DOT Weigh Stations/Port of Entry

  • Pull into all of them unless: (1) sign says, “Truck ok to Bypass”, (2) you have Pre-Pass and it flashes green, or (3) Sign says “Closed”. 


  • What if ramp is full of trucks, Can I bypass Scales? Some states like Tennessee have signs that says, “Bypass Scale if ramp is full”. Other than that situation, you are not allowed bypass scales. Michigan signs say, “Use shoulder when ramp is full”. 


  • “All Trucks Must Take Next Right”.  This may seem easy, but it can be confusing. It means next right even if it is an Exit ramp (especially California, Washington, and Oregon). (I got a ticket for this in California. I see the sign, but in my mind, I thought the sign meant, “turn right at the next right after the exit ramp”. I learned my lesson the hard way)


  • Portable Scales: DOT officers sometimes set up Portable Scales and Inspections at Rest Areas and Roadside Cutouts 


  • Roll down your driver’s Window: As you approach the DOT Scale, roll down the driver’s window in case the officer speaks to you thru the intercom.


  • Green Light – Approach and cross scale at 3 mph unless the speed limit states differently. Be prepared to stop immediately if the light turns to red, otherwise keep rolling across at 3 mph.


  • Red Light – Stop with either the front wheel on scale or tractor drive tires located on each side of a yellow line. (Signs will indicate where they want you to stop. Move up as instructed.


  • Yellow Light – Proceed slowly about 3 mph unless speed limit sign states differently. Be prepared to stop on scale in case the officer switches the light to red while you are driving over the scale.


If asked to go inside the scale house: Bring these items:


  •  -Driver’s License
  •  -Permits
  •  -BOL (Bill of Lading)
  •  -Logbook (If you are using paper logbook due to ELD not working)


Help Prevent a DOT inspection:


  •  -Have a clean dashboard (Nothing on it)
  •  -Have clean windows and windshield
  •  -Do not stick anything to the windshield that obstructs your view of the road.
  •  -Have a Clean Truck (At least Tire Rims, Lights, & Reflector Tape)


Pre-Pass:


  • Pre-Pass Green Light Flashes: Driver can bypass DOT Weigh Station
  • Pre-Pass Red Light Flashes: Driver much pull into DOT Weigh Station


Why does the red and green light keep flashing for close to 10 minutes after going past a scale? 


In case an officer pulls you over, either he can prove he was right or you can prove you were right.