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Old 08-26-2017, 11:38 AM   #1
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CAT Scales ... how-to?

I will have a chance to take the rig to a CAT Scale next week.

As the scales are designed for big-rigs, I'm curious ... are there any tricks to getting it done with a Suburban pulling a 16-foot Bambi?

Checked the CAT web site, and the video makes sense ... if you are an over-the-road driver behind an 18-wheeler.

What's the process for a humble driver and his Airstream?
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:55 AM   #2
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Download CAT Scales App so you don't have to push call button. Then go to fifthwheelst.com use their 4 step weight safety plan.
I would recommend taking the three measurements as described then fill in the blanks.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:41 PM   #3
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Good information at fifthwheelst.com but I like to refine it a little more. The worksheet doesn't consider the weight difference between the axles on the trailer. I've often found significant weight imbalance between the axles that can be adjusted thru the WD system.
Truck scales in Oregon are open all year long and many are low volume use and available to the public that aren't limited to commercial trucks. Sometime it can take a few hours to measure and weigh to get a very balanced set up. Once done properly, it can make a huge improvement in towing and handling.
Almost all RV dealers do not have scales and often I've helped members of our unit readjust their WD systems. I just helped a friend readjust her system set up by a major nationwide RV dealer. It was done so poorly it took 3 hours to completely reinstall and adjust the system. It was so bad, the torsion bars were screaming as she drove because the dealer had seriously over loaded the bars because the system was so far out of alignment.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:52 PM   #4
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CAT scales

Walk inside and ask. The operators at the Flying J that I went to were very helpful and appreciative that I walked inside and talked to them, rather than just pulling up on the scales and pushing the call button.
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:04 PM   #5
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Hi

If you *do* set up a CAT account - be really careful with their "security questions". They are really generic stuff that a lot of people could dig up the answers to. Either give bogus answers (and write them down) or assume your account is not very secure.

Yes, I realize this has very little to do with the topic at hand ...

Bob
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:13 PM   #6
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Very good point on the weight difference between trailer axles. I'd think if you had a spotter to stop you, you could get a single axle weights between two pads. You'd need a 4th pass across the scale for sure, and worst case is you subtract the known single weight from the gross trailer weight to get the other axle.
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:16 PM   #7
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I went through the Escapees Smart Weigh when installing/dialing in my hitch-- seeing the imbalance between the two was worth the effort. Keep us posted!!!
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:45 PM   #8
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We weighed in at a Pilot Flying J with a CAT scale. Procedure was as follows.

Pull on the scale. Make sure your front, rear, and trailer axle(s) are on separate pads.

Hit the button and hop back in your truck with the widow down.

Operator asks if it's a first weigh or a reweigh. Tell him first weigh.

Operator asks your truck number. Make up a two digit number. 00 works.

Unless the operator keeps talking, you're done. Pull off the scale and head inside to pick up your ticket at the register. They may ask if it's commercial or private. Tell them private.

Repeat as necessary, indicating "reweigh" when asked. I had to provide a code printed on the bottom left of my initial weigh ticket.
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:55 PM   #9
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I like the part about pushing the call button and quickly jumping back into your truck.

My weights were always off by 200+lbs.

After I shimmy up the pole to push the call button, I usually just hang there to talk to the operator. So my body weight is missing from the scale ticket.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:38 PM   #10
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Updated step two:

Push call button out your window with a broomstick. Quickly chuck broomstick off the scale, unless you plan on carrying it in your truck.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:50 PM   #11
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For basic weighing, I second the recommendation to install and use the Weigh My Truck app from CAT. Pull onto the scales as described above, punch into your phone the number of the scale you are on, and within a few seconds your weight sheet is emailed to you. $11 for the initial weigh. Joe
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
Updated step two:

Push call button out your window with a broomstick. Quickly chuck broomstick off the scale, unless you plan on carrying it in your truck.
Hi

If I chuck the broomstick, what will I use for backup transportation?

Bob
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:00 PM   #13
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I was just going to say that Bob. My broomstick has served me very well for 40 years.
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:45 PM   #14
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You always need to keep track of your towel, and your broomstick.

