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Field Motor Carrier Services

What's New

weigh station sign with Bypass Photo Enforced warning

Cameras catch bypassers in the act
Motor Carrier Transportation Division size and weight enforcement officers are taking advantage of weigh station camera systems to educate truckers of the folly in illegally bypassing when a station is open. From October 2008 through September 2009, size and weight enforcement officers were able to identify trucks that drove by an open weigh station and issue 701 citations or warnings to drivers. Most enforcement actions, 523 of the 701 total, occurred at weigh stations with the bypass detection systems.

Oregon has a reputation now for strict enforcement of weigh station stops. For example, here's a posting at the Web site called coops are open:

"Vehicles over 20,000 lbs are required to enter Oregon weigh stations.

"Don't even think about blowing by Oregon weigh stations. Oregon is spending big bucks to install cameras in the roadway- they'll catch you if you just fly on by. You'll get a citation- $435 to $2,500- in the mail and have a court appearance to deal with."

Bypass detection systems are recording truck traffic at Ashland, Cascade Locks, Farewell Bend, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Umatilla, and Woodburn. The cameras are much more efficient than calling police for assistance or chasing a truck in order to identify it. Police are not always available and Oregon motor carrier enforcement officers, who are not trained and equipped like police, work under a policy that requires them to stop following a truck if safety concerns or risky conditions warrant stopping.

The camera systems include one high-speed video camera that captures images of license plates under any lighting conditions and a second camera that captures an image of each vehicle. The entire stream of traffic is recorded on a DVR for playback at any time. This is not like the camera systems many cities have installed at intersections to catch vehicles running red lights. Those systems have a dual purpose of enforcing the law and raising revenue. Oregon’s weigh station bypass cameras are only there to enforce the law. The Oregon Department of Transportation receives no part of the fines collected through the citations issued by its motor carrier enforcement officers. Fines paid by motor carriers are split between circuit courts, justice courts, or municipal courts and various law enforcement agencies, along with a unitary assessment that goes to the Oregon Department of Revenue and a county assessment that goes to county treasuries.


 
 
Report details size and weight enforcement safeguards
In preparation for a Federal Highway Administration program review in 2008, the Motor Carrier Transportation Division assembled a report of various safeguards that are in place to protect Oregon roads and bridges from overweight trucks. The report provides details about how Oregon identifies and tracks weight-restricted bridges, notifies everyone of restrictions, takes action in the field in response to restrictions, strives to maintain enforcement capabilities statewide, and continually measures and refines enforcement efforts.

Read Size and Weight Enforcement Program Safeguards Protecting Oregon Bridges.
 


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Ports of Entry & Field Offices

pic of enforcement officer at truck weigh station


Ashland Port of Entry
NB I-5, California border, PO Box 666, Ashland OR 97520-0023
No Registration Services
Truck Size and Weight Enforcement
Phone: 541-776-6004   ~  FAX: 541-776-6009
District Manager Leslie Elbon

Cascade Locks Port of Entry
EB I-84, east of Portland, 500 SE Frontage Road, Cascade Locks OR 97014-9801
No Registration Services
Truck Size and Weight Enforcement
Phone: 541-374-8980   ~  FAX: 541-374-2240
District Manager Sue Hopkins 

Farewell Bend Port of Entry
WB I-84, Idaho border, 5920 Highway 30, Huntington OR 97907-9707
No Registration Services
Truck Size and Weight Enforcement
Phone: 541-869-2474 ~ FAX: 541-869-2021
District Manager Alice Burley

Klamath Falls Port of Entry
NB US97, California border, 4647 Highway 97 N, Klamath Falls OR 97601-9387
No Registration Services
Truck Size and Weight Enforcement
Phone: 541-883-5701   ~  FAX: 541-883-5564
District Manager Phil Grant

Umatilla Port of Entry
SB I-82, Washington border, 1801 SW Highway 730 E, Umatilla OR 97882-0770
No Registration Services
Truck Size and Weight Enforcement
Phone: 541-922-5183   ~   FAX: 541-922-2979
District Manager Lloyd Pratt

