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.

Truck Scale Spring Maintenance Is Important!

Summer will be here before you know it and if you haven’t had your truck scale tested and inspected lately now is the time. The changing of the seasons brings us warm weather, but it also brings running water to truck scale pits and foundations. If left unmaintained, the mud and debris can wreak havoc on truck scale operations and accuracy. We recommend completing the following steps to ensure your scale is up and running in time for the busy summer season. You, the scale owner, can actually do quite a few of the steps below.

Take a walk around the perimeter of your scale. Examine the entire deck, scale pit, foundation and approaches for any major structural or surface problems. If you see any foundation deterioration be sure to fix it right away. Any deck and approach repair is not merely cosmetic; those issues can have a negative effect on the scales performance. Flaking rust and crumbling concrete falling into the pit will add maintenance costs now, but in the future they will reduce the scales’ usefulness.

We’ve been servicing truck scales for a long time and the most common cause of incorrect weighments is debris under the scale (or in the pit) binding movement. Clean all dirt from each component. Remember, even though most scales these days are electronic, they still have moving parts underneath. Load cells still need to be able to deflect through their capacity range.

To cut down on any future debris problems, it’s a good idea to invest in flexible T-Grip or T-Strip rubber molding. These moldings, while being flexible enough to work with the movement of the scale, will keep debris from causing problems and eventual damage to the scale. Depending on the scale design, the molding might only be necessary to cover the end gaps where the trucks enter and exit the scale. Scales weighing open trucks or messy operations will also need side molding to protect against spillage falling into the pit. Continue reading

Scale Calibration Frequency: How Often Should I Calibrate my Digital Scale?

We’ve actually covered the subject of how often to calibrate a scale before but it’s always a good idea to remind customers just how important the accuracy of their scales can be. We get this question fairly often so today with the help of Doran Scales we’ll take another look at why it’s important to have your scales calibrated on a regular basis by a trained scale technician.

What is the value of the product to be weighed on the scale?
If the product being weighed is very expensive, there is value in regular and periodic inspection and calibration. For example if the product costs $10 a pound and on an average day 1,000 pounds of product is weighed on the scale, the total value is $10,000. Let’s assume the scale is out of tolerance by 0.5%; that discrepancy would be $50 per day, $250 per week, and $1,000 per month. Obviously, eliminating this error would save a tremendous amount of money and more than pay for the calibration services.

Is it a legal-for-trade application?
If you buy or sell product based upon weight using your scale, it will need to be inspected and certified by the State or local Weights and Measures Department at the time of or shortly after installation. If a scale is tested and found to be out of tolerance or if products in the field are found to not meet the stated weight, Weights and Measure can condemn the scales so that they cannot be used until recalibrated, and literally shut your production down.

How many weighments per day and at what % of scale capacity?
Generally speaking, with time and use scales can start to lose accuracy. It may be a tiny error but over months and years it can grow to unacceptable levels. Think of it in these terms: when you buy a new car, you can expect that the wheel alignment will be exactly accurate. When this same car has 75,000 or 100,000 miles on it, the wheel alignment may need to be adjusted due to normal wear and tear. The same idea is true with your scale. Regular calibration of heavily used scales will correct any accuracy errors that will normally occur with this type of use.

Are the scales frequently moved around in your facility or from one location to another?
Doran scales are designed to be portable, in the sense that they do not require a permanent installation location. However, many times when scales are moved, they are handled incorrectly, resulting in damage that can affect the calibration and accuracy of the unit. If your scales are constantly being moved around in your facility or moved from one location to another, regular calibration will help keep them accurate and reveal any damage that may have occurred when they have been moved.

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Do you carry any other type, that are less…

We were recently invited to provide a written quote on a 5’x5′ floor scale at a metal recycling center in North Carolina. When we sent the customer a quote for a quality set of floor scales, he replied back with the statement.

Do you carry any other type, that are less. In other words (brand x) scales are around 500.00 and I told (co-worker) that we could buy almost 3 for the price of 1 and if one breaks down we would have a back up.

