (3) drive-away operations in excess of 8,000 lbs. GVW rating.”|
|Virginia||Yes||“Trucks must stop if their registered gross weight exceeds 7,500 lbs.”|
|Wisconsin||Yes||“Trucks over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight must stop.”|
|Wyoming||Yes||“”Trucks are required to stop when instructed by a regulatory sign (black letters on a white background) or a police officer. Trucks and drivers are chosen for inspection on a random basis.”|
To find out more about a specific state’s weigh station requirements, contact the state’s department of transportation for details.
Weigh station FAQs
How do weigh stations work?
Weigh stations are typically located directly off the highway, making it easy for trucks to pull over to the necessary checkpoints while traveling. Trucks will follow signs for the weigh station and will enter a line of trucks to be weighed. Weigh stations feature truck scales that weigh trucks when parked. Some weigh stations feature rolling scales, which allow trucks to simply drive over them.
Once the truck has been weighed and is found to be under 80,000 lbs. (the maximum weight allowed), the truck will be allowed to leave the weigh station and continue on down the highway. The only exception might be if a truck doesn’t pass inspection from a Department of Transportation (DOT) agent because of a flat tire, cracks in the wheels and other reasons.
What is GVWR?
GVWR is short for gross vehicle weight rating. This is the maximum amount of weight of the vehicle. The DOT uses the GVWR to determine whether a truck must stop at a weigh station. The typical cutoff is a GVWR greater than 10,000 lbs., but rules and regulations vary by state.
How much do rental trucks weigh?
Here are a few examples of weight estimates for various U-Haul trucks: 10-ft. box truck has a gross vehicle weight of 8,600 lbs., 17-ft. box truck has a gross vehicle weight of 14,500 lbs., and the 26-ft. box truck has a gross vehicle weight of 25,999 lbs. If you’re driving through a state that requires non-commercial vehicles weighing over 10,000 lbs. to stop at a weigh station, you’ll likely need to pull over when driving rental trucks of these sizes. Truck rental companies should provide you with weight estimates for all truck rental options.
Why do some trucks not stop at weigh stations?
If the truck driver has a PrePass that allows them to bypass weigh stations, they won’t need to stop. In addition, commercial and non-commercial vehicles that weigh less than 10,000 lbs. likely won’t need to stop at a weigh station.
Which vehicles need to stop at a weigh station?
In most places, commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs. must pull over at a weigh station to be weighed. There are states that require non-commercial vehicles weighing over 10,000 lbs. to pull over as well. Rules and requirements vary by state, so it’s important to look at the state’s transportation laws before driving a large truck rental through the area.
What happens if I don’t stop at a weigh station?
Illegally bypassing a weigh station is never a good idea. If you decide to skip a weigh station, you’ll likely be fined around $300. While it may be a tad annoying to have to pull over at a weigh station, it’s worth the hassle to avoid fines and further problems. While weigh stations aren’t fun, they do serve the important purpose of keeping our highways safe and secure for drivers everywhere.
How do you avoid truck weigh stations?
If you’re driving on the highway through a state that requires your truck to go through a weigh station, there’s really no way to avoid it. For safety and law-abiding purposes, you’ll need to drive your rental truck through a weigh station if the state requires it. Keep in mind, though, that not all states require rental trucks under 26,000 lbs. to go through weigh stations. Most of the time, non-commercial rental trucks can continue down the highway without a weigh station disruption.
What if I’m still not sure whether or not I need to stop at a weigh station?
Driving a large moving truck? When in doubt, we recommend stopping at a weigh station. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If there’s no need for you to stop, the patrol officer will likely wave you through, and the only thing you will have lost is a little bit of time.
Thinking of hiring professional movers?
If you’d rather not deal with weigh station rules, hire a professional mover to handle the drive for you. Fortunately, we can help. To find the best long-distance moving company to handle your upcoming move, check our extensive network of reputable and reliablemovers.All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Best of luck and happy moving!
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