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RV owner may use MTO scale, but enforcement action might result

Can I pull into a highway weigh station and weigh my personal, non-commercial vehicle?

Published May 23, 2012
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Eric Lai answers readers’ auto questions every week for Wheels.

Q: Can I pull into a highway weigh station and weigh my personal, non-commercial vehicle?

I’d like to find out what my fully loaded RV (with bikes, canoe, passengers, etc.) weighs to make sure that I’m not overloaded. I’m located in Halton Region.

A: Ontario Transportation Ministry spokesperson Bob Nichols replies:

The ministry’s mandate for inspection facilities includes driver and mechanical fitness, in addition to traditional weight enforcement in order to ensure safety for long haul commercial vehicles.

Although the ministry’s enforcement program has the authority to inspect personal-use vehicles for weight restrictions it is not part of the ministry’s mandate.

While it is not common practice for the ministry to assist with determining weight for personal-use vehicles such as RVs, we can accommodate this request.

Given that it is a truck inspection station, if the vehicle was not in a safe condition to continue the driver may be subject to ensuring their vehicle is safe before proceeding back onto the highway.

Please note that the ministry will not issue documentation attesting to the physical weight of the vehicle, as the weighing is being done as a courtesy.

The writer can call the Halton District Enforcement Office line at 905-315-7556 to make arrangements. The other option available would be to visit a truck stop where they often have public weigh scales available for a nominal fee.

Eric Lai adds:

I’d recommend using a private truck scale instead. I can’t say what the cost is in Halton, but it’s only $10-15 at some Toronto scales.

An MTO Inspection Station is a law enforcement facility. If your RV is found to be overweight or otherwise in an unsafe condition, you may be required to complete repairs before being allowed to continue on your journey.

This could mean a costly “heavy tow” to bring the RV to a service facility and you might possibly be ticketed for the safety violations by MTO enforcement staff.

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