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What is PrePass in Trucking
PrePass is a weigh station bypass program for semi trucks and commercial vehicles in the USA. It is designed to help trucks move more efficiently on highways by allowing them to bypass certain weigh stations, ports of entry, and inspection facilities without having to stop for a full inspection or weigh-in.
How is the Truck Weight Measured
The measurement of a truck’s weight is typically done using scales embedded in the road at weigh stations or inspection sites.
These scales are known as weigh-in-motion (WIM) scales or weigh station bypass systems. Here’s how they work:
1. Weigh-In-Motion Scales: Weigh-in-motion scales are integrated into the roadway surface at weigh stations or inspection sites. As trucks drive over these scales at highway speeds, sensors embedded in the scales capture the weight of the truck and its individual axles.
2. Load Distribution: The sensors provide data on the weight distribution across the truck’s axles. This is important to ensure that the weight is evenly distributed and within legal limits to prevent damage to road infrastructure and maintain highway safety.
3. Pre-Screening: The data collected by the weigh-in-motion scales is sent to the PrePass system, which performs a pre-screening of the truck’s weight compliance along with other safety and regulatory checks.
Green Light or Red Light
PrePass determines whether a truck is good to pass or if it should pull off for inspection through a combination of technology and data analysis. Here’s how it works:
Transponder Data: Trucks equipped with PrePass transponders have them linked to their electronic logging devices (ELDs), which provide real-time data about the truck’s weight, compliance records, safety ratings, and other relevant information.
Learn more about ELDs here.
Pre-Screening: As a PrePass-equipped truck approaches a weigh station or inspection site, the transponder communicates with the site’s inspection system. The system then performs a pre-screening of the truck’s data.
Safety and Compliance Check: The pre-screening process involves checking various factors, including the truck’s weight against legal limits, the truck’s safety records, registration status, and any recent violations or inspections. It also considers the truck’s credentials and permits.
Determination: Based on the data collected during the pre-screening, the system determines whether the truck is compliant and safe to continue without an inspection. If the truck meets all the requirements, the PrePass system signals a “green light.”
Bypass or Inspection: When the transponder receives a “green light,” the driver is notified that they can continue driving without stopping. If the transponder receives a “red light,” it means that the truck needs to undergo a more thorough inspection and must pull off to the inspection area.
Randomness: While PrePass helps many trucks bypass inspections, it’s important to note that the system also incorporates an element of randomness to ensure fairness. Some trucks that receive a “green light” might still be selected for a random inspection, contributing to overall highway safety.
Is PrePass Owned by the Governmentnt
PrePass is owned and operated by the PrePass Safety Alliance, a non-profit organization that provides weigh station bypass and safety screening services for commercial vehicles. The PrePass Safety Alliance collaborates with government agencies, law enforcement, and the trucking industry to improve highway safety and efficiency.
The PrePass Safety Alliance is responsible for developing and maintaining the PrePass system, including the technology infrastructure, transponders, data management, and communication networks. They work closely with state agencies and transportation departments to implement the PrePass program at weigh stations and inspection sites across the United States.
Safety Alliance official Truckers Wiki article.
Learn about Safety Alliance on their website, here.
Learn about PrePass services on their website, here.
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