Size and Weight Enforcement Overview
The Motor Carrier Service Centers monitor trucks for compliance with state and federal statutes pertaining to the size and weight of trucks using the interstate, primary and secondary roads of the Commonwealth. In addition, the program monitors compliance with credential and tax requirements and performs coal hauling permit calibration and infrared safety screening, which supports other activities such as truck safety inspections, drug checks, dyed fuel checks, hazardous material monitoring, etc.
The program functions through a statewide network of both 13 permanent Motor Carrier Service Centers and 12 mobile crews strategically located throughout the Commonwealth. A typical Motor Carrier Service Center operation is staffed with size and weight compliance agents (site/shift specific) that weigh vehicles, collect truck data and provide the Department of State Police (VSP) information for overweight citations. In addition, portable weighing equipment is assigned to each station to conduct operations on nearby routes as needed. The station manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the weigh station and coordinates activities in support of program initiatives.
Weigh stations also use automatic license plate readers (ALPR) to screen commercial motor vehicles for regulatory requirements.
DMV operates twelve (12) mobile crews that are staffed with agents and a supervisor to perform weigh functions in a mobile environment. Each crew is equipped with portable scales and various measuring devices to determine vehicle size and weight. These crews work in conjunction with law enforcement in various ways:
- Inspecting one truck at a time
- Conducting operations at a fixed "turn out"
- After hours emergency response to vehicles involved in accidents
- Special truck checks
DMV staff also serve on mobile crews and provide dyed fuel and credential compliance. Virginia uses its mobile teams and equipment in these fashions to provide an effective program to deter bypassing of permanent scales and to conduct special operations. The teams are able to move frequently and have flexible hours of operation that yield greater results than a predictable schedule.
The program utilizes a mobile operations unit nicknamed "NOMAD". It is housed in a custom manufactured van and is equipped with advanced technologies that allow mobile crews to set up at a "turn out" and weigh vehicles similar to a small weigh station. It has weigh-in-motion (WIM) capabilities, static scale equipment and signs to direct trucks to "Pull In" or "Bypass" the weighing site. This unit also has the capability of making intelligent motor carrier evaluations in a dynamic environment. Motor Carriers with a transponder will be able to be tracked for safety, assessment and payment of taxes and appropriate credentials in a more effective way that allows non-compliant carriers to be more easily detected. The unit is assigned portable scales for compliance.
The program's Technical Services section certifies and maintains the accuracy and reliability of the weighing systems statewide. The individual devices employed within the program range in complexity from simple mechanical devices to sophisticated computer based networking systems and audio/visual closed circuit traffic monitoring equipment.
In addition to these core business functions, the section also serves as the R & D group to research new technologies that improve weighing operations and to implement viable Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) initiatives for commercial vehicles operations.
13 - Permanent Motor Carrier Service Centers
- 7 Interstate locations (monitoring both directions of travel, 3 locations are equipped with WIM)
- 6 Primary locations (monitoring both directions of travel, 1 location equipped with WIM)
12 - Mobile Support Locations
- 4 Permanent WIM bypass monitoring systems (Primary)
- 8 Permanent turnouts for mobile weighing operations (Primary)