Buy an Adam Equinox Balance, Get a $75 Gift Card (Limited Time Offer)

Adam Equipment is running a limited-time special on the Equinox balance range, rewarding  customers with a $75 rebate (via gift card) when you purchase any Equinox semi-micro, analytical or precision balance from an authorized Adam dealer like Central Carolina Scale.

SEMI MICRO & ANALYTICAL BALANCES

Adam Equinox analytical balances provide outstanding precision to laboratory settings that perform highly detailed testing. The Equinox, available from Central Carolina Scale located in Sanford, North Carolina, is perfect for research and quality assurance facilities; science education; and production and manufacturing applications needing exceptionally precise results.

Eight analytical models offer capacities from 120 grams to 510 grams and 0.1 milligram readability. A color touch screen display provides intuitive operation, with icon-driven menus and readily accessible applications and functions. The five-inch screen is generously sized, offering 800 X 480 pixel resolution for excellent visibility. Higher capacity precision balances are also available.

PRECISION BALANCES

Adam Equipment Equinox precision balances provide users with exceptional precision to laboratories that perform highly detailed testing. The Equinox balance, available from Central Carolina Scale, is perfect for research and quality assurance facilities; science education and virtually any other application needing exceptionally precise results.

Twelve precision balances offer capacities from 360 grams to 8200 grams and readabilities of 1 milligram and 0.01 grams. A color touch screen display provides intuitive operation, with icon-driven menus and readily accessible applications and functions. The five-inch screen is generously sized, offering 800 X 480 pixel resolution for excellent visibility.

adam equinox analytical balance

From September 21, 2021 through December 31, 2021, when you purchase any Equinox semi-micro, analytical or precision balance from an authorized Adam dealer, you will be elligible to receive a gift card for $75.  All you need to do is make the purchase and complete the form below and submit a copy of your invoice. 

To redeem, customers must complete the form at https://ae.adamequipment.com/2021-equinox-rebate — The gift card will be delivered via email. Redemption must be submitted before January 15, 2022.

Fine Print: Offer valid through December 31, 2021 on qualifying purchase. Limit: one free Amazon gift card per customer. Cannot be applied to past purchases or combined with any other offers, quantity pricing, discounts or promo codes. Offer applies to purchases from authorized dealers made through the U.S. office of Adam Equipment Inc. only. Void where prohibited by law. Adam Equipment reserves the right to change or cancel the offer at any time without notice. Other restrictions may apply. Gift card will be delivered within 6-12 weeks following submission of the redemption form.

How Do I Troubleshoot a Pallet Scale? (Floor Scale)

YOUR TROUBLE SHOOTING GUIDE FOR INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCALES

Pallet scales typically take a lot of wear and tear every single day. Some of it is expected and some of it goes overboard. Of course floor scale users are supposed to “place” or “set” pallets on the scale platform. However, in the real world “placing” is usually somewhere between outright dropping and slamming.

Also, in addition the the shock loading many floor scales often take everyday, the scales are often utilized in harsh environments such as outdoors, recycling centers, food processing centers, etc… In fact, floor scales are often subject to high pressure washdowns, corrosive materials, overloading, hazardous areas, and much more.

That’s why it’s important to have your platform scale checked periodically on a consistent schedule. We can help you with that! Ask us about our Service Agreements that we offer. 

However, even with the best scale maintenance program, weighing equipment can fail between scale inspections.

So, is there anything you can do to troubleshoot your floor scale? 

Actually, there are several steps you can take. Below is a list of floor scale troubleshooting tips to make sure your industrial floor scale is working correctly. Keep in mind, if you try the list below and your floor scale still isn’t working, you will need to contact our scale repair department by calling (919) 776-7737

how do I troubleshoot my floor scale?

HOW DO I TROUBLESHOOT A FLOOR SCALE?

PROBLEM
Any floor scale related problem

POTENTIAL CULPRIT
Anything

SOLUTION
Unplug the power from the scale for a minute and then plug the power back in after a minute or so. It seems too simple, but you’d be surprised how often this works.

 

PROBLEM    
Floor scale not reading correctly

POTENTIAL CULPRIT
Could be something under the weighbridge, weighbridge shoved against a wall, bent foot, cut cable, etc..

