Oklahoma’s first state-of-the-art commercial truck weigh station opened last week in Kay County along Interstate 35 just south of the Kansas border, the first of nine improved stations the state plans to construct along its borders in the next several years.
Until the opening of all the new high-tech stations, the state will continue to depend on six 50-year-old truck weigh stations, which are open only eight hours a day and are incapable of monitoring commercial truck traffic in the state, officials said.
“Our current facilities are antiquated sheds,” said Gary Ridley, director of the Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation.
Prior to the opening of the $11 million Kay County station, less than 10% of commercial vehicles operating on Oklahoma’s roads were inspected or weighed, state officials said in a Tulsa World report.
Construction of a second $8.7 million weigh station is nearing completion along Interstate 40 in western Oklahoma, just east of the Texas border in Beckham County, officials said.
Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas said the proposed network of weigh stations is “essential to the commission’s effort to more efficiently regulate the trucking industry and ensure cargo is safely and legally being transported in Oklahoma.”
“Our current weigh stations are drastically outdated, unable to handle the huge number of trucks that use Oklahoma’s roads, and many are poorly located,” Douglas said. “The new POEs will help protect the state's huge investment in roads and improve highway safety.”
The Corporation Commission is providing construction funding of the stations and staffing of the weigh and documents check functions.
Dan Case, executive director of the Oklahoma Trucking Assn., said the technologically advanced weigh stations are long overdue. “We want to get all eight built — the quicker, the better,” Case said.
David McCorkle, former chairman of the American Trucking Assns. and the Oklahoma Trucking Assn. and CEO of McCorkle Truck Line of Oklahoma City, said the new facilities will lead to safer trucking operations and safer motoring on the state’s highways.
“We are happy to salute highway safety today on behalf of our industry,” McCorkle said. “It sends a message to the other states.”
The technology in use at the Kay County Interstate 35 station includes:Static scales for weighing trucks
- Truck traffic control on I-35 includes a sign flashing “Trucks report when lights flashing.”
- Public address speakers to allow inspectors communicate directly with driver stopped at scale.
- Computer communications between the station control tower and driver processing area.
- Computer document check verification of truck credentials, safety scores and issuance of violations.
- An inspection bay for random truck safety inspection of brakes, suspension, frame, etc.
Technology to be installed in near future includes:
- A controllable message sign at Kansas-Oklahoma border.
- Weigh-in-motion electronic weighing of trucks at highway speeds on I-35.
- Electronic license plate reader on I-35.
- Electronic DOT number reader on I-35.
- Electronic recording of truck height, weight, length on I-35.
- Electronic message sign on I-35 tells drivers to bypass or report to POE station.
- Off-ramp weigh-in-motion weighs trucks as they approach POE station.
- Truck traffic control signals and controllable messages on off ramp.
Software credential check automatically checks truck registration and safety rating.