Top 35 Questions To Ask When Looking to Buy a Truck Scale

No two truck scale projects are exactly alike, so a great place to start is to provide an outline of what you would like to have installed at your facility. You might obtain this information from talking with colleagues, etc…

Then, ask lots of questions, and listen carefully to the answers. Sometimes things are pretty straightforward and other times…. not so much. Listen to your experienced scale sales person in order to fully understand the unique application requirements that usually exist when you are looking to install a certain truck scale in a certain location. We touched on the subject of truck scale prices a few months back.

steel deck above ground truck scale

The following list will help to ensure that you have a very good understanding of what is involved in choosing the right truck scale, along with all the site particulars.

Some “Site and Installation” considerations to look at when it comes to choosing a truck scale.

1. What is the soil’s bearing capacity?
2. Is there adequate drainage for excessive storm water and if applicable, flow of snow melting? (critical consideration, especially for scales installed in a pit foundation)
3. Are there any natural sub-surface obstructions to deal with such as bedrock, sink holes, boulders, high water tables?
4. Are there any man-made obstructions to consider such as gas lines, power lines, water lines, sewers and drains?
5. If applicable, what is the frost line?
6. Where will the scale house or unattended kiosk be located?
7. Have local authorities approved plans for the foundation and approaches (and ramps if above grade)?
8. How will vehicle speeds be controlled when entering and exiting the scale?
9. Are there any concerns with vehicles backing up onto public streets or highways during peak periods of scale usage?
10. Does there need to be a staging/parking area during peak scale usage periods?
11. Is there sufficient area for a bypass around the scale(s)?
12. What is the turning radius of the largest vehicles that will access the scale?
13. Are there any plans for overhead filling of vehicles while parked on the scale?
14. What if plant capacity increases and a single truck scale becomes an operational bottleneck?
15. Does the location offer enough room to expand with another scale?
16. How will you address the effects of heavy rainfalls or snowfalls?
17. Are there provisions to deal with downtime for scale maintenance or repair?

Below are some “Truck Scale” Product impacting considerations to look at.

1. Steel deck or concrete deck?
2. Platform length and width needed to accommodate vehicles that will use the scale? (go out and measure the trucks, just to be certain)
3. How many vehicles will be weighed per day, per month, per year?
4. Will they be weighed both empty and loaded?
5. Anticipated dual tandem axle (DTA) weights?
6. List of all vehicle types that will use the scale?
7. Are all axle loads legal for highway travel or are there some heavier axle loads such as found on some yard-only vehicles?
8. Will tag/pusher axles be lowered or raised when vehicles are crossing the scale?
9. Will the scale be used in both directions or one direction only?
10. How much scale under-clearance is required by local weights and measures?
11. If the scale is going to be above ground, are there requirements for a guide rail system that is attached to the platform?
12. Do you have involvement with Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)?
13. If the scale is going into a pit foundation, how will the pit be accessed?
14. If manholes are required in the scale platform, are there specific locations where they need to be to line up with drains or sump pits?
15. Are there any corrosive chemicals that the scale will be exposed to?
16. Do you have any special paint requirements? (custom color or coating system with enhanced protection?)
17. Will the scale surface typically have gravel/sand/debris sitting on it or will it be kept reasonably clean?
18. How long do you expect the scale to last?

By answering these questions and listening carefully to your scale professional, you can gain a clear understanding as to what type of truck scale you need along with any features or upgrades that may be recommended.

Our experienced staff can provide some examples of do’s and don’ts from other projects along with many success stories. With any large vehicle scale purchase, you will want to factor in the other costs as well when comparing products. Things to consider include; lead time, freight costs, installation and calibration costs.

In addition to standard payment choices, we also have some lease programs available as well. Call (919) 776-7737 or fill out our Request a Quote form on our website.

Weighing Trucks at the Weigh Station

Let’s see how a truck scale weigh station generally operates. In many states all across the United States, Weigh Stations are an important part of truck size and weight enforcement efforts. They help protect DOT investments in road and bridge infrastructure by identifying overweight violators. State DOT’s typically own and maintain multiple weigh stations around your state and usually the State Patrol, or some other related state agency, is responsible for their operation.

