Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Questionable Logic

There's a Weight Station on Autoroute 15 just south of Montreal as you enter Canada from the States using I-87. It is usually open during the day but there is no set timetable so it can be open at 4 AM, too. It has recently been rebuilt with the last technologies, one being; Dynamic Weighing, which means that as you roll across those two steel plates on the roadbed, your per-axle weight is automatically sent to the weight station computer. It is operated in tandem using two roadside "Surprise" signs that are normally dark and pop on as you drive past. It will either remain dark if your weight is correct or pop on if the agents want to see you. Also in the States, there is a system call Pre-Pass also known as Best-Pass. These look like lamp standards that overhang the right lane and have transponders instead of lights and are located just before the weight station. As your weight is read by the roadbed sensors, the overhead transponders also reads a vehicle transponder located on the windshield. This identifies the vehicle and associates the weight and the vehicle. If there are no changes from a previous weight station, the vehicle operator gets a signal from a second overhead transponder to by-pass the station.
So here's the rub...

As a rule all legal weights in the States limit the maximum gross vehicle weight to 80,000 pounds. This is substantially less than the legal limit here in Quebec which limits weight to 97,000. (No wonder we have bad roads). So if the agents are not checking the vehicle itself or log books or tire condition, as does Ontario, and the legal weight is correct, why have stop the truck to be re-weighed on the full scale. Is it that the dynamic scale doesn't work properly? If so, what a monumental waste.

In this age of fuel conservation, why have me stop only to wave me through after reweighing. Factor in the brake wear along with the fuel to regain highway speeds and multiple that with the thousands of trucks per day and you have an important expense.

So don't ask why your watermelon costs over $8 in July!

The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits.

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