Crane Scales Buying Advice & Recommendations

Crane scales, which are sometimes referred to as hanging scales or by the general term of overhead weighing, are basically scales that are designed to weigh items that are lifted by the hook on the bottom of the scale. Today we want to look at the basics of crane scales and look at some of the important features to consider before purchasing a new crane scale. Basically, we would like to provide you with some crane scales buying advice & recommendations out of the kindness of our heart. And, maybe to get a sale or two out of it as well. : ) 

Crane Scales 101

In most situations a crane scale will be safely mounted to some type of hook or device that is suspended. It could be lifting equipment or steel beams, hoists, etc… This will allow the weighing of heavy objects while they are suspended in the air. Sometimes it can actually be easier to weigh an odd size object using a crane scale than it would be to weigh on a traditional floor scale for example. This can be especially true if trying to weigh an object that is very large or heavy and just doesn’t match up well with traditional floor scales like you would use to weigh a pallet

ntep crane scale

Crane scales that we offer typically use a strain gauge load cell, which converts mechanical force into electrical signals. The scale then displays the weight on the digital weight display, usually in either a RED led reading or a backlit gray LCD readout. Power is typically provided by standard 120 VAC and often includes a rechargeable battery for weighing in various situations. Some crane scales may also include things like a remote weight readout, wireless connectivity, and NTEP legal for trade status. 

How Crane Scales are used in the Real World

We have sold hundreds of crane scales over the years. The top brands of crane scales typically include Intercomp, CAS, MSI, and a few others. The crane scales we sell are used across numerous industries that are looking for heavy-capacity weighing. Some examples might include: Foundry, Mining, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Logistics, Construction and Engineering, & Commercial Fishing. 

Top 5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Crane Scale

So, if you’ve read this far, you’re probably in the market for a crane scale? That’s great. At CCS we have been selling crane scales long before many of the current online scale sellers ever came into existence. Based on our years of experience, there are five important things to consider when looking to purchase a digital crane scale.

Crane Scale Weight Capacity and Readability

First thing to mention is the max capacity and readability of the scale. Anytime you’re looking to purchase a weight scale it’s a good idea to know the approximate maximum amount of weight you are going to be looking to weigh. Likewise, how low do you want the scale to display weight readings? 

The higher your max capacity is, the larger your weighing increments or graduations are going to be. For example, if you have a 1000 pound capacity scale, the readability increments would typically be 0.5 lb… aka a half pound. 

However, if you have a 10,000 pound capacity crane scale, the readability increments becomes 5 lb. And when you’re dealing with overhead weighing applications, it’s usually a good idea to choose a scale with a capacity a little higher than you originally anticipated for safety sake and to make sure you don’t overload the scale.


Crane Scale Enclosures

Depending on the environment that you intend on using the crane scale, you want to make sure you choose a scale with the proper construction. If you’re using the scale in a washdown type environment, you will want a crane scale with an IP rating of IP65 or greater in most cases. IP ratings refer to dust and water ingress. Another subject to lookup: What are heat resistant crane scales?

For hazardous environments, you will want to look at our intrinsically safe crane scale from MSI. In fact, we have an entire line of intrinsically safe scales from A&D, Doran, and Rice Lake. These hazardous area scales are typically FM approved and designed for particular locations by division and group. You often see this in manufacturing and industrial applications such as chemical manufacturing.

crane scale with lcd display

Crane Scale with LCD display

Crane Scale Display Readouts

Number three on our list of crane scale buying factors is the digital display. This is one subject that a lot of customers don’t think about until it’s too late. Typically a crane scale that’s indoors will work just fine with a RED led display. However, if the crane scale is taken outside, the LED display tends to get washed out in sunlight. So, for outdoor settings a LCD display might be preferred.

You also might need to think about a remote control or remote display. Sometimes if a crane scale is mounted really high in the air, it can very hard to read the scale display on the front of the crane scale. A wireless remote display can assist you with this situation. To enhance visibility and display weight measurements in other locations, consider the option for wireless remote displays. In some applications remote displays can also double as a scale controller too, allowing wireless operation of the crane scale as well.

crane scale with red led display

Red LED scale display

Crane Scale Battery and Power Choices

The power source of your crane scale is important to consider as well. Many crane scales offer a rechargeable battery. In our opinion, many times it’s also a good idea to have a second rechargeable battery and an external battery charger. 

Crane Scale Safety

Number five is cost. There is no question that many customers focus on price when it comes to buying electronic weighing scales online. And, in a lot of situations that’s fine to put some emphasis on price. 

However, when you are dealing with overhead weighing applications, do you really want to rely on that imported electronic crane scale that you bought on some website? Imagine you wondering what exactly was involved in the QC process, as you watch this no-name crane scale lifting thousands of pounds up in the air. 

Yes, we’re talking about that very same crane scale that doesn’t even have a brand name listed on it anywhere! Do yourself a favor, when it comes to crane scales and overhead weighing applications, we recommend that you stick with the reputable brand name choices like MSI and Intercomp

Final Thoughts on Overhead Weighing Equipment Sourcing

There are many different models of crane scales on the market today. We’ve seen many of them and we have our favorites. And our favorites are the ones that we’ve sold over the years that are designed to last and provide customers with accurate weights for many years of service.

s-beam load cell crane scale

We have sold everything from CAS Corporation Caston II crane scales to S-Beam load cells connected to a digital weight indicator. Basically, we have a proven selection of industrial crane scales that we recommend for customers.

Some of you are probably asking, how do YOU know which scales to recommend? Truthfully, we recommend crane scales based on what you tell us, our experience with the crane scales we sell, and our experience with the crane scale manufacturers that we deal with on a daily basis.

First thing we suggest is to contact our sales department. You can do that by email, phone or completing the RFQ form on our website. Tell us what you’re looking to weigh and a rough idea of what you think you will need for your overhead weighing application.

We can then work with you together selecting the right crane scale for your particular application. We recommend high quality and reliable crane scales from names you can trust like MSI, CAS, and Intercomp. We are a top scale distributor and service provider of heavy-capacity crane scales for all the scale brands mentioned above like CAS, MSI and Intercomp.

Hopefully we have provided you with some crane scales buying advice & recommendations. Do you need help choosing the right crane scale system? We’re just a phone call or email away. (919) 776-7737  Contact us today.