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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Heading to the CAT scales tomorrow

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MackinawMan

NW Ohio

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Posted: 07/01/10 06:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

to get some weights. I have the trailer loaded down with pretty much everything we will carry on our upcoming "big trip". The only thing not packed will be all the clothing items, which won't amount to much.

In any event...any tips?

I know I'm looking to get the weight of the loaded trailer and Excursion for the GCVW.

I know I need the separate weight of both the trailer and the Excursion..

I know I need the weights on the front and rear axles of the Excursion.

Anything else? I have a Sherline scale I plan to use tomorrow too, but I was wondering can you somehow get the tongue weight of the trailer from the CAT numbers?

Any other suggestions will be appreciated. While I've weighed at the local stone quarry numerous times...I've never used the CAT scales before. Frankly I was surprised that when I searched I found one within 30 miles or so of home.


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Jtroop1

Michigan

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Posted: 07/01/10 06:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a CAT scale right down the road. I used it the other day. It was $9 per weigh. You may want to check as they might charge for each seperate weigh, when you pull of the scale and pull back on.


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Campinfan

Washtenaw County, Michigan

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Posted: 07/01/10 07:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can get the tongue weight. Just see how much more your truck weighs when it is attached to the trailer. Look at both the steering and drive axle weights. Whatever your truck weighs while hitched up minus the unhitched weight will be your tongue weight. The Cat scales will give you front(steering) and rear (drive) weights. Let them know you are doing two weighs----usually there is a reduction in fees for the 2nd weigh. At least there was when I did it.


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Ron Gratz

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Posted: 07/01/10 08:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want to use the scales data to determine tongue weight, and if you want to get the maximum information about your TV/TT combination and how well your weight distrtibution system is working, you need data from three weighings. Second and third weighings usually are done at a lower cost.

And, you need to find a scales with at least three separate weighing platforms so you can separately measure all three axle loads at the same time. Most, perhaps all, CAT scales have this feature.

If you need any help in interpreting the scales results, just post the numbers. There are several ORF members who can help with the calculations.

First, the TV and TT should be loaded approximately as they would be for camping.

Second, the weight distribution system should be adjusted as it normally would be for towing.

Then, I would do the following:

Weighing #1 -- TT attached and Weight Distribution Activated
Let Front Axle Load be "FA1"
Let Rear Axle Load be "RA1"
Let TT Axles Load be "TT1"

Then, while in same position on scales, take
Weighing #2 -- TT attached and Weight Distribution Not Activated (WD bars unloaded, but hanging in place)
Let Front Axle Load be "FA2"
Let Rear Axle Load be "RA2"
Let TT Axles Load be "TT2"

Then, drive off scales and drop TT. Return to scales and take
Weighing #3 -- TV only -- TT Not Attached
Let Front Axle Load be "FA3"
Let Rear Axle Load be "RA3"

From the above values, you can calculate:

TV weight = FA3 + RA3

Gross Combined Weight = (FA1 + RA1 + TT1)
{should also be equal to (FA2 + RA2 + TT2) if scale weights are correct}

TT Weight = Gross Combined Weight - TV Weight

Tongue Weight = (FA2 + RA2) - (FA3 + RA3)

Load Transferred to TT Axles
when WD System is Activated = TT1 - TT2

This procedure should get you on and off the scales fairly quickly and still provide all the data you need.

Ron

MackinawMan

NW Ohio

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Posted: 07/01/10 09:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks guys..

Ron a big thanks for all that information.

Just so I understand...are you saying that for weight #2 I am staying on the scales after taking my first weight and simply disengaging the WD bars on my Equalizer?

blt2ski

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Posted: 07/01/10 09:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes that is correct, you need a wt with bars engaged, and NOT engaged! this way you know what has occurred with the bars engaged. and if the amount moved from the rear to the front of the truck is enough.

If you have a DOT scale along with freeway, that is closed more than open, you can do this there too, for "FREE" vs $10 per weight amount or what ever it is they charge, which is TOOO much!

Marty


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RCMAN46

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Posted: 07/01/10 09:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go inside and talk to the scale operator before you weigh. When I used one I was able to do several seperate weights. The extras only cost me $1.00 each. Recommend you get the weight of each trailer axle while you are at it. Have the DW or someone help you get the axles located correctly.

LarryJM

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Posted: 07/02/10 03:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Campinfan wrote:

You can get the tongue weight. Just see how much more your truck weighs when it is attached to the trailer. Look at both the steering and drive axle weights. Whatever your truck weighs while hitched up minus the unhitched weight will be your tongue weight. The Cat scales will give you front(steering) and rear (drive) weights. Let them know you are doing two weighs----usually there is a reduction in fees for the 2nd weigh. At least there was when I did it.


Close, but not correct since that won't give you the wt. that has been transferred back to the TT axles by the WDH system.

Larry


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Ron Gratz

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Posted: 07/02/10 05:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MackinawMan wrote:

Just so I understand...are you saying that for weight #2 I am staying on the scales after taking my first weight and simply disengaging the WD bars on my Equalizer?

Marty is correct. Stay on the scales, disengage the WD bars, and take the second reading.

The differences between #1 and #2 tell you how much load is added to the steer axle, how much load is removed from the drive axle, and how much load is added to the TT's axles when the WD system is engaged.

Ron

Wishin

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Posted: 07/02/10 06:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did this same thing last year. I went to the CAT scale. One warning. There were multiple people working there and I asked if it was OK to do a hitch adjustment while on the scales and she said fine. Later I got hassled for taking too much time on the scales (unhooking and hooking the WD bars) because the person that gave me permission had left or was on break. It might be better to pull off, remove the WD bars, and pull back on so you don't take up scale time. There was nobody behind me when I started but I made a semi wait about 1 min. It wasn't that big of a deal but I'd probably pull off next time to make any changes.

I recall it was about $10 for the first weigh. When you get your slip it has a number on it. When you come back on the scale for a reweigh you just tell them your number and as long as it was less than 24hrs it was only $1 for the next weigh, as many times as you want if I recall.


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