Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersREAL WORLD APPLICATIONS OF VIRTUAL WEIGH STATIONS



In these uncertain times, protection of roadway infrastructure and reduced vehicle emissions are paramount to the taxpayer and the environment. There is an exponential relationship between truck axle overloading and pavement damage. A 10% increase in axle overload can result in up to a 45% increase in pavement damage* [1]. Furthermore, as active enforcement of overloaded trucks increases, non-compliance with truck loading regulations decreases [2]. With conventional ramp weigh stations, heavy trucks are directed to pull into a weigh station site and required to either slow down or stop for further inspection. When heavy trucks can continue on the highway unimpeded, there is a significant reduction in vehicle emissions and fuel consumption, as compared with the acceleration and deceleration pattern which is typical of a conventional weigh station interaction [3]. Additionally, the reduction in the number of overloaded axles results in pavements lasting longer, with less frequent rehabilitation and reconstruction; this provides a further environmental benefit from the reduced maintenance requirement. Unlike conventional ramp weigh stations, Virtual Weigh Stations and Mainline Weigh-InMotion (WIM) systems make continuous highway travel possible for trucks that are compliant with weight regulations. This paper focuses on Virtual Weigh Stations, which are increasingly being used to reduce the percentage of overloaded trucks, thereby diminishing excessive vehicle emissions and damage to pavement infrastructure. The Virtual Weigh Station provides a way to unobtrusively monitor commercial vehicle traffic on highways and urban streets. This paper discusses real world applications of the Virtual Weigh Station in diverse locations such as Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, New York, and Wisconsin. Virtual Weigh Stations are Weigh-In-Motion systems that provide vehicle records for enforcement, traffic surveillance and/or data collection in real time over a computer network connection. The system automatically weighs vehicles as they travel at normal speeds along a roadway, classifies them based on weight and axle spacings, determines when vehicles are in violation of regulations, produces records of commercial vehicles, and provides a display of these records on a computer with a network connection to the system.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Reducing the Carbon Footprint through Traffic Management
Rod Klashinsky
Randy Hanson
Scott McGibney