Woodburn Port of Entry
SB I-5, south of Washington border, PO Box 244, Woodburn OR 97071-0244
No Registration Services
Truck Size and Weight Enforcement
Phone: 503-982-0804   ~  FAX: 503-982-7201
District Manager Gail Levario

Portland Bridge Office
I-5, Oregon/Washington Border, 12348 N Center Avenue, Portland OR 97217-7871
Phone: 971-673-5900   ~   FAX: 971-673-5893
Registration Service, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Manager Jennifer Coffin 

Bend - District Office, Size & Weight Enforcement
63055 N Hwy. 97, Bend OR 97701
Phone: 541-388-6217
District Manager Phil Grant

La Grande - District Office, Size & Weight Enforcement
3012 Island Avenue, La Grande OR 97850
Phone: 541-963-3170
District Manager Lloyd Pratt

Roseburg - District Office, Size & Weight Enforcement
3500 NW Stewart Parkway, Roseburg OR 97470
Phone: 541-957-3605
District Manager Leslie Elbon

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Training and Assistance

pic of training coordinator with truck driver
Roxanne Graves offers a tip about truck cargo securement

The Motor Carrier Transportation Division currently has three experts available to provide free instruction and guidance on an individual or group basis. David Gaffney is based in Springfield, Roxanne Graves is based in La Grande, and Susan Westfeldt is in Ashland. These three District Training Coordinators work practically full time on outreach efforts to educate drivers and motor carriers.

MCTD District Training Coordinators
Roxanne Graves - 541-963-3170 - Eastern Region
Susan Chase - 541-957-3605- Southern Region

MCTD has been providing the service since 1989. The Training Coordinators offer classes and presentations covering the gamut of motor carrier regulations, including weigh station scale crossing procedures, truck size and weight regulations, over-dimension permit requirements, federal motor carrier safety regulations and inspection procedures, and even Oregon weight-mile tax and truck registration requirements. The instructors’ involvement ranges from meeting in person with drivers and carriers to just answering questions by phone or e-mail or forwarding a PowerPoint presentation on a subject.

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Green Light

pic of truck on I-84 near Idaho border

Green Light uses high-speed weigh-in-motion scales and transponders so truckers can save the time and money otherwise wasted stopping at major Oregon weigh stations. It's a truck weigh station "preclearance" system that's just like systems in many other states. It's a free, voluntary service available to carriers operating in Oregon.

Green Light systems are currently in place at 21 Oregon weigh stations. Motor carriers using Green Light transponders to preclear Oregon weigh stations are subject to no extra regulatory scrutiny. The information Oregon collects automatically through Green Light is the same information it collects manually when a truck stops at the weigh station.

Visit the Green Light Web page  for more information.
 
Check a list of the Green Light weigh-in-motion sites throughout Oregon.

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Oregon Weigh Stations

pic of weigh station map

Oregon Motor Carrier Enforcement Officers work at 87 fixed weigh stations, including 6 Ports of Entry, and dozens of sites capable of supporting portable weigh scale operations. This includes the 21 sites equipped with Green Light weigh-in-motion scales. The Ports of Entry are open more than most stations, but they're all operated on a random schedule.



Who must report to an OPEN scale?
By MCTD policy, vehicles and vehicle combinations exceeding 20,000 pounds must stop and weigh at an Open scale when there is a sign posted prior to the scale that reads "All Trucks Over 20,000# GVW Next Right". At outlying scales without this posted sign, all commercial vehicles and vehicles combinations with a GVWR of 10,000# or greater must stop and weigh at the OPEN scale.  

The following are exempt from the requirements of reporting to an open scale when directed to do so by an OPEN sign -- see ORS 818.400(2):

  • An empty log truck and bunked pole trailer.
  • A vehicle or combination of vehicles that is enroute to a terminal or other legitimate business that requires turning off the highway after passing the OPEN sign but before reaching the scale.
  • A vehicle or combination of vehicles directed to bypass by a weigh-in-motion system.  Exception: Vehicles operating under direction of a Special Transportation Variance Permit directing them to stop at OPEN scales even if they receive a green light on their transponder.
  • Fire equipment with red warning lights and/or siren operating.
  • RV’s (by ORS definition of Commercial Motor Vehicle, ORS 801.208).
  • A bus (by MCTD policy unless required by signage to enter scale).
  • Military vehicles in convoy (by MCTD Policy).


