Why Do Trucks Need To Be Weighed?

Weighing trucks is essential for safety, legal reasons, and efficiency. This article explains why trucks need to be weighed, the consequences of not weighing them, how trucks know when to stop at weigh stations, what happens if a truck is overweight, and how to avoid weigh stations.


Why Trucks Need to Be Weighed

One of the primary reasons for weighing trucks is safety. When truck drivers know the weight of their vehicles, they can better plan their routes and avoid carrying too much weight. This can help prevent accidents and save money on fuel.

Trucks also need to be weighed for legal reasons. The law dictates how much weight a truck can carry. If a truck driver exceeds the limit, they can be fined.

Weighing trucks also helps businesses keep track of their inventory. By knowing the weight of their products, they can more accurately plan for shipping and logistics.

Consequences of Not Weighing Your Truck

Overloaded trucks are a serious safety hazard, more likely to get into accidents, burn more fuel, and produce more emissions that can harm the environment. Not weighing your truck can lead to legal problems, such as being fined. Fines vary by state and how much overweight the truck is.

Why Do Some Trucks Not Have To Go Through Weigh Stations?

To enforce weight limit laws, weigh stations have been established along highways. However, some trucks have devices that allow them to bypass weigh stations. These devices are connected to a scale built into the roadbed. The trucks are screened before they reach the scale, and if they are within the legal weight limit, a green light comes on in the vehicle, and the driver can bypass the weigh station. This system helps improve compliance with weight limit laws and makes highway travel safer.

Why It Matters if a Truck is Overweight

Overweight trucks are a serious safety hazard as they are more likely to experience tire blowouts, brake failures, and other mechanical problems that can lead to accidents. Overweight trucks have a more challenging time stopping and turning, making it difficult for drivers to avoid accidents. Ensuring that your truck is adequately supplied is essential for the safety of employees and other road users.

How Trucks Know When To Stop at Weigh Stations

Commercial truck drivers must stop at weigh stations to weigh and inspect their vehicles. Drivers can be alerted to weigh stations in several ways, including signs indicating the distance to the next weigh station, announcements on highway advisory radio systems, and visible weigh stations. Drivers must stop when they see an open weigh station sign, but they can drive past it if the station is closed.

What Happens if Your Truck Is Overweight at a Weigh Station?

If a truck weighs over 6,000 pounds over the maximum gross weight, most weigh stations force drivers to “shut down” their operation. This can lead to fines, and the truck may be impounded in some states until the fine is paid. To avoid these penalties, you must ensure your vehicle is not overweight before entering a weigh station. If it is overweight, drivers should unload the excess weight before continuing their journey.

How to Avoid Weigh Stations

Weigh stations are designed to check the weight of overweight vehicles, such as large commercial trucks. However, if you are not an overweight vehicle or have another reason to avoid a weigh station, you can take an alternate route that doesn’t go through the weigh station. Alternatively, if the weigh station is open 24 hours, you can wait until it closes before continuing your trip. Avoiding a weigh station may only sometimes be legal, so checking local laws is essential.

Why Do Trucks Have Spikes on Their Wheels?

Truck wheel spikes, also known as wheel chocks, are used to secure the vehicle while it’s being weighed or loaded. They are essential for preventing accidents and injuries due to the truck’s movement.

When a truck is on the scale, the wheel chocks prevent it from rolling forward or backward, ensuring accurate weight measurement. Additionally, the wheel chocks keep the truck in place during the loading and unloading process, especially when carrying a heavy load.


Weighing your truck is critical to avoid costly fines and delays. Wheel chocks are essential to secure the truck during the weighing or loading process, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. Check local laws before avoiding a weigh station and consider alternative routes or waiting until the station closes.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.