In addition to catching trucks that are overweight.  Another purpose of weigh stations is to increase highway safety by identifying defective vehicles and unqualified drivers. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles are weighed at the various weigh stations each year. For many years, the standard weigh station consisted of a small structure on each side of the interstate. Beside each structure was usually a couple of large truck scales. Depending on the number of vehicles that travel that particular road, some weigh stations might have many more truck scales on each side of the road.

In today’s modern world, some weigh stations even utilize weigh-in motion technology in addition to the stationary deck scale. As a truck goes by, usually there will be a lighting system and that will tell the truck which direction to go and if it gives them a green light to go to the by-pass lane. If it gives them a different signal, then they need to approach the actual truck scale. Then at that time, they will drive over the scales.

Many weigh stations have locations on each side of the road, so they are able weigh trucks going in each direction. Law enforcement usually watches as the trucks come through and are usually looking to see if there’s any weigh violations. Then after that they are also looking at the equipment to make sure a truck is in compliance with proper names on the side of the doors, DOT numbers, annual inspections that have been done on the equipment as well and making sure that everything is working as it should, as they drive over the scale.

If law enforcement find any violations, they will interact with the truck driver and collect some information. Then, sometimes the truck is pulled to the side and an inspection is conducted. DMV officers are not only looking for weight, but they are also looking for vehicle violations; such as headlights, flat tires and so on. Inspectors also look at permits, making sure that they’re in compliance within the State. Officers also monitor watching the traffic as it’s coming up to the scale. As it’s coming up to the scale, if it starts backing up where it’s backing up out onto the roadway, they can shut the scale down so they are not causing any issues on the road itself.

When a truck actually drives on the scale it usually goes something like this. You enter the lane where the scale is located. Now you need to wait for the truck ahead of you to clear the scale. The truck ahead of you is okay to go as the sign indicates. Now the sign says, pull on to scale or perhaps you see a green light. Now you will slowly drive on to the scale and the system will automatically position the driver to stop at the correct location. The sign usually says, stop or displays a red dot. The truck stops and the weight of the truck is examined. If everything is good, the driver will be given the green light from the inspector and allowed to drive off.

truck scales for weigh station

Weigh stations help to make the roads safe for all users. Weigh stations help accomplish this by creating a level playing field holding all trucking companies accountable for the same vehicle and driver regulations. And these inspection results, in turn, help trucking companies improve safety and performance. States must remain committed to providing facilities and equipment that easily and efficiently identify violators of size and weight requirements. Preserving and maintaining a states infrastructure as well as providing a safe roadway and bridge system is important for every state.

And finally, it’s important that states commitment continues regarding data collection and technology as well as investment in important weigh scale system. As many state leaders have seen, weigh stations are an important part of the overall truck size and weight compliance program. State DOT programs need to remain committed to working with partner agencies and other stakeholders in developing effective truck size and weight compliance strategies.

Central Carolina Scale, located in Sanford, North Carolina has provided truck scale sales and service for these types of scales for decades. The company understands that high quality weighing equipment is paramount when you are weighing the quantity of trucks often seen at a weigh station. For additional service or sales information, call (919) 776-7737 or visit the company website and complete the Request for Quote button.

Rice Lake Weighing Systems Expands Alabama Truck Scale Manufacturing Capability

Rice Lake Weighing Systems, maker of the popular Survivor line of truck scales, has been manufacturing a portion of those scales in Alabama for many years. However, due to increased demand, an additional manufacturing facility in Jasper, Alabama has been acquired which will allow Rice Lake to expand manufacturing capabilities. In an effort to expand manufacturing capacity and provide additional support to their customers, Rice Lake is expanding their presence in Walker County with the purchase of an additional manufacturing building located in Bevill industrial park.

This additional facility will increase manufacturing capacity for the company, where employees will produce Rice Lake SURVIVOR® truck scales among other product lines as production comes online. Rice Lake Weighing Systems is looking forward to the facility becoming operational as soon as possible by hiring skilled employees and procuring advanced manufacturing equipment.