NOTE: Even when exempt from entering an OPEN scale, motor carriers must obtain Oregon weight-mile tax and registration credentials and comply with safety regulations, unless otherwise exempt by law or rule.

Need to weigh a vehicle and get a "certified" scale receipt?
ODOT does not offer this service. ODOT cannot "certify" weights for public vehicles. The customer needs to find a private or public scale that will weigh and "certify" weigh their vehicle. There is usually a cost associated with getting a "certified" weight. If a customer needs to find a certified scale in their local area, they may want to consult phone books, internet searches, etc. Once they have their weights, if they find they need to order credentials from Motor Carrier and have them faxed to the, they can call the MCTD registration line to order the credentials and then they can refer to the Truck Stops list on our website if they don't have a fax number available.

ODOT scale decks are operational 24/7 for public use, including when the sign on the highway may indicate the scale is unmanned and is closed. As you cross or stop on the scale deck, your weights will be indicated on the scale reader board. The only time scale decks are closed to the public is during repair status. If the scale is open, remember you are subject to a citation and fine if an MCEO or Compliance Safety Officer observes an overweight, credential or other traffic violation, even if you are only doing a check weigh for your own use.

Examples of when the public may want to weigh their vehicles:

  • Military personnel needing to weigh their rental truck before and after loaded (could be for relocation reimbursement purposes).
  • Just bought a new piece of equipment and don't know what it weights, could be a solo vehicle such as a crane or new equipment that will be loaded on a trailer.
  • Just started operating and wants to ensure they don't overload their vehicles.
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Entry & Enforcement Policy


Tax and Registration Credentials
Motor carriers with movements that originate in Oregon must obtain tax and registration credentials prior to operation.

Motor carriers with drivers entering Oregon must obtain tax and registration credentials prior to operating in Oregon except in certain situations. Read Oregon´s Entry Policy for Tax and Registration Credentials.  

Check the Registration Services page for information about how to get started trucking in Oregon.


Over-Dimension Loads
Similarly, carriers transporting oversize or overweight loads that originate in Oregon must obtain a variance permit and the driver must possess that permit prior to transport.

Carriers entering Oregon with an oversize or overweight load must obtain a variance permit and the driver must possess that permit prior to entering the State except in certain situations. Read Oregon´s Entry Policy for Over-Dimension Loads

Check the Over-Dimensions Operations page for information about obtaining a permit.

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Size, Weight, Length Limits

pic of truck crossing a static scale

Oregon law related to truck size, weight, and length limits -
 ORS Chapter 818 - Vehicle Limits

The "legal" operating weight of a truck is determined by tire size, the number of axles, and the wheelbase of the truck or the combination of truck and trailer(s). Legal weights are determined on the basis of the gross allowable weight for single axles and tandem axles and the gross allowable weight for any vehicle, group of axles, and combination of vehicles.

In Oregon, the maximum legal gross weight limit is 80,000 pounds. The gross weight of a single axle cannot exceed 600 pounds per inch of total tire width on the axle (limited also by manufacturer´s sidewall tire rating), or 20,000 pounds, whichever is less. The gross weight of a tandem axle cannot exceed 600 pounds per inch of total tire width of the wheels on tandem axle, or 34,000 pounds, whichever is less.

Combinations with a total gross weight over 80,000 pounds and up to 105,500 pounds must obtain a special permit, called an Extended Weight permit. These permits are often needed, for example, by truckers operating double- and triple-trailer combinations that have legal axle, tandem and group weights, the total of which weigh between 80,001 and 105,500 pounds.

Check a three-page guide to Size Limits and a four-page guide to Weight Limits. Vehicles exceeding the limits are required to obtain a variance permit. See more about Over-Dimension Operations. Also, check an informational handout about using dromedary plates, decks, or boxes to extend cargo-carrying capacity.

