How Much Does It Cost To Use The Cat Scale?


The CAT Scale is a specialized truck scale used to accurately weigh commercial trucks and their cargo. Truck drivers use CAT Scales to determine their vehicle’s gross weight, steer axle weight, drive axle weight, and trailer axle weight.

Knowing these weight measurements is critical for truck drivers to ensure they are not overloaded, which can lead to fines, accidents, and mechanical issues. Additionally, the scale readings help truckers determine if their load is distributed properly across the axles for optimal safety and compliance with regulations.

CAT Scales are located at various truck stops, travel centers, and weigh stations across the United States and Canada. Over 1 million trucks are weighed on CAT Scales each year.

One-Time Fees

The primary one-time fee associated with using the CAT Scale is purchasing the plastic CAT Scale card that records your truck’s weight information. Per the CAT Scale website, new 2023 CAT Scale cards cost $14.95 plus shipping and handling. You can purchase cards directly from CAT Scale online or at many truck stops and travel centers that have CAT Scale stations.

Some additional one-time costs may include purchasing a protective plastic card holder to prevent damage to the card, which costs around $3-5. You may also want to buy the optional CAT Scale mobile app for $9.99 (a one-time fee) to allow digital record keeping of weighings instead of relying solely on the physical card. The app also provides weigh station alerts and other helpful features.

Overall, expect about $30 in initial one-time fees to get started with the CAT Scale system by purchasing a new card, card holder, and mobile app.


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Per-Weight Fees

The average cost per weight measurement at a CAT scale is around $10-15. This pricing can vary based on a few factors:

Location – Pricing may differ based on the state and specific CAT scale location. According to the CAT Scale website, prices typically range from $9.50 – $15.50 for the first weight measurement.1

Reweighs – Getting a vehicle reweighed at the same CAT scale within a certain window of time (usually 24 hours) costs less than the initial weigh. Reweighs typically cost $2 – $5.2

Membership – CAT Scale offers a PrePass membership program that provides discounted per-use pricing at CAT Scales across the country. Membership pricing can reduce the per-weight fee by a few dollars.1

Special Discounts – Some CAT Scales may offer occasional special discounts or coupons that reduce the per-weight pricing for a limited time.

Membership Discounts

CAT Scale offers two membership options for professional truck drivers and fleet owners to save money on weigh fees. The CAT Driver Rewards membership is $30 per year and includes discounts on weigh fees at all CAT Scale locations. With the Driver Rewards membership, drivers pay $7 per weigh instead of the standard $9 fee, saving $2 per weigh. For fleets, the CAT Fleet Management System (FMS) offers tiered pricing based on volume, with fees starting at $6 per weigh for over 500 weigh transactions per month. The FMS program also includes additional fleet management features.

Both the Driver Rewards and FMS memberships can provide significant savings for frequent CAT Scale users. At the Driver Rewards discounted rate of $7 per weigh, five weigh fees would cover the $30 annual membership cost. For a driver doing 100 weighs per year, the membership would save $200 annually. Likewise, larger fleets weighing 500+ times per month could save thousands in weigh fees with the volume discounts of the FMS program.

In addition to weigh fee discounts, CAT Scale memberships come with other benefits. Driver Rewards members get a free CAT Scale Rewards Card for earning rewards points on fuel purchases at select gas stations. FMS members gain access to online scale data management and analysis tools to improve dispatch operations.

Additional Fees

In addition to the per-weight charges, there are some other fees that may apply when using the CAT Scale. These include:

Fuel Surcharge Fees: Many CAT Scale locations charge a fuel surcharge fee to account for the rising cost of fuel. This can range from $1-3 depending on the scale’s policy. The fee helps offset the cost of operating the scale trucks that come to weigh your vehicle (Source).

Appointment Fees: Some CAT Scale locations require an appointment time to use the scale. This helps manage customer flow and prevent long wait times. Appointment fees are usually $5-10 on top of the regular weight charges (Source).

Other Extra Costs: Additional charges may apply for reweighs, certifications, printouts, and other special services. Make sure to confirm any extra fees with the scale operator before receiving your weight ticket.

Estimating Total Cost

When estimating the total cost of using CAT scales, the most important factor is how often you need to weigh your truck. According to one source, the average truck driver weighs their vehicle 2-3 times per month to stay in compliance with regulations [1]. This translates to 24-36 times per year.

