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Old 03-26-2017, 10:51 AM   #1
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Cat scale.

How does the Cat scale work?
I don't mean technically, I mean how do you use it?
Is there someone to greet you? Do you sign up inside? Where do you get the results? How much does it cost? How much time does it take?
Walk me through it. I drive in to a truck stop, then what?
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:19 AM   #2
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First off, the scale has three platforms. You want to get your TV front axle on one, your TV rear axle on another, and your TT axles on the third.

Here is what I did:
1. Go inside and tell the attendant what you want to do, which is three weighings:
a. With trailer, weight distribution engaged
b. Drive off the scale in case there is someone waiting and disengage your weight distribution, but leave the bars attached to the hitch head if possible
c. Back on the scale for weighing #2
d. Drive off the scale in case there is someone waiting and drop the trailer.
e. Back on the scale for weighing #3.

Each time you will have to page the attendant when you are ready to weigh. There is a call box with a push-button, but I couldn't reach it from my TV's cab; it is designed for semis. Be sure to weigh the combination the same each time. In my case, one of the weighings was with me on the stand, but not the scale. Couldn't make the numbers make sense. Decide if you want to be in the truck or not and tell the attendant what you want to do.

Then you can compare the numbers for each axle to assess how well you have your weight distribution set up and (for the first weighing) how close you are to your TV and TT axle ratings. Setup depends on TV manufacturer's recommendations, but what I try for is to get the TV front axle with WD engaged (first weighing) at least half way back (or more) from its weight with WD disengaged (second weighing) to its weight without the TT (third weighing).

Search CAT scale on here to find a plethora of information.

I don't recall the cost, but it is nominal, like $20-$25, IIRC.

Al
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:23 AM   #3
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CAT Scale App

There is also an app for iPhones that make it even easier.

https://catscale.com/news/wmtapp/
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:29 AM   #4
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There's one for Android users at the Google Play store. Looks like the Cat people monitor the comments and reply to comments.
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:15 PM   #5
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Another alternative is to use the scale at a moving and storage. One may be closer to you than a CAT scale.

The one near me is a single platform. For each of the three weighings above, I did three sub-weighings:
1. TV front axle
2. TV front and rear axles
3. TT

Then I subtract 1 from 2 to get the TV rear axle. Now I have the same data as the CAT scale process. The moving companies' scales are checked (in Florida) by the State for accuracy. I found them to be consistent with the weighings at the CAT scale.

Al
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:27 PM   #6
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This shows how to set your vehicles on the three platforms correctly.
https://catscale.com/how-to-weigh/

tow vehicle front axel on the front platform
tow vehicle rear axel on the mid platform
trailer axels on the rear platform

you and your passengers stay inside the truck each time you weigh, since you all are cargo (or all out each weigh so the multiple weighs will be the same)
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:35 PM   #7
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I just went for an update, 1 shot $11. I think there is a discount for multiple shots.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:46 PM   #8
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I screwed up the courage to do this last month.

Here is my experience.

I called the truck stop and asked to talk to the Fuel Desk. This is where you collect your ticket.

I drove into the area at the back of the truck stop. I was a bit intimidated, as I was the only RV in the line.

This scale was in a 'Parking Ticket' only area at the back. I had to stop and get out of the truck to collect the ticket.

After this, I drove to the scale and pulled up. It was pretty obvious where my axles went. I then hit the 'radio' button and called the same lady.

She said 'hold on', then 'ok, come into the fuel desk.'

I then pulled into a space and paid my $11 for my weight ticket. After that, I exited the parking area and turned in my parking ticket.

I didn't have the time to do multiple runs, I was just trying to confirm my weight overall as well as what was on the trailer axles.

I will do this again after we make some long term modifications in our dinette configuration and put in our recliner unit. This next time I will do the three pass method and try and dial in my weights.
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llando88 View Post
I screwed up the courage to do this last month.

Here is my experience.
Good explanation. Thanks.
I was thinking, If one weighed with the truck and trailer like described, Then came back another day and weighed the truck only, one should be able to deduce the tongue weight, yes? First pass, all three Front/Rear/Trailer. Second pass front/rear, no trailer. so, (F+R+T)-(f+r+T)= tongue weight?
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:39 PM   #10
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In most places in Oregon if the scale is closed they leave the scale open. Just pull up read the weight on the overhead sign.

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Old 03-26-2017, 07:47 PM   #11
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Went to the Cat scale for my first time today. Sunday seemed to be a slow day at the scale. I weighed three times and adjusted the weight distribution hitch away from the scale each time. No one else used the scale while I was there. This scale experience was with a cargo trailer, not my on-order Airstream.