Other Restrictions:
Special Oregon road and bridge restrictions
Bridge restrictions on major routes in Oregon
Bridge restrictions on lesser routes

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Auxiliary Power Units

pic of Auxiliary Power Unit
photo courtesy of Willis APU / Auxiliary Power Dynamics

Oregon allows weight exception for Auxiliary Power Units


Oregon allows a truck to be up to 400 pounds over maximum axle and gross weight limits if it’s equipped with a working idle reduction system (Auxiliary or Alternate Power Unit, APU) designed to reduce fuel use and engine emissions, ORS 818. Since not all states have taken such action, however, the interstate trucking industry still bears the burden of determining which states have an APU allowance and which do not. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 included a provision increasing federal weight limits to allow for APUs, but the FHWA has noted that states are not required to follow suit.

Although the ODOT Motor Carrier Division cannot maintain a current list of states that allow the APU weight exemption allowance, and it cannot declare how this issue will be handled by officers at other states' weigh stations, it's been reported that the following states are like Oregon in that they allow a 400-pound APU weight exemption allowance. These states reportedly allow it by law or enforcement policy:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

It's been reported that the following states do NOT allow the 400-pound APU weight exemption: California, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee.
 


BACKGROUND
A February 2007 FHWA notice clarified that if a state adopts the exemption, it should allow up to 400 pounds in axle, tandem, gross, or bridge weight formula (an axle weight calculation), or the weight of the APU unit, whichever is less. For example, if a truck has an APU with a certified weight of 750 pounds, the truck will be allowed the maximum 400 pounds additional weight. But if a truck has an APU with a certified weight of 300 pounds, it will be allowed a 300-pound exception. It’s also expected that trucks equipped with an APU will carry a written certification of the APU’s weight. The certification must be in writing but can include a wide range of options, such as a manufacturer's certification sticker or specification plate, certified scale tickets listing the vehicle’s weight both before and after the unit’s installation, or a component parts list with listed weights of each component if the unit is manufactured by the owner or operator, so long as it accurately reflects the weight of the unit and is available to roadside enforcement officers.

23 CFR 658.17 Weight
(a) The provisions of the section are applicable to the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways and reasonable access thereto. . . .
(n) Any vehicle subject to this subpart that utilizes an auxiliary power or idle reduction technology unit in order to promote reduction of fuel use and emissions because of engine idling, may be allowed up to an additional 400 lbs. total in gross, axle, tandem, or bridge formula weight limits.
(1) To be eligible for this exception, the operator of the vehicle must be able to prove:
(i) By written certification, the weight of the APU; and
(ii) By demonstration or certification, that the idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times.
(2) Certification of the weight of the APU must be available to law enforcement officers if the vehicle is found in violation of applicable weight laws. The additional weight allowed cannot exceed 400 lbs. or the weight certified, whichever is less.

Since many APUs use the truck tractor’s fuel supply, the FHWA determined that it will only consider the APU’s empty weight and not allow the weight calculation of the unit to include fuel. A requirement that the APU be "fully functional at all times" was more problematic for FHWA to address in rules because there will be times when a unit is temporarily broken down. For this, the FHWA has simply noted that there will be little or no incentive for a driver to install and transport a non-working APU.

Oregon motor carrier enforcement officers began allowing the weight exception in February 2006 when provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 took effect. According to Field Motor Carrier Services Manager Ed Scrivner, enforcement officers expect most APUs will be mounted above or near the lead tandem axles or between the steering axle and drive axle. “We won’t allow anyone to claim the extra weight on the trailer if the tractor is at legal weight,” Scrivner said.

In 2005, the U.S. Commerce Department estimated that more than 400,000 long-haul truckers routinely travel over 500 miles from their home base. For these people, their truck becomes a second home. During the hours the drivers rest each day, many let the trucks idle in order to run heaters, air conditioners, and accessories like tvs, microwaves, refrigerators, and computers.