42 plus Harry P. Makes perfect sense to me...
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
Updated step two:

Push call button out your window with a broomstick. Quickly chuck broomstick off the scale, unless you plan on carrying it in your truck.
We actually carry a broomstick designated as the "CAT scale stick". One end is wrapped with rubber repair tape so it gets traction on the button. (we do have another use for it: It's marked in inches and it helps us get centered in our back-in storage place).

Next time I will download the app.
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:01 AM   #16
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We actually carry a broomstick designated as the "CAT scale stick". One end is wrapped with rubber repair tape so it gets traction on the button. (we do have another use for it: It's marked in inches and it helps us get centered in our back-in storage place).
Can you please elaborate? How do you employ the other use? marked in inches? Helps you get centered in your back-in storage place?? Must share more, please. Thanks! Rich
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:51 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
We weighed in at a Pilot Flying J with a CAT scale. Procedure was as follows.

Pull on the scale. Make sure your front, rear, and trailer axle(s) are on separate pads.

Hit the button and hop back in your truck with the widow down.

Operator asks if it's a first weigh or a reweigh. Tell him first weigh.

Operator asks your truck number. Make up a two digit number. 00 works.

Unless the operator keeps talking, you're done. Pull off the scale and head inside to pick up your ticket at the register. They may ask if it's commercial or private. Tell them private.

Repeat as necessary, indicating "reweigh" when asked. I had to provide a code printed on the bottom left of my initial weigh ticket.
In addition to what's well described by The Greatleys, we found it useful to do a reweigh with both axles of tow vehicle on one scale, the unhitched trailer tongue on the second scale, and the trailer axles on the third scale. This gives you actual weight of TV without trailer, the tongue weight alone, and the weight on the axles with no tow vehicle involved.

And then a second reweigh with the original setup, but weight distribution bars disengaged. When compared to the first, this gives you the information about what weight is being distributed to the trailer axles and to the TV..

Your tongue weight should be 10-15% of yiur trailer weight. If not, you will want to shift trailer payload so that it dies fall within that range, keeping the heaviest items as close to the axles as possible for the best handling.

We walked inside between each measurement.

Please remember to be courteous to other users of the scales. When we used local CAT scales, there was no one behind us until the third weigh--then an 18 wheeler pulled in and we scooted of quickly, reattaching our WD bars while off the scales. Had he pulled in earlier, we would have pulled out and around and got in line behind him for our last measurement.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:02 PM   #18
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two and three scales used for a TV and AS22FB test

we used the cat scale in the Soo ( Sault St Marie)
the guy was very nice, he let us do two runs and asked us which one we like
this was our first CAT scale test

we did a two scale ( one for the TV and one for the AS22FB)
we did a three scale ( one for the front wheels and another for the rear wheels of the TV and one for the AS22FB)

this is how we parked for the two runs

we like the three scale test as it lets us know if the weight distribution bars and load in the TV and trailer are even around all three sets of wheels
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:39 PM   #19
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See the thread

Cat Scale. The results are in
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post
I will have a chance to take the rig to a CAT Scale next week.

As the scales are designed for big-rigs, I'm curious ... are there any tricks to getting it done with a Suburban pulling a 16-foot Bambi?

Checked the CAT web site, and the video makes sense ... if you are an over-the-road driver behind an 18-wheeler.

What's the process for a humble driver and his Airstream?
This is what you will be experiencing:

When you pull on scales you will need to push the Call button for the attendant. They will ask for Company name just respond private. If that doesn't work just give your name as company name and say truck number 1 or whatever. You will also be asked if that is your first weigh. Say yes because when you go back around to reweigh it will be half the price.

1. When you pull on the scales you will see 3 different sections.
2. Drive forward to where your TV steer axle is on the first section and the
drive axle is on the second section.
3. Make sure that you don't drive too far forward because the Bambi axle
needs to be on the 3rd section.
I would weigh first round without WD engaged. Truck fueled, water tank full and all passengers and and cargo loaded. Then reweigh with the WD engaged.
I normally weigh the TV solo first fully loaded for trip and I step of the scale while its being weighed. This gives me a reference point.
I have also weigh the truck before loading it. Of course that is not possible if you hit the scales while on the road with your rig just do it the with and without WD engaged.

(I am fortunate to have a cat scale 15 minutes from my house so I can play around.)
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