The first time I weighed, I got out of the truck to reach the call button. Oops, got weighed without me in the truck, but at least I was standing on the front axle scale. Drove off the scale and parked. Went in to get my ticket and was politely informed to state I was an individual, not a commercial trucker. Ok, paid $12 and reviewed my weight ticket. I was overweight on the rear axle and light on the front. Asked how to request a re-weigh and was told to hit the button, ask for a re-weigh and give the "weigh number" on the bottom left corner of my ticket.

Went outside and tightened my WD hitch up one link. Pulled further ahead on the scale this time so I could reach the call button while inside the truck. Was told to come get my ticket. Pulled away, parked, paid $2 for a re-weigh. I was still overweight on the rear axle. Went another link tighter on the WD hitch and re-weighed again. This time I could see that one link tighter lowered the rear axle weight by 100# and increased the front axle weight by 60# while raising the trailer axles by 20# (the total dropped by 20# due to the error level of the scale.) This was with a Blue Ox Swaypro with 1400# bars on a cargo trailer with a tongue weight of about 1300# (based on truck payload and axle weights). I didn't need to get the exact tongue weight, I just needed to be cargo trailer legal - under the GAWR, GVWR and GCWR. Since I was able to get my steer axle to within 1/4" of the original height without the trailer, the drive axle below the max weight and the total was below GCWR, I was good to go. I will use this experience to set up my Airstream with a Blue Ox Swaypro and 1000# bars when I get it. The trailer axles weighed 8680# if that is important to anyone.

So my first time mistakes were that 1) I didn't inform the scale operator that I was not a commercial truck and 2) I wasn't in my truck the first time I hit the call button and was weighed. Everyone was polite and or didn't seem to care that I was weighing a cargo trailer around the professional truckers.
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Old 03-26-2017, 08:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Good explanation. Thanks.

I was thinking, If one weighed with the truck and trailer like described, Then came back another day and weighed the truck only, one should be able to deduce the tongue weight, yes? First pass, all three Front/Rear/Trailer. Second pass front/rear, no trailer. so, (F+R+T)-(f+r+T)= tongue weight?


I'll defer to the experts (I am not one) but assuming you have the same cargo (wife, dog, etc.) it seems reasonable.

I've actually thought at the next time I do this, I would stay at an RV Park close to a scale.

Then, the day before we leave, I would drive the truck over and get it's weight. The next day, with the trailer, I'd get the next two scale readings.

That way, I would avoid having to unhitch/hitch up in a Truck Stop Parking area.
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Good explanation. Thanks.
I was thinking, If one weighed with the truck and trailer like described, Then came back another day and weighed the truck only, one should be able to deduce the tongue weight, yes? First pass, all three Front/Rear/Trailer. Second pass front/rear, no trailer. so, (F+R+T)-(f+r+T)= tongue weight?
Mollysdad, If you top off the fuel both days with the same passengers, your formula would give you the trailer's "payload weight" affect on the truck if the weight distribution hitch was connected on the first weigh or the "tongue weight" if WD was not connected. Three passes are needed to know both the "payload weight" and "tongue weight" of the trailer. Of course there would be a slight error with the amount of fuel actually in the tank each day, but with full fuel tanks, that difference would be within the error level of the scale.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:45 AM   #14
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Cat Scale Etiquette

I know this is an old thread but had a more specific question. I read a few older posts and didn't see specifically what I was looking for. I updated my Equalizer hitch by adding a Gen-Y Torsion Weight distribution hitch to it and wanted to re-weight my set up to make sure it is still w/n spec.

My specific question is CAT Scales etiquette. I use the 3-pass method to weigh recommended by everyone. Truck only / Everything With Weight Distribution / Everything without Weight Distribution. I’m not sure if my etiquette is OK / preferred / not preferred so I wanted to get a consensus.

My question – When you do your 3 passes do you have to drive on and off the scales 3 separate times? Or, can you combine passes 2 and 3 on the scales. Here was my situation.

When I went to weigh my Truck, I let an 18 wheeler go ahead of me since they are on the clock and working. It took the 18 wheeler about 8 minutes to weigh their rig and move off the scales. This wasn’t any big deal to me as I figured they had their reasons for what they needed to be weighed. I weighed my truck, as the first pass of 3, and notified the attendant through the speaker I would be making 2 more passes in a few minutes.