President of Rice Lake Weighing Systems, Mark Johnson, Jr. remarks about the company’s increased manufacturing in Alabama, “Rice Lake Weighing Systems plans to maintain production at our existing facility in Curry and we will be hiring additional staff for the new Jasper location.”

rice lake survivor truck scale

Rice Lake Weighing Systems and previously as Powell All Steel Scales has enjoyed more than 30 years of manufacturing in Jasper, Alabama and is grateful and proud of the Jasper community and those who have helped the company succeed.

Rice Lake Weighing Systems is a family-owned, ISO 9001 certified corporation, and has been manufacturing and distributing weight-related products and supplies since 1946. Today, Rice Lake Weighing Systems is a global leader in measurement and automated process control with a dealer network covering over 85 countries. Headquartered in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Rice Lake Weighing Systems has additional facilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Customers interested in purchasing Rice Lake scales and weighing equipment can contact authorized distributor, Central Carolina Scale located in Sanford, North Carolina.

You can call the sales department at (919) 776-7737. Central Carolina Scale has sold and installed numerous Rice Lake scales and weighing systems. The company also provides calibration services for Rice Lake products as well.

Answering Your Questions About Truck Scale Load Cells & Mounting Systems

The majority of this article is provided by Rice Lake Weighing Systems. We have also added a few insights and thoughts of our own as well.

What is a Load Cell?

A load cell, also commonly referred to as a transducer, converts a mechanical force into an electrical signal. Basically, the load cell bends slightly when weight is applied.

In a compression mounted load cell where the load cell is beneath the weighing vessel, like a truck scale, the load cell compresses when a load is applied. This would apply to scales like the Cardinal PRC which has the SCA load cells.

The load cell produces an analog output signal that is proportional to the applied weight or force. The load cell transmits this signal to a digital weight indicator that converts the signal into a digital weight measurement.

When an application requires multiple load cells, each load cell should measure the same proportion of the total load. So in a four load cell system, each load cell should measure exactly one quarter of the load.

Many load cells are proprietary to a specific manufacturer, and may require additional maintenance and costs of ownership. Carefully discuss with your scale supplier all options for load cell systems.

replacement rl75058-75k truck scale load cells

Analog Load Cells
The most common load cells on the market work on the strain gauge principle. All load cells need to convert their analog values to digital before the load’s weight reading can be displayed on an indicator.

Some load cells are directly cabled to the digital weight indicator where the translation occurs. Other cells are connected to summing junction boxes on the scale where the box sums analog readings from multiple load cells, converts it to a digital signal and sends that signal to the digital weight indicator.

Hydraulic Load Cells (pressure transmitters)
Unlike most other load cells, hydraulic load cells do not use strain gauges or internal circuitry. Instead, hydraulic load cells contain hydraulic fluid, and during compression, a change in pressure is created and transmitted via tubing to a summing system where the pressure is applied to an analog load cell to determine weight.

The advantages of the hydraulic load cell typically relate to being resistant to lightning damage. The disadvantage of this type of scale and replacement load cell is the cost.

Analog-to-Digital Load Cells
Some analog load cells perform the analog-to-digital signal conversion within the load cell housing. Although sometimes referred to as digital load cells, the cell still measures in analog. Making the conversion from an analog signal to a digital signal in the load cell allows the system to compare the output of individual load cells and perform a diagnostic analysis based on that information.

Some would say that because the conversion happens in the load cell, sensitive electronic components are increased throughout the scale system, making them susceptible to damage from vibration, moisture and increased solder joints.

Types of Load Cells Found in Truck Scales

Double Ended Shear Beam
This is the most widely used vehicle scale load cell configuration in North America. A double-ended shear beam load cell is a compression load cell that offers a large capacity range from 1,000 to 200,000 pounds.

The double-ended shear beam is secured at both ends with the load applied to the center of the load cell. As in all shear beam designs, the strain gauges are mounted on a thin web in the center of the cell’s machined cavity.

The load cell also has the advantages of being less expensive in high capacity applications than the canister load cell because it does not require checking, making it virtually a maintenance free solution.

