Are Cat Scales Always Open? The 24/7 Truth About Truck Weigh Stations

CAT scales, which stands for Certified Accessible Truck scales, are truck scales located at truck stops and travel centers across the United States and Canada. They are designed specifically for commercial truck drivers to weigh their tractor-trailers and ensure they are not overloaded. Overloading trucks can lead to fines, traffic accidents, and damage to roads and bridges.

The core purpose of CAT scales is to provide professional truck drivers with a reliable, accurate, and certified weight measurement for their rigs (Source: This allows drivers to avoid potential issues with being overweight on a load. CAT scales are an important tool for safety and compliance.

Cat Scale Hours

Cat scales are truck scales that are specifically designed for weighing semi-trucks and tractor trailers. They are operated by CAT Scale Company, who has over 1,500+ scales across North America.

Many CAT scales are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This allows truck drivers the flexibility to weigh their loads at any time when they are on the road, regardless of daytime or nighttime hours. According to the CAT Scale Locator tool on their website, you can search for scales that are open “24/7” near your location CAT Scale Locator.

many cat scales are open 24 hours a day

However, not all CAT scales have 24/7 operating hours. Some scales are only open during normal business hours, usually from early morning to evening. Drivers will need to plan weighings during these time frames for scales with limited hours. The CAT Scale Locator notes which scales have restricted hours so drivers can plan accordingly.

In general, many of the larger, busier CAT scales located near major highways and trucking routes tend to be open all hours. But some smaller scales in remote areas or with less traffic may have shorter operating times.

24 Hour Cat Scales

Many major truck stop chains keep their CAT scales open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This allows truck drivers to weigh their rigs at any time of day or night as their schedule permits. Some of the largest truck stop chains with 24/7 CAT scale access include:

  • Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
  • TA Travel Centers
  • Pilot Flying J
  • TravelCenters of America

Independent truck stops and scales may also offer 24 hour weighing. Truck drivers should call ahead or check the facilities website to confirm hours of operation. Having scales open all day and night provides flexibility for truckers’ variable schedules. It also allows drivers to weight first thing in the morning or late at night when scales may be less busy.

Limited Hour Scales

Many smaller independent scales and state/county operated scales have limited hours. For example, according to the CAT Scale Locator, the scale in Winnemucca, NV is only open from 8am-5pm daily [1]. The scale in Grants, NM is open 7am-7pm on weekdays and 7am-5pm on weekends [1].

Scales with limited hours like these cater more to local truck drivers who know the hours or can plan trips around the open times. For over-the-road truckers passing through unfamiliar areas, limited hour scales can be frustrating if they are hoping to weigh during off hours [2]. Planning ahead and checking hours is key.

Benefits of 24/7 Scales

benefits of having cat scales open 24/7

One of the biggest benefits of 24-hour CAT scales is that they allow truckers to weigh their vehicles at any time of day or night. This provides flexibility for truck drivers’ schedules and prevents them from having to wait until daytime business hours to weigh (Source: Being open 24/7 enables truckers traveling at night or early morning hours to still utilize the scales when needed.

Providing around-the-clock access also increases potential revenue for the scale owners and operators. More operating hours means more opportunities for trucks to use the scales and pay the weighing fees. While staffing overnight hours can be challenging, the additional revenue from 24/7 scales likely makes up for the extra labor costs (Source: The scales that stay open all day and night give truckers and fleet owners valuable weighing options.

Challenges of 24/7 Scales

Operating truck scales 24 hours a day, 7 days a week poses some unique challenges compared to more limited operating hours. Two of the biggest challenges are increased operating costs and providing adequate lighting and security.

Keeping scales open around the clock means staffing them at all hours, which significantly increases labor costs. Site maintenance, cleaning, and utilities also cost more when a location runs continuously. Many independent and small chain truck stops may struggle to offset these expenses.

Safety and security issues also arise with overnight operations. Well-lit parking lots, surveillance cameras, security guards, and other measures help protect equipment, staff, and customers using the scales overnight. Some locations in isolated areas close late at night due to higher risks.

Despite the difficulties, major nationwide chains and some independent operators choose to operate select scales 24/7 because it best serves truck drivers’ schedules. However, scales with more limited hours still provide valuable weighing services during their open hours.

Finding Open Scales

With over 1,600 locations across North America, finding a CAT scale that’s open 24 hours a day is easier than ever before. However, not all scales have extended hours, so drivers need to plan ahead. Here are some tips for finding open scales:

tips for finding cat scales open 24 hours

Using apps: CAT Scale has a free app for iPhone and Android that allows drivers to search for scales and view hours of operation. The app maps all CAT scale locations and indicates which ones are open 24/7. Drivers can also get directions and call the scale directly from the app.

Calling ahead: Calling the CAT scale or truck stop in advance is one of the best ways to confirm they are open and verify their hours. Even if the location is normally 24 hours, there may be closures for holidays or maintenance. Phoning ahead guarantees drivers won’t be caught off guard.

Checking social media: Many CAT scales and truck stops post updates about special hours on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Drivers passing through an unfamiliar area should check for recent posts about scale availability before heading over.

Planning Ahead

Weighing your truck and trailer at a CAT scale can take extra time. Many truckers find it helpful to plan their route to stop at scales when they are open. This may involve researching CAT scale locations along your route and calling to confirm their hours, then mapping out stops accordingly.

Keep in mind that CAT scales at truck stops tend to have the most extended hours, with many open 24 hours a day. Truck stops like TA, Pilot Flying J, and Loves often have onsite CAT scales available around the clock (How to Weigh). Planning to pass by or stop at these locations can make weighing faster and more convenient.

Independent and rural CAT scales may have more limited hours such as 9am-5pm on weekdays only. Be sure to call ahead to avoid arriving outside their operating hours. Building extra time into your route for weighing is wise in case you encounter delays or lines at the scales.

Having cash on hand is also a good idea, as not all CAT scales accept credit or debit cards. Budgeting $10-15 for a weighing session ensures you are prepared (How to Weigh). With some advance planning, truckers can weigh their rigs efficiently and conveniently even on a tight schedule.

The Future

In recent years and going forward, there has been a trend of more CAT Scales operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet growing demand. Truck drivers often need to weigh their loads at all hours, so having scales open 24/7 provides important flexibility for the trucking industry. According to the CAT Scale Company, “Safety and compliance are critical in today’s competitive market. CAT Scales are built to stay open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week” (

As supply chains operate around the clock, there is increasing need for truckers to have access to weighing capabilities at any hour. CAT Scale anticipates this trend by encouraging the installation of more 24/7 truck scales. They even provide helpful 24 hour support for their scales via a Help Desk available at all times ( Going forward, CAT Scale and the weighing industry overall will likely continue expanding 24/7 operations to serve truckers whenever they need to weigh loads.


more cat scales are operating 24/7 to meet demand

In summary, around-the-clock access to CAT scales is crucial for many truck drivers and operators. While not all scales are open 24/7, there are many that do provide full-time weighing services. This allows truckers to weigh their vehicles at any hour, which is essential for those operating overnight or with tight delivery schedules. The benefits of 24 hour CAT scales include flexibility, convenience, and assurance of compliance with weight regulations. However, staffing and operating scales overnight does come with challenges. As technology improves, more unattended or automated scales may emerge to provide accessible weighing options at all times. But for now, advance planning and research is needed to find scales open when you need them. With some preparation, truckers can locate reliable 24/7 CAT scales in most major transportation hubs.

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