SOLUTION
This may take a few minutes of your time but it might save a service call. Look for anything under the scale platform. Make sure the platform is not shoved against a wall or pit frame. Make sure all four feet are in good shape and solidly on the ground. Make sure the homerun cable has no obvious cuts. If that doesn’t work, it’s best to call our service department.

 

PROBLEM
Pallet scale display either shows all “- – – -” or is constantly displaying different numbers

POTENTIAL CULPRIT
This could be a cut cable. This could also possibly be a bad load cell. 

SOLUTION
Examine the cable. If you see a cut, it might be a good idea to replace the cable. If you see nothing wrong with the cable, you might try disconnecting the load cells in the junction box, one by one and see if that calms the system down. If that works, you might have a bad load cell(s).  If that does nothing, you might have an indicator issue.  At this point, you probably need to contact the scale service department so that our factory trained scale technicians can get to work and have you back weighing again.

 

FLOOR SCALE TROUBLESHOOTING ADVICE

The good news is that we stock many of the replacement scale parts that are needed for floor scale repairs. We have replacement shear beam load cells in many of the capacities you may need like 2.5k or 5k.  We have summing boards that are used to connect all the load cell wires. We have digital weight indicators and we have load cell cables that run from the digital weight display down to the platform scale.  Call our service department (919) 776-7737 to get booked on our schedule. 

Receiving Weight Data from Your Scale… What are the Choices?

Today’s workplace demands a scale that can be integrated into a corporate network, send data to a ticket printer, or transmit weight information to a computer. We have scale controllers from Doran Scales that meet that demand with a wide variety of data communications options.

Available scale data communications options:

  • Bluetooth
  • Ethernet
  • USB
  • RS-232
  • 4-20mA
sending scale weights to computer

VEHICLE WEIGHT SOFTWARE

When it comes to managing scale weight information, one powerful way to do that is with Cardinal’s powerful WinVRS software. This product keeps traffic moving over your scale by providing fast, accurate collection of data on vehicles, accounts, orders, and materials.

Unique, user-defined fields allow you to easily configure the system to meet your needs. A wide range of reports are available to provide period histories, material totals, customer information and more. WinVRS’s convenient file utilities menu allows data to be exported to other applications such as accounting and materials control. NTEP legal-for-trade certified.

WinVRS-TOUCH offers all the same great features as WinVRS, but comes with larger fonts and buttons for convenient touchscreen navigation. When a user enters into any WinVRS window with input prompts, an on-screen keyboard appears.

Rice Lake has their OnTrak software as well. OnTrak software is an effective data management tool for truck scale operations that use Rice Lake Automated Ticketing Kiosk (ATK) systems.

OnTrak, installed on a PC, uses information from your ATK system for more detailed reporting functions. Quickly view, print, or export weight data as XML files for use in spreadsheets and more.

Apply OnTrak’s reporting features to a wide range of industries. OnTrak is incredibly easy to use, and can be installed and configured without the need for additional support staff.

DATA COLLECTION FOR SCALES

While you can send weight data in real time via RS-232 etc… one idea that people sometimes overlook is the idea of collecting weight data over the course of days or weeks onto a USB flash drive and then downloading that data and analyzing it on your computer.

Cardinal Scale’s PC Companion is free, user-friendly reporting software that allows you to view a scale’s transactions; create, modify, and delete IDs; and generate a versatile scale data report. This software is programmed exclusively for use with the 2XX-USBA option card for Cardinal Scale’s 200 series indicators.

When used with a 4GB USB memory stick, there is enough storage space available to provide a virtually-unlimited amount of weight transactions and IDs. PC Companion provides one-click transaction reporting in a simple transaction log sorted by date or you may select more extensive filtering by specific time periods and ID. You may print reports directly from PC Companion or export data to a variety of different file types.

The items we mentioned today are just a sample of the scales and communication capabilities that exist. If this is something that interests you, we suggest that you contact us via the Request a Quote button on our website and mention what solutions you are looking for.

Shopping for Scales on the Internet Based on Low Price

Everyone Loves a Great Deal

Just about everybody considers “price” to be a very important part of their buying decision. We’ve actually discussed this concept of price versus quality on this blog many times over the years. The challenge is that sometimes the line is blurred between quality and low quality. Many of us frequent discount stores looking for deals whether it’s a great deal on a shirt, tools, exercise equipment etc… Bottom line, almost all of us look for ways to save money while still getting a great product!