Canister
A canister load cell is the oldest load cell type. Also a compression device, it is shaped like a vertical canister and can handle loads from 100 to 1,000,000 pounds.

It is either hermetically sealed or welded to protect the gauges. This load cell’s drawbacks include the fact that it requires checking — installing check or stay rods to hold the weighing vessel in place on the load cell’s top plate during weighing.

For these reasons, many canister load cells on the market today are used to replace older canister load cells on existing weighing systems.

Rocker Column
Some manufacturers prefer rocker column load cells because they are inexpensive. However, they require check rods and bumper bolts that require maintenance, increasing your cost of ownership. The cost saved by the manufacturer on the raw material is passed down the line to the end user in the form of additional maintenance.

Load Cells Are Usually Manufactured as either Alloy Steel or Stainless Steel 

Truck scale load cells are generally made of stainless steel or alloy steel, but most manufacturers offer a variety of load cell solutions that best fit your application needs.

Alloy Steel Load Cells
Load cells manufactured from tool alloy steel elements are by far the most popular cells in use today. The cost to performance ratio is better compared to either aluminum or stainless steel designs. The most popular alloys are 4330 and 4340 because they have low creep (the change in load cell output over time while under load) and low hysteresis (the difference between load cell output readings for the same applied load).

Stainless Steel Load Cells
Stainless steel cells are more expensive than tool alloy steel load cells. They are sometimes fitted with hermetically sealed web cavities, which make them an ideal choice for corrosive, high-moisture applications. Stainless steel load cells that are not hermetically sealed have little advantage over comparable cells constructed of tool alloy steel, other than a higher resistance to corrosion.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about the different load cells found in the average truck scale. Since 1980 we have been providing customers throughout the central part of North Carolina with truck scale inspections, scale repair and calibration services. Our test weights and weight cart are certified by the state of North Carolina for accuracy. Our scale technicians are highly trained and knowledgeable when it comes to checking and installing various brands of truck scales.

If you need your existing scale checked or perhaps you’re in the market for a new truck scale, please give us a call today (919) 776-7737.

 

Maintenance and Cleaning Requirements for a Truck Scale Weighbridge

Keeping your Truck Scale well maintained and clean is an important part of truck scale ownership. Not only is it good practice to keep your weighbridge clean, it also contributes to a pro active scale maintenance plan and can significantly reduce the risk of equipment downtime and inaccurate weighing.

Before we get very far with this entry, lets clarify one thing… When we say to clean your truck scale, we are typically referring to the areas where mud and dirt can build up and cause weighing errors. Having a pristine scale diamond tread platform is great but that is not what we are referring to when we ask, is your scale clean?

You can see in the picture below an example. The photo on the left shows the scale before cleaning. Notice all the dirt on top of the concrete, especially between the approach ramp and the scale? Now look at the photo on the right after cleaning. You can see the concrete and very little dirt is left at all.

truck scale dirt buildup causing errors

Over time, the build-up of mud and debris can have a negative impact on a weighbridge performance. Compacted mud can set hard and reduce the movement of the weighbridge. This in turn causes reduced accuracy in weighing. Certain types of site environment will suffer more with mud and related issues and weather conditions can also play a part.

Keep in mind, weighbridge cleaning can be a balancing act. You need to remove the mud and buildup so the scale platform can perform correctly. However, the water jet force required to remove dirt and debris from around a weighbridge’s critical weighing points can, if not performed correctly, damage load cells, cables, junction boxes, and summing boards.

When cleaning the scale, the lightest amount of water pressure you can use and still get adequate cleaning, the better.

Weighbridge maintenance should take place as part of a daily or weekly routine depending on the type of site. The build-up of debris and water should be monitored and obstructions should be removed from beneath the scale to provide clearance between the weighbridge and the ground. Otherwise, your scale accuracy will suffer.

Pit weighbridges should be checked to make sure clearances are clean and the correct gap between the deck and pit wall are in place. ‘T’ section rubber can be used to help maintain gaps and should be replaced if worn or damaged. Regular end-middle-end tests with a loaded truck should be carried out to review the accuracy of the scale to see if there are any buildup issues. This basic cleaning and maintenance can be carried out by a site foreman or truck scale weighbridge operator.

