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Ron Cook

Iowa DOT portable scales

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Stopped yesterday afternoon for the first time in years.  Not worried.  Clipboard full of scale tickets of last two days.  Light 75,000, heavy 76,500.  Hauling from same farm, same bin of corn.  Air gauge in tractor indicated 34,000 on drivers.  Trailer is spring suspension, but loaded same as usual.  I have been doing this for 50+ years and using this same truck 11 years and trailer for 4.  Officer asked how heavy.  I replied that I was 75 to 76,000 more than likely.  He followed me from the farm I loaded at for 8 miles.  Never asked to see any tickets and said he would weigh my drivers, which he did.  Then my steer axle.  Then my trailer.  Well, it was on a nice level stop at an intersection and should be fine.  He comes to the cab and tells me it is a good thing I was trying to load 75 or six because had I been trying to load 79 I would have weighed 83000 as I was currently at 79000.  Have a nice day.  Dumbfounded me as this most certainly is not my first load and I can tell by the way the truck drives if I am getting close or past 80000.  Got to the elevator and find I weighed 77000.  Not very accurate portables, eh?  What if I was over by his portables?  Would have been more monkey business.  This officer even lives local.  I think he wanted some reports while the weather was okay instead of today in the crappy weather.  Have no idea why he told me wrong weights unless his scales or pencil are off.

Ron

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Scales are accurate on the day they are calibrated. They become less accurate every time they are used from there. If his scales were just a few hundred pounds off, and the elevator was a thousand pounds off that would make the difference. 

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I had to lighten the load before being allowed to move when I was found overweight. Was only a mile from the elevator and they came out with the payloader. 

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Do you trust the scale at the elevator? My brother had that issue at an elevator in Savage MN.  They were taking 6-700 pounds a load. 

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Elevator right on the money.  I ship in and out of there all the time.  We are not talking a country elevator here.

Ron

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The local DOT around here tell us their scales are purposely calibrated 10% under so there is no monkey business.  I believe it because I've been pulled over twice and weighed.  It was by the same guy in a one month span.  He had just moved in to the area and was weighing everybody.  I came in under both times and since then I have driven past him a 100 times and he hasn't come after me.  I kinda got lucky both times because the first load I was weighed up was my first load of barley of the year and the 2nd load was my first load of wheat.  My trailer is spring suspension and usually takes me a couple of loads to get things "dialed in"

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I actually think he miss added his figures that he wrote down on his notepad after each weigh.  He almost made me late to get unloaded and I was not illegal so I did not question his figures.  I could tell he was not believing what I was telling him that I was not heavy anywhere.  Of course everyone would claim they are legal, but I told him what each tractor axle would weigh. He was nice enough.  Just wrong.

Ron

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Got stopped twice last year in North Dakota. Portable scales were within a couple hundred lbs of actual truck weight here in North Dakota.

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My dad was in a truck ahead of me and the Carrier Enforcement stopped him. I couldn't turn around on a dime, but I backed up a gravel road until the cop came and got me before I got away and made me go back to the highway and weigh.

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I work for the local county highway department. I was talking to our weigh master supervisor the other day and he was telling me that we no longer have to calibrate our portable scales. We still do every year because we want accurate weights and be fair about it.

The state DOT enforcement used to bring their stops into our yard for 1) get off the highway and 2) weigh on a portion of our yard that's level. Now they have built extra wide shoulder pull offs on the state highways that are level and have scale "pockets" so they don't have to block up adjacent axles.  I would question whether he was getting a level weigh on you. 2000 lbs over 5 axles? From a farm? Really? I'd have to look it up to be accurate on the numbers but I think in MI you can be up to 10% coming out of the field or off the farm.

If he ticketed you, you should have him follow you to the elevator :) We hired a local heavy hauler a few weeks ago to haul one of our motor graders to one of the counties about 100 miles from us during weight restrictions no less. i was impressed with his air gauge's on his suspension. He knew what he weighed on every axle. No tickets for him:). 

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I think in South Dakota they give you leeway out of the field, but you're supposed to have your act together hauling out of a bin.

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1 hour ago, lightninboy said:

I think in South Dakota they give you leeway out of the field, but you're supposed to have your act together hauling out of a bin.