Cheap Scales Sometimes Cost You More Money…

The digital scale that you find on Amazon or ebay for $75 can display weight. It might even be fairly accurate but the quality and durability of this item is often not in the same league as top scale brands like Avery Weigh-Tronix, Ohaus, or Rice Lake. And, often we hear stories of how certain scales are thrown out and replaced fairly often.  In this blog post, we will discuss a few of the areas of concern that can occur when shopping for scales on price alone.

Greater Long Term Costs

With many of these scales, the enticing part is the low up front cost.  Many of these “overseas manufacturers” cut corners in design and construction. This often leads to low quality, higher failure rates, and often scales that are just either inconsistent or non-reliable. 

Here’s the big point…. once these scales fail, these cheap components are often impossible or impractical to repair. So, you now have to buy another new scale. If you choose the same type of product, you will likely have the same result or perhaps you could run into stock issues with some of the overseas products. 

On the other hand, high-quality scale manufacturers design weighing equipment for relatively simple maintenance. Since scale service companies stock parts for most major scale brands, downtime typically lasts only a few hours. Generally speaking, when you purchase reputable brands of scale equipment, you often enjoy significantly lower lifetime costs (and less downtime) despite the initial higher price.

Accuracy?

The whole point behind purchasing a scale is to measure weight accurately, right?  The challenge is finding the right scale that will consistently display accurate weight at a price that you can afford. The truth is that cheap weighing equipment often can’t deliver consistently accurate results. Many of the cheap scales that you find online are not capable of passing a NTEP evaluation and earning a certificate of conformance (aka… legal for trade) often due to poor repeatability. 

What’s the point of weighing items if the numbers are inconsistent or incorrect entirely?  These errors can lead to things like bad batches and/or lost dollars. Now, factor in the benefit of having a reliable and accurate scale that produces accurate batches and consistent weights in buying & selling environments. 

Anytime that we do a blog post about this subject I always think about the Pennsylvania 7600 counting scale. Sure, you can buy a cheap counting scale online or in the shipping supplies catalog that’s priced anywhere from $100 and up.  The problem is that usually the lower cost counting scales are about 99% plastic and 1% aluminum.  And they typically don’t last too many years.  Or, you could just buy a Pennsylvania counting scale and feel fairly confident that it’s going to be around for at least a couple of decades.

scale co.

Let Us Help You!

Did you know that you can work with experienced scale and weighing equipment sales staff from Central Carolina Scale for free? 

When we say “experienced”, we’re talking about sales people that have been in the scale industry for over two decades.  Now, we don’t know everything about scales, but we usually know a lot and if we don’t know… we often have contacts who would know the answer.  

Best of all, we don’t charge you anything to discuss your weighing needs. If you are looking to add a scale or replace a scale, contact us first to make sure you get the right scales for your particular project.  

4 Tips To Avoid Costly Maintenance for Your Large Industrial Scales

Scales are the backbone of any business, and key to the quality and marketability of your products. However, improper care of your scale can lead to inaccuracies and even severe damage over time. To avoid expensive maintenance costs, there are few methods you can use to ensure your scale is both long-lasting and accurate.

Truck scale at a beer distribution center

1. Get Your Scale Calibrated Regularly

Proper calibration is the best sign that your scale is functioning properly. Wear and tear, particulates, and working conditions can all cause your scale to become inaccurate, affecting your bottom line. The calibration process can be time-consuming, so it is best to hire a scale calibration service to check your scale for you. Professional services will use certified known weights, as well as go through the certification of your scale with the state.

2. Have a Professional Service Make Preventative Repairs

One of the best ways you can avoid major damage to your scale is to hire a professional service for a tune-up. A licensed professional will be able to make small repairs that will extend the life of your scale, as well as notice any warning signs of chronic wear or damage that you may have missed. Many companies offer specialized scale repairs, including careful testing of load cells, moisture levels, and wiring. Having a scheduled service for your scale is both convenient and less expensive overall.

3. Install Your Scale Correctly

Did you know that the main cause of damage to scales comes from installing them in the wrong location? Getting your scale set up professionally will optimize workflow and keep your scale safe from contaminants and needless wear. Many companies can partner with contractors to create custom setups or pits for your scale or make specialized screening for additional protection. Installation is also the perfect time to certify and calibrate your scale and establish a healthy relationship with your repair technician.