I hooked up my weight distribution system. While doing so, there were no other 18 wheelers that came thru the scales (IMO it was not a busy time). I then weighed my set up with weight distribution. Since it was not busy, I advised the attendant I was going to disconnect my Weight bars and have it re-weighed again. They had no problem with me doing that.

In the meantime, another 18-wheeler pulled up behind me. They blew their horn / leaned out their window to give me a few choice words / etc. The attendant was having problems with getting the weight for the 3rd pass so it took her a little longer. In the meantime, the trucker was getting more impatient. The final weight was taken and I drove off. The entire process for the 2nd and 3rd weight was not any longer than I had to wait on the 18 wheeler for my initial pass as I’m pretty efficient at the process of just disconnecting the bars.

When I went to get my tickets I found out why the attendant took longer to weigh for this last pass. My trailer axle weight was about 20,000 lbs higher than it should be as, in his impatience, the 18-wheeler driver pulled his rig up on the scales to give me the wrong weight for my set up. I figure this confused the attendant that was doing the weighing and this is why it took her longer.

I explained to the attendant what apparently happened and she had noticed his rig was too close to mine. She said I could pull up again to get re-weighed at no additional charge. She was very polite and professional.

I re-parked / removed my W/D bars and got reweighed. I then parked again and attached my weight distribution bars.

I’m pretty sure the trucker would not have pulled up on the scales behind another trucker that took the same amount of time that I did. However; is it inconsiderate to combine passes 2 and 3 as I did in that situation on that day?

Whether yes or no, I wanted to make others aware off how things can turn out if this practice is followed by others in the future.
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Old 10-06-2020, 11:29 AM   #15
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I only did this once and I was the only person using the scale. I used the App and it is all automatic including billing and the readout (though I didn't realize the App had the readout so I went in and got the printouts). Since no one else was waiting I never pulled off. I weighed with the WD, then unhooked the bars (Equalizer; pretty quick) for the second, then backed up a bit so my entire trailer with the front peg was on the single platform, unhooked, then pulled forward for the unhitched weight. The whole thing didn't take long.

I suspect that some truckers dislike RVs because they are on the clock and you are not. And some will get annoyed just because you are there, even if you are fast. I think as long as you are moving quickly they should deal with it the ten minutes or so it takes to do this.

I just looked at the time stamps; first weight was at 13:41 and final one was at 13:48. Probably pulled on at 13:40 and it probably took me 2-3 minutes to re-hook up the AS and get going. Less than 15 min total for sure.
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Old 10-06-2020, 12:52 PM   #16
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When I go I still pull off every time. That’s way there is possible delay for anyone following. I do whatever adjustments in the parking lot.
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Old 10-06-2020, 01:26 PM   #17
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“No possible “
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Old 10-06-2020, 02:09 PM   #18
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When I go I still pull off every time. That’s way there is possible delay for anyone following. I do whatever adjustments in the parking lot.
Thanks. BTW, I think you made the Campsite pic post from Top of Georgia that had my rig in the picture.
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Old 10-06-2020, 02:15 PM   #19
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Thanks. BTW, I think you made the Campsite pic post from Top of Georgia that had my rig in the picture.


Your welcome, sky was really cool tried to capture that
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Old 10-06-2020, 02:16 PM   #20
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I only did this once and I was the only person using the scale. I used the App and it is all automatic including billing and the readout (though I didn't realize the App had the readout so I went in and got the printouts). Since no one else was waiting I never pulled off. I weighed with the WD, then unhooked the bars (Equalizer; pretty quick) for the second, then backed up a bit so my entire trailer with the front peg was on the single platform, unhooked, then pulled forward for the unhitched weight. The whole thing didn't take long.

I suspect that some truckers dislike RVs because they are on the clock and you are not. And some will get annoyed just because you are there, even if you are fast. I think as long as you are moving quickly they should deal with it the ten minutes or so it takes to do this.

I just looked at the time stamps; first weight was at 13:41 and final one was at 13:48. Probably pulled on at 13:40 and it probably took me 2-3 minutes to re-hook up the AS and get going. Less than 15 min total for sure.
Thanks for the info. Re: the Cat Scales App. I recently added actually that App and called the # they refer you to for questions to see if I could use it for a 3 pass weigh without leaving the scale for this particular weighing. They told me I could not. I would have to drive off each time and I would not be able to get the reduce rate for the 2nd and 3rd pass. They said I would have to do it without the App to get the reduced 2nd and 3rd pass rates.

We you able to get the rates of $12.50 / $2.50 / and $2.50 for your 3 passes? If so, I assume the App is able to identify that your 3 passes are together and I assume you didn't have to do anything special with the app to do so?
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