10%field 5% bin but not over 55mph and ever bridge is still 80000 max and every dot guy has a different answer 

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More energy this morning. 10% from the farm also but don't go on the interstate. Also says you can't exceed the allowable gross. We still wouldn't have ticketed Ron for 2000 lbs. We're more interested on the local concrete supplier that thinks spring weight restriction don't apply to him. We ticket a half dozen of his trucks every year when wt restrictions go on.

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Last year last day of load restrictions and they were only on a stretch of hwy. 23 miles long. A 7 ton road they call it in North Dakota under load restrictions. Brother I farm with went to town and got 10 tons of starter on a tandem truck that weighs16,300lbs. So 20,000 lbs of fert we were 3000 under legal. Got a 60 dollar ticket for axle over fought it for a year to get my money back

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My dad told the story about a guy 40+ years ago that borrowed a neighbors tandem to haul grain. He got weighed by portables, ended up with a $2000 ticket for being over. They let him leave with the load, so on to the elevator he went. Coming back home the portables were still there so he stopped, asked the cops if any of them knew a good lawyer? They asked why? He said the elevator screwed him out of a bunch of grain. They ripped up his ticket!!!

Alan

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2 hours ago, Alan Dinan said:

My dad told the story about a guy 40+ years ago that borrowed a neighbors tandem to haul grain. He got weighed by portables, ended up with a $2000 ticket for being over. They let him leave with the load, so on to the elevator he went. Coming back home the portables were still there so he stopped, asked the cops if any of them knew a good lawyer? They asked why? He said the elevator screwed him out of a bunch of grain. They ripped up his ticket!!!

Alan

Gotta Luv That !!!

Ron

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B I L had my semi a couple years ago and DOT was sitting on the off ramp at the interstate watching the loaded trucks going into the elevator. His son had loaded the trailer pretty full and he said it grossed a little over 107,000 and he had sweat running down his neck by the time he left to head back to the farm. Ticket would have cost more than the truck was worth

Here a lot of the farmers buy the overweight permits so they can gross 97,000 it is about $350 per truck per year but would be cheap. 

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47 minutes ago, hagan said:

B I L had my semi a couple years ago and DOT was sitting on the off ramp at the interstate watching the loaded trucks going into the elevator. His son had loaded the trailer pretty full and he said it grossed a little over 107,000 and he had sweat running down his neck by the time he left to head back to the farm. Ticket would have cost more than the truck was worth

Here a lot of the farmers buy the overweight permits so they can gross 97,000 it is about $350 per truck per year but would be cheap. 

Where are you located that’s be nice to ba able to do that legal 

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3 hours ago, hagan said:

B I L had my semi a couple years ago and DOT was sitting on the off ramp at the interstate watching the loaded trucks going into the elevator. His son had loaded the trailer pretty full and he said it grossed a little over 107,000 and he had sweat running down his neck by the time he left to head back to the farm. Ticket would have cost more than the truck was worth

Here a lot of the farmers buy the overweight permits so they can gross 97,000 it is about $350 per truck per year but would be cheap. 

Here in ND on a 52 ft long semi we can be 80,000 on 5 axles. Up to max of 105,500 with enough axles and tires . 6 axle sets of duals and a steer axle will get you there. But on up to 80,000 you can buy a 10% overload from harvest to frost breakup. But the length of truck is where they always get you. 6 inches can be legal or a 1000 fine. When a truck enforcement stops you and starts measuring, checking air pressure and windshield washer fluid you are in for a 3 or 4 stop. But we try to load legal. Hauled 10,000 bushels the last 2 weeks and with tri ax truck we can be 48,000 been guessing filling truck same all the time and been 51,400 most loads. That should get us a under 200 fine but hauling 460 instead of 680bushels sure stretches out the job..

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Farmers here in Montana get away with murder no doubt in comparison no dot checks...no cdl...

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5 minutes ago, mader656 said:

Farmers here in Montana get away with murder no doubt in comparison no dot checks...no cdl...

My experience with our two DOT guys around here is if you are only 2 or 3 thousand over and polite about it they just tell you to lighten up on the next load.  I've even been let go when my brake lights went out on my trailer.  However, you start mouthing off they will check everything.  I guarantee you they can find something on every non commercial farm semi around here including ours. 