If you are a current customer and you are curious about cleaning your truck scale, contact us and we can discuss this further or we can show you the key areas during our next scheduled maintenance visit. If you’re interested in our services, please contact us at (919) 776-7737.

Benefits of Cardinal Digital Truck Scales

Cardinal Armor series Smartcell digital truck scales have several distinct benefits to you, the customer. First there is the heavy duty weighbridge design the Cardinal Armor digital truck scale uses. For example, the steel deck has (12) 12 inch eye beams across the scale but most important is there’s no moving parts under the scale.

ADVANTAGES OF A DIGITAL TRUCK SCALE

With a traditional truck scale, when it comes to debris build-up under the scale, that you typically see in landfills, quarries, sand and gravel businesses; all of that debris can cause problems under the scale and cause binding. Then you will be forced to have folks out there power washing the truck scale, trying to get the scale to work properly because safe linkage systems or load cells that are mounted to piers; the debris impedes on that critical weighing process.

This can often lead to down time for cleaning and can also lead to your scale being rejected when being tested by the State weights and measures inspector.

Another key element of the Cardinal Armor digital truck scale is simple connections which can also lead to limited downtime. Most important there is no power running to the scale other than the home run cable, that’s very important. Do you know what lightning, rain, and snow can do over time to the junction boxes of a traditional truck scale? There’s over a hundred and eight connection points in many standard analog truck scales.

digital truck scales

But, with the armor digital system, there’s ten. There’s five wires that plug into the terminal connector to go to the first load cell and there’s five that you simply wire into the weight indicator in fact Cardinal chooses 225 and the 825 as indicators of choice but most important for you; you want limited downtime for the life of the truck scale. Continue reading

How Can I Send Weight Data From My Scale To My Computer?

At Central Carolina Scale we focus on scales and weighing equipment, first and foremost. That’s what we’ve always done. We are constantly working and training to be the best and most knowledgeable scale company that we can be. Now most of that training and on the job training focuses on digital weighing indicators, load cells, scales,  etc… We send scale weight information to various devices such as remote displays.

Customers have always wanted to send weight data from the scale to the computer since personal computers and laptops became prevalent.

send scale weight to computer

So when it comes to sending your scale weight data from the actual digital weighing scale to the computer, how do you accomplish this?

It actually might be easier than you think and it might even be something that you accomplish on your own using our scale equipment and a readily available accessory.

Please note, if you are operating a legal for trade weighing scenario, then you will need to make sure that any software or method that you utilize is legal to use. So for example if you are operating a truck scale and you are looking to send truck weights to your computer, then you will most likely need to utilize a software like Cardinal WinVRS or Rice Lake onTrak as examples.

If you are using a Doran Scales indicator, they have made some great software available for their products. The Doran Excelerator is probably the most basic software that is offered by Doran. It allows weight data to be taken from the scale readout and placed into Microsoft Excel. Doran also has more advanced software packages available.

Cardinal Scale Manufacturing also offers a USB option for some of their weight indicators which makes sending weight data from the scale controller to a USB thumb drive very simple. You can then take the USB stick out of the indicator, load it into your PC and see the weight data on your computer screen.

If you’re using a digital counting scale like the Counterpart for example, Rice Lake has the WeighVault computer software. This is a comprehensive software package that stores and manages data on your PC. With Counterpart you can create custom reports for inventory, threshold, location and more. It is designed for operators with minimal computer experience and managers who require quick and accurate information. Scales can be added or moved on-the-fly without interrupting other scales operating on the network.

Likewise the WeighVault is also available for the CW90 checkweigher. In this case, WeighVault allows CW-90/90X users to add, edit, and access IDs over a network connection. WeighVault surpasses the CW-90/90X’s 50 ID limitation and eliminates front-panel entry of ID parameters. It also collects data as transactions occur, and provides detailed transaction and productivity reports which can be exported to Excel, Word, or PDF.

Now we have talked about all the software above at some point before. But I wanted to also mention a couple of additional choices for end users to consider.