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Lab reported that the average truck sits idling for up to 1,800 hours each year — equivalent to 75 straight days. The Environmental Protection Agency contended the problem is worse than that. It estimated that the average truck sits idling up to 3,000 hours each year. If a truck consumes eight gallons of diesel for every 10 hours of idling, the two estimates put the average truck in the range of using 1,400 to 2,400 gallons just for idling its engine each year. In a study presented to the Transportation Research Board, the Institute of Transportation Studies-Davis concluded that if one-third of the highest-burning trucks used alternate power units, the fuel lost by idling would drop by half.

Idling also wears down an engine, requiring more preventative maintenance and repairs. Moreover, idling creates excess emissions. The Argonne National Lab has estimated that long-haul heavy trucks produce 10 million tons of carbon dioxide, about 60,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, and nearly 100,000 tons of carbon monoxide just by idling.

Many truck drivers prefer to carry their own anti-idling device because they park in varied locations and their routes often change. They can’t always take advantage of “truck stop electrification” areas where they can plug in to a stand-alone heating, air conditioning, and power system or the more sophisticated shore power systems available for specially-modified trucks.

Alternate devices include direct-fired burners for cab and engine block heating, thermal storage devices for heating and cooling, and auxiliary power units for heating, cooling, and electrical power. They use only 10%-15% of the fuel a diesel engine uses to heat the engine or run cab heating and air conditioning. Costing as much as $7,000, they’re easy to install and relatively inexpensive to operate.

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Chains & Traction Tires

pics of chain and traction tire warning signs

In Oregon, chains or traction tires are required whenever winter conditions exist and signs are posted advising drivers to carry or use them. State law mentions no dates for when chain and traction tire requirements start and end. That’s because no one knows for sure when winter conditions will start and end for the varied climates throughout the state. Motorists should be prepared and watch for the signs advising when they´re required to carry chains or have traction tires, and when they´re required to use chains. Under certain conditions traction tires may be used in place of chains on vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or less if they´re not towing or being towed.

Winter Travel in Oregon
Oregon Chain Laws and Minimum Chain Requirements are posted on the Internet at ODOT's TripCheck Web site (look for Winter Travel links in lower left corner of TripCheck home page).

The TripCheck site also features Road Cams with regularly-updated camera images of highways around the state.

For road and weather information by phone, dial 511 or 1-800-977-ODOT (within Oregon) or 503-588-2941 (outside Oregon).

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DMV

DMV logo

The ODOT Motor Carrier Transportation Division urges truck drivers to stop at one of two registration offices in the state or call a 24-hour Service Center at 503-378-6699 if they need registration or permit service. Check the Motor Carrier Division Office Locations and Service Schedule. Companies can also sign up for Trucking Online and conduct business from a home or office computer via the Internet.

As a last resort, the following Oregon DMV field offices can help provide certain motor carrier services:

Albany
Astoria
Baker City
Bend
Brookings
Burns
Canyonville
Cave Junction
Coos Bay
Coquille
Corvallis
Cottage Grove
Dallas
Enterprise
Eugene
Florence
Gladstone
Grants Pass
Gresham
Heppner
Hermiston
Hillsboro
Hood River
John Day
Junction City
Klamath Falls
La Grande
Lakeview
Lebanon
Lincoln City
Madras
McMinnville
Medford
Newport
Pendleton
Portland Area Offices
Prineville
Redmond
Roseburg
Salem North
Salem South
Springfield
Stayton
The Dalles
Tillamook
Woodburn

For more DMV-related information, visit the Oregon DMV Web site.

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Truck Stops

pic of truck stop


The Motor Carrier Transportation Division has compiled a list of truck stops with a fax service truckers can use to have credentials sent to them. The list does not include all that are in or near Oregon, just key ones that truckers frequent. View a Web page list of Truck Stops or a two page handout.

Oregon operating credentials are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from the Salem Service Center at 503-378-6699. Trucking companies and their drivers can also use a home or office computer to sign up for Trucking Online  and get credentials via the Internet. Truck drivers headed for Oregon who must do business by phone, fax, or field office visit should first check the schedule for registration service at offices across the state.

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