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The red truck could be licensed here to 60,000  but isn’t long enough so 57,000 is it. The yellow truck can go to 46,000 that is the one we got a 60 fine but I fought it got my money back. Red one we got a 140 fine 3 weeks before but I paid that one. Here in North Dakota they won’t give you an inch. The new hiway patrol a couple years ago would stop you for out of date plates. Take your plates and impound the car on the hiway. He would give the elderly a ride to town and back after they bought license tabs. And the truck Regulatory are insane. Both times it took between 3 and 5 hours to get done. The yellow truck has 8 new tires but one not so good one on back tag dual. Truck guy hated that and windshield washer was empty. One box clearance light a bad high beam reeked havoc also. 

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I had a long chat with our local DOT guy before I bought my 87 Ford LTL9000. (They work from home, he can't have his rig at his condo so he works from our yard:) ). I didn't want any surprises since I was going to own it personally not thru a company.  One of my concerns was a roadside inspection w/ a old truck. His advice was to as he said "keep it shiny. We're not out looking for the hobby guys, they generally take good care of their stuff. We looking for the guys running unsafe stuff." He also advised to keep the paperwork in order, more for going out of state than in MI.  We have a "local" trucking guy that has changed names at least a half dozen times. Gets a horrid DOT record for all kinds of violations, log books, out of service etc and closes the door only to pop up, new name, same location. One look at his rigs would make your enforcement radar go off. I'm not being prejudiced but his drivers have a hard time speaking English. One of the local tv stations interviewed him, (he was dumb enough to let them in :) ) his English wasn't very good either.

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23 minutes ago, Raildudes dad said:

I had a long chat with our local DOT guy before I bought my 87 Ford LTL9000. (They work from home, he can't have his rig at his condo so he works from our yard:) ). I didn't want any surprises since I was going to own it personally not thru a company.  One of my concerns was a roadside inspection w/ a old truck. His advice was to as he said "keep it shiny. We're not out looking for the hobby guys, they generally take good care of their stuff. We looking for the guys running unsafe stuff." He also advised to keep the paperwork in order, more for going out of state than in MI.  We have a "local" trucking guy that has changed names at least a half dozen times. Gets a horrid DOT record for all kinds of violations, log books, out of service etc and closes the door only to pop up, new name, same location. One look at his rigs would make your enforcement radar go off. I'm not being prejudiced but his drivers have a hard time speaking English. One of the local tv stations interviewed him, (he was dumb enough to let them in :) ) his English wasn't very good either.

The dot guy that stopped us last year said about the same thing. Super shiney trucks they don’t stop. But fuel and propane local delivery trucks are their gold mine. Both times we got stopped we were only truck on the road and the yellow one the dot guy damn near rolled his Ford super duty  over to stop brother he was turning off the hi way a 1/3 of mile from yard. That day was last day of load restriction for short stretch and they were Roscoe p Coltraine on patrol. The only positive part of it we screwed around enough from 10 am to 3:30 pm he and his partner were only able to stop one other truck and that is the local coop fuel truck they stop every year on same stretch. He is usually legal but was 200 lbs over that day he told us but the let him go. DoT guy was mad at the windshield washers I asked( pointed out) to him about his cracked windshield (right side to the middle)and it even went more south from there.

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Colorado we have a port 7 miles down the road. I know the guys and they are not bad as long as you do not give them a fuss. Several years ago when i was running 2 bobtail single axle trucks i sent them to town with corn and the local police stopped them and sent them back out to the port. The loadstar was 2200 over on the rear and the F600 was 4000 over on the rear. The lady in charge gave my drivers (neighbors) warning tickets but the one neighbor had a mental problem and she just wrote "Bob" for his first name and gave him the ticket to sign and he looked at it and tore it in two lengthwise and said now my name is "Robert Leroy _____Sr" now write out a new ticket and i will sign it. the lady did and Dick and i were so scared that we had had it. Went back to field and send F600 in again and Dick came back and said on radio "boys i was a ton heavier on the load of corn than last load i am going home good bye" Bob got the grain cart and started at the front of the loadstar and i said on the radio That is too much. He said they do not know what the He__ what they are talking about we are allowed 40,000 pounds on a single axle year. and went and dumped a 380 bushel load. Later that night he put the plow on his 1066 and plowed a X in his hay field and they found him in Tucamcari NM after he wrecked his pickup and they ended up putting him in the state hospital again. Nice guy but you never knew when he would flip.

 

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