SEFFNER — Trucks won't have to stop as they pass through the new high-tech weigh station on Interstate 4, which opened Monday.
Chugging by at 45 mph, the trucks have their weight registered, speed calculated, dimensions measured and axles counted by underground sensors.
All in about 10 seconds.
At the old Plant City weigh station, the same process could take up to 10 minutes if traffic was heavy, said Troy Thompson, captain of Florida Department of Transportation's Motor Carrier Compliance Office.
The new weight-in-motion station on I-4 between Mango and McIntosh roads cost the Florida Department of Transportation about $35-million and took a year to complete. Planning started a decade ago.
The department is also launching a new idea at the Seffner station to help crack down on cargo theft. Each license plate will be run through a computer to make sure the trucks aren't stolen.
This is the first time this technology has been used at a weigh station in Florida, Thompson said. Trucks are occasionally stolen for their pricey cargo, he said.
"You can imagine if a truck is on its way to Best Buy, it's got at least $10,000 in cargo," he said.
The old weigh station in Plant City will be demolished after a three-month testing period at the new site. Thompson expects the Seffner station to be used for several decades.
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2443.