4. Know When You Need to Replace or Upgrade Your Scale

Many large industrial scales are made to last through constant day-to-day use. However, even the best scales cannot last forever. Knowing when to seek out a new scale for your business will avoid issues in the future, as well as keep your company up to date with the latest technology and standards. Many older mechanical scales can undergo conversion into electronic ones by replacing the weighting beam with a load cell. The process can bring new life to your equipment as well as avoid manual errors while on the job. 

Central Carolina Scale Provides Scale Maintenance

If you would like to know more about scale maintenance or looking to purchase an industrial scale of your own, Central Carolina Scale has the products you are looking for. We have an extensive lineup of both commercial and industrial scales at the best prices. Central Carolina Scale also offers rentals, repairs, and certified calibration performed by our team of expert technicians. Contact us at (919) 776-7737 to request a free quote today. We look forward to finding you the best scales for your needs at the best prices possible.

What Are the Different Types of Load Cell Cables?

Responsible for channeling both power and communication between the load cells and the indicator, load cell cables are an integral part of building a custom scale. Though not just any cable will work. See, load cell cables are selected based on the distance between the two parts, as well as certain environmental conditions like temperature, contact with abrasive or flammable materials, or even rodents. 

Container truck on scaleBefore you can know the right type your custom scale project needs, it is best to have an understanding of the different types of load cell cables available. 

4-Wire Load Cell Cable

Perhaps the most common cable, the 4-wire load cell cable is used primarily for short distances. As its name suggests, this type consists of four wires: 

  • Power (excitation) +
  • Power –
  • Signal (output) +
  • Signal –

Once connected, the cable should run from the scale to the indicator display. These wires are calibrated and designed to handle the surrounding temperatures. Many custom scale projects use the 4-wire load cell cable since it is more affordable and suitable for most scales. However, should you need additional length or if your scale is in an unpredictable environment, you may need to reconsider the type of load cell cable you are using. 

6-Wire Load Cell Cable

Designed for longer distances and more difficult settings, the 6-wire load cell cable offers a lot more options. Again, as the name suggests, these load cell cables have six wires. They contain the four found above, as well as positive and negative sense wires. The long distances that 6-wire load cell cables cover can subject them to changes in resistance, temperature, and dips in voltage. The addition of these two sense wires helps to keep things flowing steadily.

Because they are not thermally compensated as the 4-wire load cell cables are, the 6-wires can be cut and used alongside other cables with no issue – making them perfect for larger commercial custom scale projects. 

Types of Load Cell Cable Shielding

While 6-wire load cell cables offer a lot of benefits when designing a project, it is important to note the surrounding environment and opt for shielding that will protect the cable from any outside environmental factors. Below are the most common types of load cell cable shielding.

Hostile Environment Cable

Hostile environment cable is best used in environments that are, well, hostile. Depending on where the scale is being used, the cables may come in contact with harsh or abrasive substances, such as fuel, ether, or even salt. Over time, these substances can damage the cables. 

Hostile environment cables are created with a polyurethane jacket that acts as a barrier against these damaging substances, keeping the cable safe and the scale running smoothly. 

Rodent Protection Cable

Rodents and their incessant chewing may seriously interfere with a scale’s functionality. If in an environment where there are rats, mice, or other pests, the load cell cable may become enticing – leaving you with hefty costs to replace some or all of the cable.

Rodent protection cable is a type of cable that protects against this pesky situation. The outside layer of the cable is a braided shield making it difficult to chew. And, as an added defense, it is coated with a chemical that will discourage them from wanting to ever take a second bite. 

Intrinsically Safe Cable

Flammable gases or liquids or generally hazardous materials can be damaging to load cell cables, requiring added security in the form of a jacket. For intrinsically safe cables, industry-standard blue double jackets are used to protect the cables from exposure to these dangerous materials. 

High-Temperature Cable

In environments where the temperatures fluctuate or reach extreme highs, load cell cables need an outer covering that will protect the wires regardless of how hot it gets. A high-temperature cable is designed with a fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) jacket that insulates the wires and can withstand the heat without getting damaged. 

Choosing the Right Load Cell Cable

Choosing the right load cell cable is important. If you would like to learn more about the different types of load cell cables or have questions about what would work best for your project, contact our sales department at (919) 776-7737. After all, at Central Carolina Scale, we have the largest inventory of load cell cables in the industry. 

What do you think? Airlines Might Weigh Passengers…

Subject: Aircraft Weight and Balance Control

Airlines could soon require some passengers to step on the digital weigh scale or provide their weight before boarding the airplane.