TalTech WinWedge Serial Device Data Collection for serial devices, including meters, balances, scales or any RS232 instrument. WinWedge captures data directly to Excel, Access or any Windows application or web page. It can even send commands out a COM port so you can control your device through hot keys, buttons, or DDE.

WinWedge easily collects data from balances, gauges, meters, sensors, micrometers, barcode scanners, GPS, PLCs, analyzers and other measuring devices and laboratory instruments. It can send the data directly into any Windows program, including Excel spreadsheets, Access databases, and more.

WinWedge is designed to be highly flexible and can easily parse, filter and format your device data to fit your project’s requirements. It can also transmit prompts or commands through the serial port to control your instruments. Winwedge comes in both Professional and Standard versions.

 Setup is as Easy as ONE, TWO, THREE

1. Select your device’s parameters.

Connect your device to your PC’s serial or USB port (installing any necessary drivers) and use the WinWedge interface to select your device’s communications settings, such as the COM port, baud rate, parity, data bits, and stop bits.

2. Define the data structure.

Intuitive, walk-through menus allow you to tailor the data to your needs by splitting the record into multiple fields, filter out certain characters, or format the data to meet your requirements. You can also easily define hot keys and buttons to send serial commands to your device or perform other tasks.

3. Select the mode and activate

Select from either Keystrokes Mode, DDE Server Mode, or Log to Disk, specify the target application or file, and activate WinWedge! Watch as the data from your device “pops” into the Windows application you selected. You can even input the device data directly to a chart or use Excel’s built-in functions to perform real-time analysis.

MicroRidge designs and manufactures a broad range of wired and wireless measurement collection solutions, including WedgeLink hardware and software keyboard wedges. Measurement collection is what they specialize in. They don’t manufacture gauges but they support gauges from a wide variety of manufacturers. The products are made in the USA and support the broadest range of digital & RS-232 gauges, digital indicators, scales, etc….. One nice feature is they provide unlimited and knowledgeable technical support at no charge on all of the products that they manufacture, particularly the keyboard wedge and software keyboard wedge.

What is a Keyboard Wedge?
A keyboard wedge is used when you are trying to get data from some type of measuring device into applications that cannot accept data from a serial port. A software keyboard wedge reads data from a serial port and passes this data to a PC application in such a manner that the application thinks the data is entered via the keyboard. A hardware wedge reads data from digital gauges or RS-232 devices and sends the data to the PC via a keyboard or USB port. The data sent by the hardware wedge looks like keyboard data to the current application. The more common applications that are used with keyboard wedges are Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and other database types of applications.

Software and hardware keyboard wedges are used extensively in data acquisition applications that include statistical programs, spreadsheets, barcode, LIMS, etc. MicroRidge keyboard wedges can accept input data from any RS-232 serial device. The data is then passed to a Windows application in such a manner that the application thinks the data is actually coming from the keyboard.

About Software Keyboard Wedges
The advantage of a software wedge is that it provides much more flexibility in the formatting of data for presentation to the application and control of the target where the data is sent. In addition to transferring the information to the application, the WedgeLink software keyboard wedge can also simultaneously send the information to a disk file. The disadvantage of a software wedge is that your software wedge settings can be changed by your users.

About Hardware Keyboard Wedges
It is not uncommon in a production type environment that a company will insist upon using a hardware wedge rather than a software wedge. An advantage of a hardware wedge is that it is simpler to use because it is more like a plug ‘n play device. In most cases, just plug it in and you are ready to go.

Hopefully this months article will provide you with some resources and ideas when it comes to sending weight information from your laboratory balance to your laptop computer (or whatever your particular needs are). As you can see, there are several good choices available and several choices that will hopefully work for both your budget and your particular requirements. In some cases, you may very well be able to send data from your scale to your computer; and set it up all by yourself with the help of a wedge software.

For more information and assistance for your particular situation, contact our sales department by calling (919) 776-7737 or visiting our website and clicking the Request a Quote button.

