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Old 09-05-2006, 04:32 PM   #1
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Cat Scale Etiquette

So... I'm VERY close to having a tow vehicle and Bambi combo, and will be heading off over the horizon to look for some sort of scale to check out all the math and such.

Now do those scales work? Do they charge?

Are the guys at the scales happy to help those of us with less than 18 wheels come by?

Are there certain days or times of days to go?

Whats the best way to go about doing the weigh in?

I'm in Ontario (Canada not California)... is there a difference in our scale system?

PS. By wife just said "My you ask a lot of questions.. Everyone is going to think 'your poor wife'"
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:58 PM   #2
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1984 31' Excella
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Cat Scale Etiquette

First I parked the rig out of the way.
Second I went in side and told them what I wixhed to do and why and asked them if I could do this.
They were most accomidating and even gave me permission to drop the trailer(there were signs in place saying not to, so that I could weigh the TV).
Cost,
First pass $8.50.
Each additional pass, $1.00.
I stayed out of the way of the trucks and only ran the scales during a lull as not to hold up the people trying to make a living.
The lady running the scales only wanted to see the inside and was amazed at the condition given that the trailer was an 84.
Very plesant experience.

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Old 09-05-2006, 08:23 PM   #3
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Campadk----I've used CAT scales at a couple of different places (Ca & Utah) in the last year and have had the same very positive experience as the previous post which provided a good how to for you. CAT stands for Certified Automated Truck SCALE and is a company headquartered in Walcott, IA that has weighting systems at many major truck stops. They are open the hours of the truck stop and charge about $8-10 US that includes a computer printout with the various axle wts and then the total wt. They identify themselves with a large yellow sign in the shape of a cats head. Hope this helps.---Bob
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Old 09-05-2006, 09:29 PM   #4
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A friend has had similar experience with scale in city in northern CA.. Weighed car and axles to test weight reduction... Another was able to unhitch, and weight tow vehicle and trailer axle by axle plus hitch weight...

If real nervous, I'd suggest driving over without trailer first and asking those questions (best times, how to avoid conflicts, etc) and then go back when it should be unbusy... Doesn't seem like $10 every so often is enough money to be courteous and profitable, but apparently it works...

John McG
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:35 PM   #5
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hi campadk...

here is a link to my first time...

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ted+cat+scales

it was fun...

cheers
2air
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:46 AM   #6
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In addition to CAT scales, I have weighed my rigs at the local farmer's co-op ($5.00) and at the local batch plant/gravel pit for free. The co-op gives you a receipt with a time stamp and the weight witch I keep in my registration envelope.
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:15 AM   #7
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Hey Dave, I don't know if you have weighed in yet. I used a CAT scale to weigh the teardrop. A certified weight was required for me to get it tagged as a "Travel Trailer".

Everybody is pretty spot on with their comments, I went inside and told them that I needed a weight slip. She said to go ahead and pull onto the scale and push the call button when I was ready.

One thing that nobody mentioned is that you need to bring a broom handle or something to push the call button. When I pulled onto the scale, I looked around and said, "Where is that call button?" Well that sucker is like 12ft off the ground! I had to stand on the door sill and was barely able to hit the button with a golf umbrella.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:01 AM   #8
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CAT Scale

I forgot about that. The lady I talked to on the phone did tell me to bring a step stool or short step ladder. She didn't tell me what for. I did however figure it out when I got there.
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:20 AM   #9
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Really New!

Ok, I am going to show my TOTAL ignorance here. My neighbor just bought a 25' Prowler trailer and took it over to the local moving company where they too were very accomodating of weighing everything for him (truck, trailer, truck and trailer, etc).

Why does this need to be done?

I have a 19' Bambi and tow it with a 2005 Toyota Tacoma crewcab/long bed PU with a 6 cylinder engine w/tow package, trans cooler. It is "rated" at 6500 lbs towing.

JERRY
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:25 AM   #10
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hi jerry

weighing is important for adjusting the hitch bars, knowing your truck load and trailer weight...

you cannot rely on published figures....

search 'cat scales' and many threads will come up with info explaining why we do it...for a lot of different tv/trailer combos...

here is how i did it...

http://www.airforums.com/forum...rs-17984.html?

but many of the threads found searching will add great details to answer your question...

cheers
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:06 PM   #11
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My cat scaled 10.2 lbs last time I checked and I didn't need a ladder.

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Old 11-21-2006, 07:35 PM   #12
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Same price in Madison, GA for the CAT scale. $8.50 and $1 if you come back tomorrow.

I found that out when I had a big load of firewood in the back of my Dodge and couldn't resist it: 2,150 lbs.

The fun part was having 2,150 lbs in the back and running off from my brother-in-law's much more lightly loaded Ford gasser.

Lamar
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:06 PM   #13
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Courage..

After our blowout incident returning from NorCal Rally, I pulled our trailer onto CAT scale in Gilroy, CA at truckstop.. Some additional tips..

1. You don't really need to go inside and pre-negotiate. If place not busy, you can just drive onto scale surface..
2. Intercom buttons only 7 1/2 feet off ground, as I managed to reach without a stool. Also unmarked little square things... OPerator will talk to you when you push button, finally..
3. Scale divided into slabs about 20' long which total all five, and record separately. Be prepared to jump out and verify trailer and tow vehicle are not parked across joints, if you want combined weights.
4. Sometimes DMV or others require weights for registration or other reasons. Those "official" weights cost more..
5. They will want a license number for trailer, which took a while for me to find. Have it ready..
6. If they ask what type and what cargo, make up something interesting...
7. After weighing, you go inside to pay and pick up weight slip...

Pretty interesting and painless, though I didn't attempt to unhitch and drop. Well worth the $9 to me...

You can go to their website to find locations across country, though moving companies often also have scales open to public..
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Old 11-24-2006, 02:13 PM   #14
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scales open to public..

Most truck stops have platform scales that are divided into sections to weigh the different axles on tractor-trailers....CAT scales are a franchise operation.

If you happen to be in the northwest (WA, OR, MT), quite often when the state scales on highways are closed, they will leave the scale display turned on and you can get your weights there.

If there is a commercial gravel pit operation in your area, they usually have scales there (you might have to weigh each axle separately to get the gross weight)....same with moving & storage companies (Allied, United, North American, etc.)
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