The initiative, which was described in a recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advisory, attempts to provide new data on average passenger weights as the current numbers allegedly don’t reflect today’s higher obesity rates in the US. By adding this requirement, this would help aircrafts not exceed their allowable weight limit. Essentially, the FAA wants to determine how much heavier Americans have gotten over the past decade. 

If this becomes the new standard, the new mandates would require airlines to take surveys to establish average passenger weights for crew members, airline baggage and passengers.

Once they’ve chosen a traveler, an operator may determine the actual weight of passengers by having them step on a scale before boarding the aircraft. However, if that’s not an option, they’re urged to ask each passenger their weight, while making sure to add 10 pounds to account for clothing.

Of course when it comes weighing people in a public setting… privacy needs to be considered, which is why the FAA also provided guidelines on conducting the procedure in a way that protects passenger privacy.

They stipulate that the scale readout should remain hidden from public view while an operator should ensure that any passenger weight data collected remains confidential. Travelers have the option of declining to participate in any passenger or bag weight survey, per the guidelines.  You can read much more on this subject by viewing the original article

What do you think about this subject?  I guess it makes sense as long as the airlines do a good job with privacy and being discreet.  However, what happens if you total up all the passenger and baggage weight and it’s too much?  Are certain people asked to leave?  Well, whatever you need regarding this subject, we can provide you.  Bench Scales to weigh airplane passengers, Airplane Baggage Scales and more…   

 

Why Should I Consider a Truck Scale with Weigh Bar Weight Sensors inside?

Should I buy a truck scale with weigh bar sensors? The Avery Weigh-Tronix Weigh Bar® was designed to overcome the shortcomings of the traditional strain gauge load cell and to provide the end user with a rugged, highly reliable and linear load sensing device at reasonable cost.

More than twenty years of extensive use in industrial, farm and transportation applications has demonstrated that the Weigh Bar has met these requirements. The unique, robust design of the Weigh Bar is the primary reason for this success.

The Weigh Bar has proven itself over the past 20 years to be one of the world’s most robust weight transducers manufactured today with over 500,000 installations world-wide.

The IP67 Weigh Bar design provides inherent strength and overload protection, while also providing accuracy and high reliability. A significant contributor for this is the positioning of the gauges on the outside of the Weigh Bar. More robust than a shear beam load cell for a given output – a shear beam load cell will reach its peak fatigue point much sooner than a Weigh Bar.

Error Reduction

The unique design of the Weigh Bar allows simple calculations to be made by the indicator, eliminating several types of errors:

End Loading – When an end load is applied to the Weigh Bar, it is subjected to a
uniform compressive strain throughout its length – all sensors detect the same strain.
Torsion Effects – When torque is applied to the Weigh Bar, a uniform torsional shear strain is developed through the length of the bar – both sensors detect the same strain.
Side Loading – When a side load is applied to the Weigh Bar, it acts as a beam, but at a 90-degree angle. When this occurs, the neutral axis of the beam (the point in the beam where neither tension or compression occur) falls directly under the center of the strain gauges. No apparent strain is seen by the gauges.
Vibration –The fine grain structure of aircraft quality steel is resistant to vibration fatigue and induced error. The strain gauges and adhesive used are also vibration and fatigue proven.

Load Cells – The Avery Weigh-Tronix Weigh Bar® Weight Sensor

The exclusive Avery Weigh-Tronix Weigh Bar® is an extremely rugged, highly reliable, load sensing device. Over several decades, the Weigh Bar® has built a reputation for precision, reliability and durability that no other load cell can match.

Weigh Bar – Reduced cost of ownership 

Precision machined from aircraft quality, alloy steel, the Weigh Bar® offers excellent repeatability and long-term durability, reducing cost of ownership and need for load cell replacement.

Rugged Weight Sensors

With up to ten times more steel content than shear beams or compression cells, it absorbs impact to minimize peak forces and is virtually fatigue-proof. The Weigh Bar® is proven to resist electrical surges and is protected by a limited warranty that includes coverage against lightning damage.

Accurate Weigh Bar

The sensor’s design automatically cancels the effects of side loading, end loading and twisting, resulting in quick, accurate readings which are achieved regardless of temperature change, vibration, and shock loads on the scale.