Inspecting and Testing Heavy Duty Truck Scales

At Central Carolina Scale in addition to selling and installing truck scales; we also check, test, adjust, and calibrate truck scales just about every working day of the year. We have factory trained technicians who can troubleshoot even the smallest problem areas like a load cell that might be creeping. We also have certified test weights and a weight cart which allows us to provide the highest level of truck scale service available in North Carolina. When we’re finished doing our scale check, we supply the customer with documentation that shows before and after readings and how much weight we tested the scale with, etc…

However, in quite a few cases, where money changes hands based on scale weight, the state of North Carolina will also check the customer’s truck scale to make sure it is weighing correctly and performing within legal for trade tolerances. The blog post linked below is a field trip that describes a state test in more detail.

The Standards Division checks any scales where “money changes hands.” This would include scales at grocery stores, livestock scales, buffets, agricultural-supply centers, highway patrol weigh stations and scrap metal facilities. Scales are checked on an annual basis or by complaint. The only exception is stockyards, which are checked twice a year.

When consumers bring unwanted appliances, metal debris or even old vehicles to a scrap metal facility the items are generally weighed on a truck scale. At some facilities, this scale can record up to 100,000 pounds of weight. The entire weight of the vehicle, trailer and scrap metal is recorded on the scale. After unloading inside the facility, the consumer then drives the emptied vehicle and trailer back over a scale at the exit and this weight is recorded. The consumer is paid for the difference of the two weights. Depending on the amount of scrap brought in, the amount could be a couple of hundred dollars.
weight cart testing scales

To check a heavy truck scale, Inspector Glenn Farmer uses a six-wheeled, gas-powered, steel test cart. A hydraulic arm is used to fill the cart with certified 1,000-pound and 500-pound weights. For the test, he uses a known weight (the cart plus added weight) and test different quadrants of the scale. A five-section scale would have 18 different test points. There are two different types of truck scales, mechanical and load. To test a mechanical scale, Farmer must move his cart side to side to record weight. To check the accuracy of a load scale, he moves the cart down the center of the scale.

The Standards Division uses National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines to determine tolerance levels on the scales. A tolerance level is the amount of weight a scale is allowed to vary. For a scale that can measure more than 25,000 pounds of weight, the tolerance level would be 60 pounds. A scale that does not pass inspection must be pulled out of service until the facility fixes the problem. “Many times the issue is debris buildup in the crevices of the scale,” Farmer said. “Pine straw, cans and other debris can cause the scale not to weigh correctly.

Our advice to the company is to power wash or use an air hose to clean the area around the scale.” If the scale is still recording incorrect weights after cleaning, the facility may call a scale calibration company to fix the problem. Some facilities will have a representative from their scale company go along with the standards inspector on the day of their inspection. This means that most problems can be fixed immediately, and the facility doesn’t have to endure a prolonged shutdown of a scale if problems are found.

This was a nice write up about testing scales and how important it is to keep your scales weighing accurately. It’s always a good idea to keep your scales clean and weighing as accurate as possible, year round. One easy way to do that is to contact us at (919) 776-7737 and set up a maintenance schedule for your scales. You’ll save money and you will have accurate scales with the regular scale checks.

I Need Truck Scale Prices & How Much Does a Truck Scale Cost?

We typically get some version of these statements or questions just about every day.

“I need a price on a truck scale”

or

“How much does a 70′ x 10′ foot truck scale cost?”

Rough estimate on average would be $35K-$50K when it’s all said and done.  It could be a little less money and it certainly could be more money, depending on what you are looking to do.

It’s hard to give an exact answer since every situation is a little different.

Maybe you’re replacing an existing CMI truck scale. Or perhaps you’re looking to extend a 60′ Weigh-Tronix truck scale into a 70′ scale. Or perhaps you’re putting in a brand new B-Tek scale and will need the concrete foundation formed and poured as well. That is why it’s important to discuss your application with your scale sales person and determine what products and services will work best for your situation.

truck scale

What exactly are the main parts of a truck scale?

There are several major components when you look at a truck scale. First, is the actual scale itself, also sometimes called the Weighbridge. This is the main surface for the trucks being weighed. Weighbridge lengths vary from around 20 foot to over 100 foot. Widths vary from around 10 foot to 14 foot but are usually 11 foot. Typical weighbridge platform tops are either steel or concrete.

