SPRINGFIELD (AP) - Long-haul truckers often lament the lost time they face
because of lengthy stops at weigh stations.
But come October, some truckers on Interstate 55 in central Illinois may be
able to get their load weighed and keep on truckin' without so much as lifting
their foot off the accelerator.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is building a new weigh station
near Williamsville, north of Springfield, that will include new weigh-in-motion
"Bring it on," says Andy Wendell, an independent driver who lives in
Rochester. "I lose plenty of time stopping at scales, especially since I'm
always legal. With this thing, I say the sooner the better."
IDOT officials said the department plans to work with several trucking
companies to test the system at Williamsville, equipping trucks with small
radio transponders to electronically communicate with the scale.
The system works like this:
About 3,000 feet north of the weigh station, triggers in the roadway signal
a computer to begin weighing the truck. After the rig passes the scale, it will
roll over another trigger, which tells the computer that weighing has been
Then, the computer sends a signal to the transponder in the truck that
flashes a light to tell the driver whether to stop at the weigh station for
another test, or to drive on.
If the driver is signaled to pull over, a secondary weigh-in-motion scale
will perform the same process while the truck moves at about 30 mph. If the rig
fails that test, the trucker must pull onto a traditional static scale.
Similar systems are in use in the Chicago area and in other parts of the
country, said IDOT spokesman John Burke.
"It's amazing how much safer it makes the interstate and how much time can
be saved for truckers," said Rich Telford, an IDOT weight enforcement official.
"For example, the weight limit on a five-axle rig is 80,000 pounds. A lot of
trucks that stop to be weighed might only weigh 40,000 pounds. The
weigh-in-motion scale would wave them on down the road."