Sealed “Load Cell”

The standard alloy steel Weigh Bar® is well protected against harsh environments by an exclusive 5-layer, sealing process. For the most challenging locations hermetically sealed stainless steel weigh bars are available.

avery weigh-tronix weigh bar

 

Features

Benefits

 

  • No mechanical restraints or stops

 

  • Less maintenance
  • Reduced physical damage
  • Lengthens the life of the weighbridge.
  • 500,000 in service over 20 years
  • Peace of mind with a proven design
  • Inherent lightning protection by design
  • Total reliability, less downtime
  • Impervious to end, side and torque loads

 

  • Consistent accuracy in arduous conditions
  • Faster weighing cycles
  • Prevents costly repairs and downtime
  • 5000 division accuracy as standard
  • 10 kg in 50 tonnes less give away at no extra cost
  • Completely sealed and airtight
  • Designed and tested to exceed IP67
  • Total reliability means less downtime

 

  • Protects cables from accidental damage and rodent attack
  • Prevents costly repairs and downtime
  • Weigh Bars mount off the ground

 

  • Out of the dirt and water, no need for costly stainless steel construction. Ensures a longer life

How Do You Calibrate a Scale?

Scales are an essential tool for your business. Over time, scales can be subjected to wear or exposure to damaging elements, leading to errors and losses in accuracy. These malfunctions can result in further issues down the line with your shipments and products and should be addressed as soon as possible. Scale calibration is the process of restoring your scale’s accuracy through recording, testing, and maintenance.

What is Scale Calibration?

The calibration process starts with a standardized weight being placed on your scale. This is repeated several times in order to make an accurate record of your scale’s performance. The reading your scale gives will determine whether it matches the known weight, is within the calibration tolerance range, or so inaccurate that it immediately needs repairs. The calibration tolerance range is a measure of a scale’s ability to accurately measure weight within commercial guidelines. This differs slightly from the instrument range of the scale and is designed to give it optimal performance during regular use.

Why Does My Scale Need to be Calibrated?

Outside of wear or potential damage, there are other reasons why you may need your scale calibrated. If your scale has been in use for a long time, checkups are a healthy way of preserving its function for an even longer period.  Scale measurements are also affected by travel and altitude, providing slight variations depending on where the scale was made or if it was used before reaching you. What is known as factory calibration is not as reliable as it seems! Having your scale calibrated by a trusted local professional is key to ensuring consistent performance. A licensed professional is the only way to have your scale pass state inspection and keep its registration, a requirement for commercial work in many states.

How Often Do I Need To Calibrate My Scale?

There are a few things to consider when deciding how often to get your scale calibrated. The manufacturer’s guide is the first place you should look. All scales come with a suggested calibration frequency that is worth taking note of. How often you use your scale is another factor. Consistent use of any scale will cause inaccuracies, so you may need to have it calibrated more often if it used day in and day out. If the scale is used in an environment that may cause damage it may require even more care. Areas that can cause malfunctioning include those that are dust-filled, electrically charged, or prone to oil spills. Lastly, if your work or business requires highly accurate measurements it may be worth investing in the optimal care of your equipment. Keeping your scale in top form can prevent costly mistakes and setbacks in the future.

Do You Need Your Scale Calibrated?

If you would like to know more about scale calibration or looking to purchase a scale of your own, Central Carolina Scale has what you are looking for. We have an extensive lineup of both commercial and industrial scales at the best prices. We also offer rentals, repairs, and certified calibration performed by our expert team.  Contact us at (919) 776-7737 to request a quote today.

How Long Should a Truck Scale Last Before It Needs to be Replaced?

A lot of customers are curious about this question… how long should a truck scale last? Or perhaps it’s phrased like this… how do I know when my truck scale needs to be replaced?

The vast majority of truck scales are located outside. This means the scales have the hot sun blazing down on them all summer (every year). Then, they have the piles of snow on them in the winter (every year). In between all the hot and cold extremes, they have all the rain that you typically see fairly often.

So, with all the weather conditions, that means a truck scale must be able to withstand all the environmental challenges while working reliably and accurately…. For years and years! And, be able to handle 80,000 lb vehicles everyday!

steel deck above ground truck scale

So, how long can I expect my truck scale to last?

That’s a really good question and it’s a question that has a variety of answers.

Depending on the environment and application, most truck scale owners can typically expect a truck scale to last anywhere from 15-30 years.