With CAT scale membership, each weighing costs around $7.50. For a driver weighing 2 times per month, this equals $180 per year (2 x 12 x $7.50). For a driver maximizing weighings at 3 times per month, the yearly cost is $270 (3 x 12 x $7.50).

Without a CAT scale membership, per-weighing costs jump to $9.25. Now the yearly costs become $222 (2 x 12 x $9.25) and $333 (3 x 12 x $9.25) respectively. Additionally, non-members may incur higher fuel surcharges and transaction fees.

The total spending can rise further if obtaining multiple weight tickets, adding on optional certifications, or weighing specialty vehicles like horse trailers. However, for most truck drivers doing routine weight checks, yearly costs will range from $180-$333 depending on membership status and weighing frequency.

Reducing Costs

There are several strategies drivers can use to minimize the fees associated with weighing on CAT Scales:

Weigh at off-peak times – Many CAT Scale locations charge higher rates during peak daytime hours on weekdays. Weighing at night or on weekends can sometimes mean lower fees. Check with your local scale for details on pricing differences by time of day.

Purchase a membership plan – CAT Scale offers membership options like CAT Scale Rewards that provide discounted per-weight fees in exchange for a monthly or annual membership fee. This can save money for frequent weighers.

Only weigh what you need – Some locations offer axle-by-axle weighing options. If you only need to check your steer axle, for example, you can save versus weighing the entire truck.

Use weigh stations when possible – Some states operate public weigh stations along major highways that are free to use. When feasible, utilize these instead of paying at a CAT Scale.

Alternatively, there are other options besides CAT Scale locations to weigh trucks:

Portable truck scales – Some truck stops and freight companies have portable wheel weighers on-site. These compact scale systems can provide individual or overall vehicle weights.

Onboard scales – Installing an onboard weight indicator system in the truck allows the driver to view weight measurements from inside the cab. This avoids scale fees entirely.

Weigh bridge – Large weigh bridges at shipping ports, warehouses, and trucking terminals can provide free weights in some situations.

CAT Scale App

CAT Scale has a free mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices called Weigh My Truck. The app allows drivers to find CAT Scale locations, get turn-by-turn directions, view amenities, and save weigh tickets digitally Some key features of the app include:

– Search for CAT Scale locations by state/province or zip code

– Get GPS navigation to scales and view hours of operation

– Save weigh tickets, photos, notes digitally

– Access previous weigh tickets

The Weigh My Truck app itself is free to download and use. There are no subscription fees or charges to save tickets. This makes it a more budget-friendly option compared to purchasing a CAT Scale loyalty card for $5-10 to save paper tickets. However, the app does not provide discounts on per-weigh fees at the scale. Drivers will still need to pay the standard fees per weigh when using the app.

CAT Scale History

The CAT Scale was invented by Richard (Dick) Moon in the 1970s as a more accurate and reliable way to weigh trucks. At the time, most truck stops used floor scales which were often inaccurate. Moon devised a new hydraulic weighing system that was installed at ground-level and specifically calibrated for weighing trucks (History – CAT Scale).

Moon installed the first CAT Scale in 1977 in South Holland, Illinois. By 1988, there were only 28 CAT Scales, but the company began rapidly expanding across the U.S. There are now over 2,200 CAT Scale locations across North America (History – CAT Scale).

The CAT Scale revolutionized truck weighing accuracy and changed the trucking industry. Accurate weights helped improve safety, compliance, and efficiency. Drivers and fleets relied on CAT Scale weights to optimize loads, avoid citations, calibrate on-board scales, and more. The CAT Scale trademark and brand became synonymous with reliable, certified weights (About – CAT Scale).


The cost to use the CAT Scale can vary greatly depending on how frequently you use it. The main costs are the one-time registration fee per truck of around $50, the per-weight fee of $8-15, and an optional membership for discounts. With membership, occasional users may spend $100-150 per year while frequent users can spend over $1000. There are ways to reduce costs such as weighing at truck stops with prepaid plans, using the mobile app, and minimizing unnecessary weights. Overall the CAT Scale provides important weight information to truck drivers and transportation companies, with flexible pricing plans to suit light and heavy usage needs.

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