NEWS | Sept. 15, 2011

New PPM scale system online

By Airman 1st Class Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Airmen from the 437th Aerial Port Squadron are operating with a new personally procured move scale system which went online Sept. 8, at Joint Base Charleston-Air Base.

The scale system is used by service members who have received permanent change of station orders and have decided to move their personal belongings themselves via truck.

"Due to recent changes in regulations regarding personally procured moves, it is now required to have a weight master certify the weight of a truck," said Capt. Douglas Todd, 437th Traffic Management Flight commander. "Under the old system weight tickets were not certified, but now we are in compliance with the new Department of Defense regulations."

When a service member needs to PCS, they have two options; the government moves all of the belongings using a moving company or, get paid to move ones belongings themselves.

Todd said taking the PPM option, pays the service member 95 percent of what the government would have paid to hire a moving company.

"If you don't mind driving a big truck and moving your own stuff, a PPM is a great deal," he said.

After receiving orders to PCS and an initial Traffic Management Office briefing, service members must weigh their moving trucks empty and then full.

The old scale system used a button and printer method to print weight tickets and there was no weight master involved in the process. When the new regulations came out in July the printers were manned with a weight master for five hours a day, Monday through Friday.

Master Sgt. Stephen Wimmer, Traffic Management superintendent, said the new scale system is saving the shop man hours.

"When the new regulations went into effect, we had to man the scale to certify the weight tickets," he said. "This was a full time job for the weight masters who manned the scale because they were out of the office. With the new system, weight masters can certify the weight tickets at the office and continue to do other duties at the same time."

Besides saving on man hours, the scale saves money as well, Todd said.

"To receive a weight ticket for your moving truck off base, it's going to cost you approximately $10 each time," he said. "That $20 come from the service members pockets, but are reimbursable. Using our PPM scale, the government doesn't have to pay an extra $20 each PPM."

Airman 1st Class Veronica Leone, a package and crate specialist from the 437th Traffic Management Flight, said the new scale system procedure takes little time to complete.

"When the user pushes the button, a notification is sent to the scale machine in the office," she said. "We then ask the person if their truck is empty or full. We certify the ticket and the user comes into the office to pick it up. The whole process takes approximately two minutes to complete."

The PPM scale is located on Bates St. parallel to the flight line and is open Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The scale is also used for "other scenarios," Todd said.

"The PPM scale is also used for checking the weight distribution of a vehicle which will be loaded onto an aircraft," he said. "The scale can measure the weight of a vehicle by axle and is critical to the distribution of an airframe."

Besides certifying weight tickets, the 437th Traffic Management Flight is responsible for the processing of more than 12,000 passengers and 2,500 PPMs annually from all JB CHS personnel. Subdivisions in the flight include moving cargo which comes back from deployed locations and packaging and crating parts for shipments.

For more information on Personally Procured Moves, call 963-2253.