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How to Become a Certified Truck Scale Operator

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A truck scale operator weighs trucks, collects fees from drivers and maintains records. He makes sure trucks don't exceed their maximum weight by law without having received a permit prior to the trip. He also performs safety inspections and ensures drivers do not exceed the hours they are legally allowed to drive. He also instructs drivers on how to unload and dispose of garbage and recyclables, checks for hazardous substances and advises drivers on how much weight to carry. This position is sometimes called "weigh station attendant" or "weigh station operator.”

Gain your high school diploma or GED if you have not already. A diploma or GED is essential for many truck scale operating jobs. Also, make sure you have a valid driver's license in your state.

Ask yourself if you'll be comfortable working outdoors in all weather conditions, and staying on your feet for long periods of time, as this job requires. Ask yourself if you have strong vision and hearing, and are good at making simple calculations and record keeping. You'll need good communication skills too, as you'll be interacting with people often.

Inquire with your state's Department of Transportation or Department of Motor Vehicles to ask how to apply for a truck scale operator position with their agency. If no positions are open, ask where to check back for announcements of new jobs.

Request to send your resume or take the exam -- if the agency has an exam -- in case any jobs should become available. Record the pertinent information for future reference.

Create your resume. Put your employment history first unless you feel your education history is stronger and more relevant to the job. List each job you've had under the subheading "Work Experience," starting with the most recent or current one. If you've had a lot of jobs -- more than five -- don't list them all. List the most recent ones, as well as any highly relevant jobs from further in your past. List your education under a separate "Education" subheading, particularly any trade school or certification programs relevant to trucking or machinery.

Write a cover letter explaining why you'd be a good truck scale operator. Explain, using examples from previous jobs, that you are highly reliable, efficient and organized. Describe any history of working with machinery or driving supplies long distances for work. Describe examples that show your strong verbal and written communication skills. Proofread your letter to make sure it uses proper business format and has no mistakes.

Read the requirements for any available truck scale operator jobs to make sure you can fulfill them. Apply for any available positions according to the instructions provided by the agency you're applying with. Take the exam if the agency has an exam for truck scale operator positions. Before taking it, get a goodnight sleep and eat a balanced meal so you can concentrate well. Try to relax, and remember you probably don't need to get every question right.

Send your cover letter and resume to the appropriate individual if you have not done so already, or if you sent them weeks or months ago, before a job opened up. The agency can tell you the person to whom you should address the materials. Always ask if you're not sure. Send your materials in a large white envelope so you don't need to fold them. If you have not heard from the agency in a week, call to ask if you can arrange an interview.


Melanie J. Martin specializes in environmental issues and sustainable living. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Environmental News Network, "Ocean" magazine and "GREEN Retailer." Martin holds a Master of Arts in English.