If you contact more than one scale company then you will probably find one talking down about the other brand. For example; Rice Lake versus Cardinal Scale Manufacturing. Or Mettler Toledo versus Avery Weigh-Tronix. All of the brands mentioned above are good brands. You will need to determine which manufacturer you prefer and also which local scale company you like the best and what features you want / need.

When you talk about the Weighbridge, you will also probably be told about CLC ratings. Concentrated Load Capacity, or CLC, is an industry recognized rating of a vehicle or axle load scale. The rating defines the maximum load for which the weighbridge is designed as applied by a group of two axles with a center line spaced 4 feet apart and an axle width 8 feet apart. This is an area where you can save money in certain situations. If you will have limited amounts of daily traffic, then chances are you may not need a really high CLC rated Weighbridge. Be sure to discuss this with your scale sales person. You’ll also need to discuss the material, do you want steel deck or concrete weighbridge scales?

Next major component to consider is the Digital Weight Indicator. This item is what displays your truck weight. We have several different truck scale indicator models to choose from. This is an important part of a truck scale. You’ll definitely want to choose a readout that has truck storage and serial ports for your ticket printer and remote display.

Next important component are Load Cells. Most truck scales usually have around (8) cells inside.  The 3 most common types of load cells are analog, digital, or hydraulic. Each has it’s own advantages. This is a subject you will definitely want to discuss with your scale sales person as this can raise or lower the up front cost but could have a big impact on the long term cost of ownership.

The next important part of a truck scale is the Foundation, which is simply the concrete base which the load cells and weigh bridge rest on. These are normally above ground with approaches on each side. We also offer truck scales that sit in a pit.

The final important component to consider when buying a truck scale is the Peripherals. These are items like truck management software, ticket printers, remote displays, traffic lights, intercoms, etc….  You need some of these items for sure. A few others might be good choices, depending on your particular situation.

So as you can hopefully see, there really isn’t a one size fits all answer to the question, how much does a truck scale cost?  If you’re in the market for a truck scale, and we sell some very nice models including the Rice Lake OTR, contact us (919) 776-7737 and we can get you a current price.

TruckScaleFest: 10-Year Weighbridge Warranty Special

Order a Cardinal truck scale between May 1st 2017 and June 30th 2017 and receive a 10-year weighbridge warranty!

Celebrate the strength of Cardinal’s truck scale bridges and join us in the TruckScaleFest going on now. Standard 5-year warranty still applies to electronics. 10-year weighbridge warranty applies only to 45-ton CLC truck scale models as designated and approved by Cardinal Scale. Terms apply within Cardinal Scale’s standard limited warranty.

cardinal scale extended warranty for truck scale

One popular choice to consider for this promotion is the 13570-EPR which is a 70 foot long and 11 foot wide steel deck Armor truck scale. As the name implies, Cardinal’s ARMOR® truck scales (EPR Series) provide you with superior-strength, long-life steel construction for optimum vehicle weighing.

The ARMOR’s durable baked-on, anti-corrosion tan powder paint stands the test of time. The NTEP legal-for-trade Armor® arrives fully-prepared for installation and includes DB75000-lb stainless steel load cells standard, which are factory assembled.

A wide selection of Armor® capacities, platform sizes, and types are available. Each Armor® scale bridge features interconnecting load blocks and receivers for an efficient, no-bolt installation. Rodent protection is standard throughout the scale via conduit integral throughout each scale module. Every Armor® truck scale is 100% assembled and tested before shipping.

The PRC series is also available. The Cardinal PRC series is a low-profile, fully electronic truck scale. The high-capacity PRC’s rigid design prevents excessive movement, ensuring long lasting reliability and accuracy in high-traffic installations.

The anti-corrosion powder coat painted weighbridge with welded structural steel tube and checkered deck plate is ready to install upon delivery. Features rock-solid steel deck plate to carry heavy loads! Many lengths and capacities to choose from. NTEP legal-for-trade certified.

Don’t miss out on this special! The offer is only good until the end of June. Contact us today and we can put together a customized quote just for you.

Call (919) 776-7737 or complete our Request for Quote form on the website at centralcarolinascale.com