Do rental trucks have to stop at weigh stations?
Rental trucks and weigh stations
At some point, you've probably noticed heavy duty trucks on major highways stopping at weigh stations and wondered why they have to stop and how they know when to go through them. If you’re planning on driving a rental truck for a household move, you may be concerned about what you’re required to do, too. You know your car can bypass them, but what about heavier vehicles?
What is a weigh station?
Weigh stations are highway checkpoints where weight and safety inspections are performed. Basically, they help keep our interstates safe from extremely heavy or unsafe trucks. While weigh stations are usually reserved for commercial vehicles, rental trucks moving household goods may need to stop, too. Whether or not it’s required depends on the weight of the truck and the laws in the state(s) you’re traveling through. Knowing which truck weigh scales to stop at will help you save time and avoid hefty fines.
Do rental trucks stop at weigh stations?
We contacted the Department of Transportation (DOT) for each state to learn about current laws and regulations for rental truck weigh station rules. Some DOTs directed us to other departments: State Police Headquarters, Motor Carrier Services Division or the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. The information they provided is below:
State by state rules
Alabama: If the truck exceeds 26,000 lbs., you must stop
Delaware: If the truck exceeds 10,000 lbs., you must stop
Florida: Yes, and at all Agriculture Inspection Stations (stations set up to prevent unsafe plants, animal pests and food from entering Florida)
Georgia: If the truck exceeds 10,000 lbs., you must stop
Idaho: If the truck exceeds 26,000 lbs., you must stop
Illinois: If the truck exceeds 10,000 lbs., you must stop
Iowa: If the truck exceeds 10,000 lbs., you must stop
Maine: If the truck exceeds 10,000 lbs., you must stop
Maryland: If the truck exceeds 10,000 lbs., you must stop
Massachusetts: Yes, if the weigh station lights are flashing
Minnesota: If the truck exceeds 10,000 lbs., you must stop
Missouri: If the truck exceeds 18,000 lbs., you must stop
Montana: If the truck exceeds 26,000 lbs., you must stop
New Hampshire: Yes
New Jersey: Yes
New Mexico: No
New York: No
North Carolina: No
North Dakota: No
Rhode Island: According to the Rhode Island DOT, “RIDOT doesn’t currently operate any weight stations in Rhode Island, although sometimes the state police do set up mobile sites.” In the event you are stopped at one of the mobile sites, let the officer know you’re doing a personal move and are not traveling “in commerce.”
South Carolina: Yes
South Dakota: Yes
Virginia: If the truck exceeds 7,501 lbs., you must stop
West Virginia: No
Wisconsin: If the truck exceeds 10,000 lbs., you must stop
Tips for stopping
The following tips can help you decide whether or not you should stop at a weight station during your travels:
- For states that base stops on how much the truck weighs (like Delaware and Maryland), use professional truck weigh scales to determine this number on your fully-loaded truck before leaving. To find public scales near you, use the CAT scale locator tool.
- When in doubt, go ahead and pull through. If they don’t need you to stop, they’ll wave you on.
- Watch for signs while driving to guide you into the correct lane if you’re required to pull through.
- Don’t skip the weigh station if the state requires you to stop, otherwise you could pay a significant fine.
What are truck rental companies saying?
While truck rental companies like U-Haul®, Budget® and Penske® don’t provide a state-by-state list, they do offer statements that can help their customers decide whether or not they need to stop.
According to the U-Haul website, U-Haul truck customers moving household goods are normally not required to stop (since they're not performing a commercial move). However, they recommend those who are in doubt to stop at the weigh station.
According to the Budget website, Budget truck customers are advised to stop at all highway weigh stations.
According to the Penske website, Penske truck customers should pay attention to road signs about trucks, including weigh stations. They don't specify whether or not customers should stop while driving their trucks.
Can I move without having to stop at weigh stations?
It can be time consuming to slow down and pull through multiple weigh stations during a long distance move. Get to your destination sooner by using a moving service like U-Pack®. With U-Pack, you do all the packing and loading, and we do all the driving, which means you don’t have to worry about weigh stations at all! You’re free to drive your personal vehicle or catch a quick flight. And the best part – U-Pack prices are comparable to truck rental. You can get the same budget-friendly move without the hassle of driving a truck and figuring out which weigh stations you’ll need to stop at along the way.
Get a free online moving quote or call 800-413-4799 to see how U-Pack compares to truck rental for your move. If you have questions about rental truck weigh stations, or about moving with U-Pack, leave a comment below. We’re happy to answer any questions you have!