TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes has directed the Mercer County Office of Weights and Measures to increase random tests to diesel fuel pumps at service stations as diesel fuel prices top $4 per gallon nationally.
"Independent truckers are the lifeblood of commerce, and we know our truck drivers are struggling with the staggering price increases to diesel fuel. We will do all we can in Mercer County to ensure that independent truckers are getting the fuel that they are paying for by stepping up flow tests at diesel pumps,'' Hughes said.
Officials from the Office of Weights and Measures will be testing the fast-flow diesel pumps, which are primarily used by tractor trailers and larger commercial trucks.
According to the American Trucking Association, independent truckers are being hit especially hard by record-high diesel prices, and that a tractor trailer with a 300-gallon tank could cost more than $1,200 to fill.
"Ultimately, those higher costs get passed on to the consumer and it is our Office of Weights and Measures responsibility to make sure that local fuel pumps are completely accurate,'' Hughes added.
Mercer County and the state recently proclaimed March 1-7 as New Jersey Weights and Measures Week.
Mercer County, like the rest of the 20 counties in the State, operates a Weights and Measures office that is responsible for consumer protection by making sure everything from gasoline pumps to supermarket scales are calibrated property and charge customers accurately.
The office inspects a wide variety of measuring devices and products and can order businesses to correct or repair anything found to be inaccurate. Fines can also be issued if problems are not rectified.
The Mercer County Weights and Measures Office has some of the most sophisticated equipment in the State to conduct tests. Its new computerized system, called WINWAM (Windows for Weights and Measures), is the most efficient and accurate method of calculating and recording measurements.
Through the use of three laptops, the WINWAM system keeps a record of all measurements, making it easy to identify problem devices or search a business' inspection history. In addition, the system has a log of all devices required to be registered by the State of New Jersey and can alert the Weights and Measures office when an inspection is due. WINWAM also makes complicated calculations instantly and eliminates human error.
The office also uses a specialized truck and octane analyzers when testing meters as gas stations for airtight seals, updated inspection stickers, and accurate pricing. The truck conducts octane analysis on gas pumps, a test that is not required by the State of New Jersey but that ensures Mercer County gas stations are providing what they claim. No other Weights and Measures Office in the County has the ability to conduct such tests.
In addition, the office has a 200-gallon prover that it employs to test how accurate home heating oil delivery trucks are when pumping oil into homes.