Of course our first comment would be, it might be a good idea to buy two or three of them so you have a system that works! Seriously, if you’ve read any of our blog posts in the past, then you know our philosophy when it comes to floor scale systems. You can always find a set of scales at a cheaper price. Lets face it, in today’s world doesn’t that almost apply to just about any product? There is always somebody down the street willing to sell something a little cheaper. And often times if they can import a bunch of junk that has serious QC issues and sell them to unsuspecting customers who are simply looking to get a good deal, then that is what they will do.

That is why we focus on providing you a set of platform scales that we have confidence in.  The other note worth mentioning is the scale he was “comparing” our scale to wasn’t even legal for trade. The main point of this entry is, give us a call or send us an email and we can provide you with a quote for a weighing scale that we feel will meet your needs. If you have a budgeted price in mind, be sure to let us know that too. Often times when something costs a lot less than other similar products, there is a reason.

Scale Repair & Calibration

For over 3 decades, Central Carolina Scale has provided our clients with outstanding scale repair services and calibration. Over the years we have worked hard to become one of the most dependable sources of scale repair and scale calibration in the state of North Carolina. Our customer’s depend on our accurate testing and knowledgeable service department.

Our areas of expertise include Heavy Capacity Rice Lake Truck Scales, Hopper Scales, Intercomp Crane Scales, and Cardinal Axle Scales. We also have extensive experience working on Detecto Medical Scales, Pennsylvania Floor Scales and Avery Weigh-Tronix Forklift Scales. We also regularly work on Doran Wash Down Check Weighers, A&D Laboratory Balances, Digi Bench Scales, and Ohaus Analytical Balances. The majority of our scale repair and service is provided on the customers job site. Our team of factory trained scale technicians has the experience and the knowledge to fix the problem right the first time.

If you are looking to have your weighing equipment checked on a regular basis, you’ve come to the right place. Our scale service agreements reduce the overall cost of scale checks and calibration. In the long run, this saves you both time and money. In addition, these service agreements include regularly scheduled scale calibration, preventative maintenance, and NIST traceable certificates of calibration.

If you are one of our valued customers, thank you, we sincerely appreciate your business. If you aren’t currently one of our customers, we ask you to give us a chance by calling us at (919) 776-7737 or send us an email.

Scale Service Agreements Give Piece of Mind And Save Money

If your business in central North Carolina depends on pallet scales, lab balances, or weighing something, then hopefully you have some kind of calibration or scale service agreement in place to calibrate and maintain your scale equipment. If you don’t have a plan, you really need to contact Central Carolina Scale immediately for a quote. Many times when money is scarce and the economy is unsteady, the “plan” a lot of folks try to use is merely to use your scales until they need to be re-calibrated or repaired. Would you adopt this plan for your car or boat? This plan could work, but you know how it goes… if you don’t get your scale checked regularly, the one day you need it most is probably going to be the day the scale has some kind of a freak issue. Companies that can’t afford for their scales to be out of comission, usually have them calibrated and / or maintained on a regular basis.  Scales that are maintained regularly last longer, work better, and break down less often. As part of your maintenance plan, it is popular for scale companies to offer a Service Contract, also known as a Service Agreement.  It’s a win-win for both parties. Service Agreements can be a great value for three key reasons.  Continue reading

We fix scales

If your Digital balance or scale breaks we can fix it. When your scale needs calibrated, we can handle that promptly & efficiently with NIST traceable standards and documentation. Emergency loaner and rental scale equipment is available to keep your operation running. Almost all scale manufacturers recommend some type of periodic calibration and maintentance routine for your digital and mechanical scales and balances. Central Carolina Scale can help you set up and maintain these Continue reading

What will it cost me if I don’t buy a good scale?

Choosing the right scale and the right scale company for your application is extremely important. Whether you are looking for a small Ohaus balance or a large Rice Lake 80 foot long Truck Scale, you can save a lot of time and headaches by choosing the right company from the start. Even in today’s tough economy, consumers need to understand the total cost of ownership. For example, downtime often is the most significant cost incurred in industrial settings. In operations like landfills, aggregates, and quarries, many vehicle scales act as the “cash register.” If the scale isn’t Continue reading