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Old 08-06-2012, 11:07 AM   #1
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EZ Pass question

Does anyone else use EZ Pass while towing?? We had an interesting problem on a recent trip through New England. We tow with a Ford F-250 with single rear wheels (as far as I know, F-250s don't come with dualies).

Our EZ Pass transponder is from PA and the account has all our vehicles properly registered.

On the way north, on the Mass Pike, we were charged the rate for dual rear wheels, on the way home we were charged for single rear wheels. On the New Hampshire Turnpike the opposite happened. Single rear wheels on the way up, dualies on the way home.

Does anyone know how the EZ Pass toll booths determine the number of rear wheels? My attempts to contact EZ Pass and the turnpikes involved have met with, shall we say, limited success. The amount of the over charges are too little to justify the appeals process but I am trying to find out how this can be avoided in the future.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #2
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I've often wondered about EZ pass and now that I've read your post, I'll pass on it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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It's actually calculated by axles & class of vehicle not the number of wheels.
I have a Chevy 2500HD which is a class 3 vehicle.
When towing my 5er I'm charged class 3 with 4 axles.

It used to tick me off when we had the class A & towed the car dolly.
Would still be hit with 4 axles.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
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This is an interesting issue with as many answers as there are states that accept EZ Pass.

As I understand how it works;

IF the booth is properly configured, the approach to the toll booth counts your axles and weighs them as you pass through. Thus a single transponder works for your regular truck and when you are towing.

It costs a LOT to put in the weight system so some states have "opted out" of that feature (like New York) and some exits on the PA turnpike near Philadelphia there are two that are "NO TRUCKS" due to no scales and no toll takers.

New York REQUIRES a special "trailer" transponder for RVs with toads and trailers (you swap the transponder when you are towing). I tried to get one since we camp in the NE states and drive the NY turnpikes. Can't do it as they are only available to NY residents.

So, how do you tow in NY? Well you can pay cash, OR you can stop at the toll booth and let the operator count your axles and charge your EZ Pass manually.

Sounds like your experience with blind toll takers is right on with mine.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:23 AM   #5
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The first metal plate you drive over actually counts the number of axles.
There's no way for it to know how many wheels you have on an axle.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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The first metal plate you drive over actually counts the number of axles.
There's no way for it to know how many wheels you have on an axle.
That's what I thought. But in New Hampshire I was charged as a class 3 one time and class 7 the other. The difference, according to New Hampshire's web site, is class 3 is single rear wheel, class 7 is dualie. So how did the system decide what class I was??
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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This is an interesting issue with as many answers as there are states that accept EZ Pass.

New York REQUIRES a special "trailer" transponder for RVs with toads and trailers (you swap the transponder when you are towing). I tried to get one since we camp in the NE states and drive the NY turnpikes. Can't do it as they are only available to NY residents.

So, how do you tow in NY? Well you can pay cash, OR you can stop at the toll booth and let the operator count your axles and charge your EZ Pass manually.
We used EZ Pass on the Newburg Bridge and were charged the correct toll for the number of axles, so at least that bridge is OK with EZ Pass.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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Virginia says that we have to have separate transponders for regular vs towing.
Since I only cross a toll while towing once in a blue moon, I take the risk. They want $35 deposits for each transponder and I just can't justify having two for the truck when I very rarely use it while towing.
https://www.ezpassva.com/StaticPages/FAQ.aspx#43
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:46 PM   #9
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That's what I thought. But in New Hampshire I was charged as a class 3 one time and class 7 the other. The difference, according to New Hampshire's web site, is class 3 is single rear wheel, class 7 is dualie. So how did the system decide what class I was??
My statements were with the assumption that ez pass was standardized. My fault for making an assumption.

I just visited several states toll calculation web sites including NH.
Not only are the states all over the place with how they calculate but in NH if you are not a resident but use ez pass you still pay the cash amount.

how did the system decide what class I was?
A computer is only as smart as the person that programed it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:41 PM   #10
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I have used mine many times, my pass is from NJ (as at the time easiest to get as they sell them at the rest stops) but anyway....NJ says for theirs to utilize the same transponder UNLESS you tow all the time, then they can program it for that specific combo. Since i used to have a third vehicle, i had them reprogram that one for towing and have the other just for the truck....no problems since. Also, they dint care if you are from NJ or not, i live in VA and have an acct with them.....worked all the way up through NH and west through IL.....no problems since the reprogram
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:39 AM   #11
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I was told by the NY ez-pass people to use a booth with a toll taker when towing the trailer so that they can hit the correct botton. They said using the automatic lane could result in the wrong fee or possible ticket. Said that ez-passes that go on tractor trailers are coded for the extra axles.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:33 AM   #12
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I find it amazing that every state has vastly different rules and ways of doing business all under the EZ Pass name. You would think there should be some consistency! When we got ours in PA we were told we could use any of our vehicles in any combination as long as all the vehicles were listed on the account. Only one transponder would be needed.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by N3HCP View Post
I find it amazing that every state has vastly different rules and ways of doing business all under the EZ Pass name. You would think there should be some consistency! When we got ours in PA we were told we could use any of our vehicles in any combination as long as all the vehicles were listed on the account. Only one transponder would be needed.
This is totally true; IN PA. PA toll booths (except the 2 near Philadelphia - Parx Casino and Virginia Ave) Pennsylvania Highways:* Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit Guide have axle counters on the approach to the booth.

Not true in most other states.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:37 AM   #14
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Another EZ-Pass toll problem that I've consistently seen is crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge, between DE & NJ. Every time that I've done it with the EZ-Pass it tries to charge me the commercial vehicle rate of $5 per axle ($20) instead of the advertised rate of $8 for an auto with a two-axle trailer. After several trips that took more than a few months to get a refund credited (the Bridge Authority is a separate entity than DE DOT or EZ-Pass, and is not a very "user-friendly" entity), I stopped using the EZ-Pass on this bridge, and just pull it down, put it in he foil pouch, and just pay the $8 cash when I cross this bridge....
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:34 PM   #15
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Another EZ-Pass toll problem that I've consistently seen is crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge, between DE & NJ. Every time that I've done it with the EZ-Pass it tries to charge me the commercial vehicle rate of $5 per axle ($20) instead of the advertised rate of $8 for an auto with a two-axle trailer. After several trips that took more than a few months to get a refund credited (the Bridge Authority is a separate entity than DE DOT or EZ-Pass, and is not a very "user-friendly" entity), I stopped using the EZ-Pass on this bridge, and just pull it down, put it in he foil pouch, and just pay the $8 cash when I cross this bridge....

Fire Instructor..not only do we have the same model TT as you, but we also have the same problem on the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Matter of fact I am currently in the middle of a dispute with them right now. They charged us $20 (commercial rate) in May, I (once again) applied for the refund and believe it or not they DENIED my request. I called back and tried to hold my anger down and ask how can they not look at the vehicles we have registered..which are a pickup and a TT, and adjust the error. The woman on the line said.."well you were towing something but we don't know what it was so we need to assume you are commercial vehicle". If I could have reached through the line and smacked her upside her head I may have just done that! Anyway, I am now appealing (again) this decision. Our transducer is on the license plate so it is a real pain to have to take off. So if in the near future you see some crazy lady on the news throwing an EZ-Pass transducer off a bridge you know who it will be!
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