Bypass systems reduce inspection likelihood

| April 03, 2013

The article below is part of an ongoing, in-depth series on the U.S. Department of Transportation's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program that analyzes federal inspection, investigation and crash data and offers original reporting. Overdrive and CCJ editors have built a site dedicated to hosting the stories, interactive maps and downloadable data at CCJdigital.com/csa.

B&D Transport owner-operator Brad Lambert uses the PrePass weigh-station bypassing system in his 2003 Freightliner Century at a cost of $13.50 a month, discounted via his Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association membership. “I don’t get pulled into the scale houses most of the time,” he says.
B&D Transport owner-operator Brad Lambert uses the PrePass weigh-station bypassing system in his 2003 Freightliner Century at a cost of $13.50 a month, discounted via his Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association membership. “I don’t get pulled into the scale houses most of the time,” he says.

For carriers with good Compliance Safety Accountability scores, and consequently with no pressing need to log clean inspections, any weigh station bypassing service “will offer an immediate reduction in inspections,” says Brian Mofford, a representative of bypass service Drivewyze.

That scenario has become increasingly common, and 2012 was no exception. PrePass coverage across the nation got a boost with the addition of Texas and Kentucky weigh stations to its now-31-state system. The majority of the contiguous states now are covered by the service.

Sgt. Kelly Anderson of the Kentucky State Police paid witness to the efficacy of PrePass for carriers looking to stay out of the weigh stations in January. Before Kentucky adopted the widely-used system, Anderson’s station typically might see three trucks an hour getting bypassed via the Norpass system. Now that hourly rate is in the hundreds, which means Anderson gets the benefit of a closer look at far fewer trucks.
Sgt. Kelly Anderson of the Kentucky State Police paid witness to the efficacy of PrePass for carriers looking to stay out of the weigh stations in January. Before Kentucky adopted the widely-used system, Anderson’s station typically might see three trucks an hour getting bypassed via the Norpass system. Now that hourly rate is in the hundreds, which means Anderson gets the benefit of a closer look at far fewer trucks.

Drivewyze, a competing service, launched last fall and quickly is coming available at fixed sites; at press time, it was available in 15 total states, with “a state every month” planned for the year, says Mofford. Drivewyze also will become a standard feature of officers’ mobile stations to allow some bypassing in those areas. Find a list of Drivewyze states via Drivewyze.com; rates are $12.99 per month per truck for interstate haulers – volume pricing is negotiable for fleets – and the system operates via an app on operators’ smartphones.

Carriers’ Inspection Selection System scores drive the bypass rate. As a general rule, good CSA scores mean a good ISS score. A carrier can find its ISS score by logging into its carrier profile with a U.S. Department of Transportation-issued PIN.

With Drivewyze, carriers with ISS scores below 75 “will be bypassed 98 percent of the time,” Mofford says. As ISS scores move to 75 and above, the bypass rate gets smaller.

“We look at it as a way for those with good inspections to save time and money without having to go on the mainline,” he adds. “Fifty percent of the time, the others can avoid it too” if they want. Many owner-operators and small carriers will register ISS scores in the 50-75 range since the ISS algorithm prioritizes carriers with little to no data in the system for “optional” inspection.

PrePass works in a similar fashion, with below-90 ISS-score carriers and some state exceptions seeing a 95 percent bypass rate. As scores move higher, pull-in rates follow.

California, ranking second in Overdrive‘s rating of inspection intensity, is a notable exception. If your ISS score gets to 75, you may as well turn off the PrePass transponder. The system there pulls in all trucks at 75 or above.

A CCJ poll of fleet management readers showed that smaller carriers generally were less likely than large ones to use weigh-station bypassing. Among fleets with more than 100 power units, 84 percent reported using some kind of bypass system, while 66 percent of smaller carriers reported use. Those rates are reflected in other data. Small fleets receive far more inspections per truck than do the largest fleets.
A CCJ poll of fleet management readers showed that smaller carriers generally were less likely than large ones to use weigh-station bypassing. Among fleets with more than 100 power units, 84 percent reported using some kind of bypass system, while 66 percent of smaller carriers reported use. Those rates are reflected in other data. Small fleets receive far more inspections per truck than do the largest fleets.

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  • john rouse

    EVERYTIME I GET TO THE SCALE BYPASS IS TURNED OFF,I THINK ITS A WASTE OF MONEY.ALSO WITH THE NEW XRAYS YOU HAVE TO GO THRU MOST SCALES ANYWAYS

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Si…me chofer…..yo tango pre pass…..muy bueno….

  • Ghostrider

    I don’t drive any-more. I got out of it in March 23.2011 its to much bull**** any more, But yes I was a O/O with Schneider National running for Target out of midway GA to west palm beach FL everday and evertime I came to a Florida scale house I would NEVER I say NEVER get the by pass being loaded or empty it was a waste of my money each month. Florida speends millions of tax dollars on this new stuff ( ie) X-ray and all the other stuff they have and still they pull you in to weigh your truck. This was just one more reason I gave upon trucking.

  • Ghostrider

    I don’t drive any-more. I got out of it in March 23.2011 its to much bull**** any more, But yes I was a O/O with Schneider National running for Target out of midway GA to west palm beach FL everday and evertime I came to a Florida scale house I would NEVER I say NEVER get the by pass being loaded or empty it was a waste of my money each month. Florida speends millions of tax dollars on this new stuff ( ie) X-ray and all the other stuff they have and still they pull you in to weigh your truck. This was just one more reason I gave upon trucking.

  • Steve

    I get the bypass most times with my score being so low. It only has to save you from two or three scale lines a month to pay for itself in fuel savings.

  • Estes Trucking

    For the first time ever and I repeat ever, my husband got the green light at the Cottonwood scale in CA after complaining to Prepass about it.

  • martymarsh

    Si. huh?

  • martymarsh

    Another harassment tool, when the company liked me I would by pass all of the time, when they stopped liking me I was in the scale every time, but it’s all in my head.