Montana law allows split-weighing

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/10/2013

A new law in Montana authorizes split-weighing of commodities, such as logs, in transit.

Existing state law requires that trucks hauling loads that include logs, rocks or grain be weighed on scales that are long enough to fit the truck and trailer.

Gov. Steve Bullock signed a bill into law to allow for affected loads to be weighed on short scales. HB157 takes effect July 1.

Supporters said the rule change is common sense. They said it will save time and money by cutting down on trips they otherwise wouldn’t take to get trucks weighed on full scales.

Opponents said that split weighing is “bad practice.” The National Conference on Weights and Measures provided testimony while the bill made its way through the statehouse that claimed the scales “tend to weigh light when split weighing.”

Rep. Pat Connell, R-Hamilton, later assured lawmakers that the change would not affect weight limits already in place on the state’s roadways.

“It is a free market bill that allows a transaction between a willing seller and a willing buyer, which at this point in time if you are unable to fit your truck on a scale it is not legal,” Connell said.

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