Weighing In with the CVSE: No Such Thing as a Silly Question

commercial vehicle safety enforcement

Do you have a question for the CVSE? Contact them directly here.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement Branch (CVSE) makes sure commercial carriers comply with the regulations surrounding moving goods across the province. It is a vital component of the work we do here in the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Steve Bauer, former Supervisor of the Nordel Weigh Scale in the Lower Mainland, took time to answer some questions about his position and the role of the CVSE in keeping commercial transportation moving safely across the province.

CVSE staffer Steve Bauer answers trucking questions
Steve’s “Official Pose”

Q: What does a day in the life of a CVSE officer look like?

A: Actually, no two days here are ever really alike. The station is a constantly changing environment with new faces and new scenarios on a daily basis. Did you know that the Nordel Weigh Scale sees approximately 350 trucks per hour? That adds up to an incredible amount of volume in a single day.

Traffic volumes like that require a tight knit team and I can honestly say that we have a real camaraderie here at the station. I am currently supported by seven (soon to be nine) full time staff. Our Commercial Transport Inspector, whose position resides solely at the scale, will be joined by two more full time Inspectors at the end of March. There also are four Commercial Transport Enforcement Officers (CTEOs) at the station. They have a unique hybrid role which allows them to be both mobile and stationary at the scale when required. In addition to those officers, we recently welcomed two new staff members to our team who are in the training process to become CTEOs. Commercial Transport Enforcement Officers spend the majority of their day on the road seeking out evasive offenders who do not check into the weigh scales. Their patrol is focussed on, but not limited to: Delta, Richmond, New Westminster and Burnaby.

Q: Which leads to our next question; could you explain why the CVSE is so invaluable to the safety of the travelling public?

A: CVSE officers are, quite literally, experts in the field of commercial vehicle transportation safety and regulation. The decisions they make regarding compliance and enforcement, keep the province’s highways safer for the motoring public. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.

Q: What sort of questions do you hear most often about Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement?

A: Actually, I hear a lot of questions and sometimes people think their question is kind of silly, so, would like to stress that there are no silly questions. It is important for everyone to know that CVSE officers are here to answer any questions they might have and to use us as much as possible. We are trained in a variety of Provincial Acts and Regulation, Policies and Procedures which allows us to help educate drivers and would rather answer a hundred silly questions, than have to enforce compliance because no one asked.

Steve has been working with the CVSE for 13 years, and before joining the team, he worked in the trucking industry, driving North/South between Oregon, Washington and BC. His experience in the commercial trucking industry gives him the ability to understand life behind the wheel as well as life behind the scale. Thanks for sharing Steve!


If you have some questions about CVSE and the work they do, check out their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page.

146 comments on “Weighing In with the CVSE: No Such Thing as a Silly Question”

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  1. I have a motor home that I would like to check to make sure it is not over loaded. Where can I go to get it weighed? I live in Prince George.

  2. Hey. Me and my wife are on a bike trip in BC and a friend of mine bought a semi here so we are picking it up and taking it back to sask with us. We will be bob tailing with my bike in the back. With it being non commercial and a private journey do we still have to stop at a scale. Many thanks.

    • Hi Paul. If the semi/vehicle has a licensed GVW rating exceeding 5,500 kg, then it must report to the weigh scales in BC. Safe travels!

  3. 1. Is there a requirement for additional class of BC Drivers Licence on non-commercial oversize load?

    2. Where can I hire a contractor to weigh my custom built trail prior to moving it from site of manufacture relative to GVW for insurance purposes?

    • Hi Shawn – these are great questions – thanks for connecting here with us about them. We think you might be best to connect directly with the CVSE about them though, as they might have some further questions for you. Here’s their contact info: CVSEgeneralinquiry@gov.bc.ca

    • Hello again Vik,

      Fog lights are considered an optional light and a fog light violation would not consider the vehicle out of service. Hope this is helpful!

  4. I have 1 2018 Ram 1500 that weighs about 5200lbs, Manufacture rates the vehicle to tow 10,600lbs. I have a 9900lb GVW trailer that i will be towing for work use. Would I require an NSC code for this? I am slightly confused on if its just the weight rating of the truck or the combined weight.
    Thank you

    • Hello Stuart and thanks for your message.

      A NSC is required when the Gross Vehicle Weight exceeds 5000kgs (he references pounds) and the vehicle is being operated commercially. The Gross Vehicle Weight is the combined weight of the truck, trailer, and any load being carried. The minimum GVW a vehicle can be insured for with commercial insurance is 1.5x the net weight (which is just the vehicles weight).

      If you do require business/commercial insurance, since we assume you aren’t hauling that much for personal use, you will need an NSC and can apply on our website here: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cvse/national_safety_code/nsc_application.htm

  5. Hi there, I have a new pickup truck and I have a camper that I want to weigh. Can I hit up any of the highway scales with an empty truck to weigh the truck, and then come back thru once the camper is on the truck to get the final weight of the camper ???

  6. I would like to convert new 20 foot seacan(s) into pullable trailer on the roads. We also have a fabrication shop certified to the Canadian Welding Bureau Welders where this modification would take place. I would weld 2-5000lb or 2-7500 lb axles on the underside of the seacan with a hitch connection on the front. I would like to modify a few for mobile offices and a few for tool trailers on sites. The new seacans can carry a maximum of 10,000 lbs which would be over what we could carry on the roads. Our company fleet trucks are licensed for up to 8200 kg. I do not want to put the seacan on a flatdeck because then the total weight of the truck, occupants, trailer & seacan would be close to the 8200 kg limit. If acceptable, I would follow all highway regulations, width, height, lights, brakes, etc. Would there have to be an inspection performed before licensing? Would there be specific requirements you could email to me? Where would this inspection be performed in Prince George?



  7. I have an f350 gvw of 8199kg and nsc#. I am considering buying a dump trailer with 9900lb gvw. Are there any concerns that I need be aware of? Do I require any licence upgrades?

    • Hi Greg! Here’s what we heard back:

      You will want to ensure you are not exceeding any of their manufacturers ratings for the power unit or trailer and that their licensed GVW is high enough to include the weight of the fully loaded truck and trailer. As for licensing, if you have a class 4 or 5 you would require a heavy trailer endorsement if the weight exceeds 4,600 kg. A trailer at 9900 lbs, which is 4,491 kg, would be just under that requirement.