The majority of people who are driving rental trucks on America's highways do not stop at weigh stations. This could be a costly mistake, since rental trucks are technically commercial vehicles and, depending on their weight, are often required to stop. There are many variables, so it helps to be aware of the various regulations.
The general rule when it comes to weigh stations is to always obey the sign. Weigh station requirements vary by state so it is important to read the signs as you come up on a weigh station. Two factors usually determine if it is necessary for you to pull into a weigh station, gross vehicle weight and vehicle class. If there is any doubt, it is best to err on the side of caution and pull in.
Signs showing the distance to the station will also indicate the minimum weight of vehicles that have to enter the station. If you vehicle weighs over the minimum weight you must enter. An example would be that if the sign says “All vehicles GVW of 26,001 must enter” then you must enter the station if your Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is greater then 26,000. If the sign does not have a listed weight or the sign says "All Commercial Trucks," then you must stop.
U-Haul and all other rental trucks are technically commercial vehicles. They are Department of Transportation (DOT) registered and the majority of them have their gross vehicle weight printed on the side of the door. It is a good idea to take note of this information. U-Haul also prints this information in your rental guide.
Common truck lengths and Gross Vehicle Weights are: 14’ GVW–14,050 pounds 17’ GVW–14,050 pounds 24’ GVW–18,000 pounds 26’ GVW–20,000 pounds
Weigh station personnel will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding their regulations. There is no penalty for pulling into a weigh station if you are not required to; the operator will more then likely just wave you through. If on the other hand you are required to stop and you drive by, there is a good chance that you will be pulled over down the road and directed back to the station. It is always best to stop if you are in doubt.
The majority of scales are rolling scales and they are built into the road in front of the Scale Officer's booth. A display at the side of the booth will indicate what each axle weighs as you drive over the scale. Slow down to the posted limited and slow drive over the scale. There is no need to stop unless the Scale Officer or the signal light asks you to.