You’re probably thinking that’s a pretty wide range of years. It is, but there are several really important reasons which can affect the truck scale lifespan.

Typical Truck Scale Lifespan

If you’re looking to buy a new truck scale. It’s important to look at the total cost of the truck scale and it’s expected years of service. One of the most important keys in this equation is truck traffic.

If your location consistently has over 250 trucks a day going over the scale (or you project it will eventually have that kind of truck traffic) then you will need to choose a truck scale built for that kind of traffic. Choosing an “economy” or standard duty truck scale in that situation may be cost effective now… but will most likely lead you to have a shorter truck scale life and force you into looking for scale replacements or weighbridge repairs sooner than you would prefer.

Sometimes spending an extra few thousand dollars up front will allow you to purchase a heavier duty “HD” scale that will last you significantly longer than the “SD” model. What’s an extra few thousand dollars when you average it out over twenty-five or thirty years of use? Especially if the extra cost helps you gain an extra five or ten years of scale use?

Can I Repair My Truck Scale Instead of Buying a New One?

This is a good question and a common question that a lot of people ask when they have an old truck scale. In most cases, the answer is yes. Depending on the age of the truck scale and severity of the issues, repairing a truck scale can certainly work and be a cost savings.

However, once a truck scale has been in service for over 20 years or so… repairs may not be the best choice. Often you will hear people refer to the scale repairs as “band-aids”. We understand what they’re referring to, but the truth is that truck scale repairs on a 20+ year old scale weighbridge are just that, repairs…

A “band-aid” is supposed to heal your wound and help you get back to 100%. A “band-aid” on a 30 year old truck scale is not going to “heal” the scale. It is simply designed to get a few more years out of the scale before the scale will need to be replaced.

Unfortunately, truck scales that have been repaired often don’t last as long as you would like. One of the reasons is simply the age of the steel and the components. Often the areas that were repaired may be ok after the repair, but then the other areas that were doing ok before the repair, are now starting to fail.

When you think of a truck scale overhaul, the Truck Scale components can usually be replaced… things like load cells, junction boxes, summing boards, etc…, but the core weighbridge construction and integrity are sometimes challenging to rebuild in a cost effective & timely manner…. especially in a scale that’s 25 or 30 years old… or older.

how long before I need to replace my truck scale

It’s also important to look at the actual repair costs. Sure it can be overwhelming when you see a $50,000 quote for a new truck scale. However, if you attempt to repair and put “band-aids” on a 25 year old truck scale, how much money is that going to cost? Between materials and labor, we’ve seen these repair costs rise above $3000. Plus there is down time where the scale can’t be used.

And even after the scale is repaired, there really is no guarantee or warranty that the scale is going to last X number of additional years. So, in this example, you could spend several thousand dollars on scale repairs that may get you a few more years of service…. or, that $3000 could be used to help pay for a new truck scale.

Planning for Buying a Replacement Truck Scale on Your Terms

Here is one other scenario that we would like you to think about. Let’s say you have a 25 year old truck scale. It has some weighbridge issues and probably should be replaced. But, you and the scale company talk and decide that some weighbridge repairs could likely be made that might give the scale a little more life. Keep in mind at the same time this talk is taking place, new truck scales are readily available with a short 1 to 2 week lead time for fast delivery.

Well, the truck scale repairs take place and it turns out that you did in fact get an extra year of use out of the scale. Unfortunately, the scale now has more weighbridge issues and repairs will likely not make much sense at this point. And, as often happens, the scale failure has just happened right in the middle of your busiest time of the year! And, now it looks like the lead time on truck scales is closer to 14 weeks and there is a 8% steel surcharge now in place.

This scenario that we just mentioned above is all to real and can very well take place. Sometimes if your scale has lasted for two or three decades, it can be a smart move on your part to setup the replacement purchase on your watch (before the scale actually “breaks”). Maybe you talk with your scale company and decide the next time there is an incentive offered, you’re ready to purchase. This can be a wise decision because we all know that no one wants to be in a situation with a broken scale that must be replaced and then be facing extended downtime and a 14 week lead time before your scale can ship.

how long should my truck scale last before I replace it?

There are a variety of options in the truck scale market today and, to the casual observer, initial acquisition price may be the only differentiator. However, manufacturers promising great bargains are able to do so only because they’ve cut corners at some stage of the process—design, materials, components, finish or all of the above. While the price may seem attractive now, the eventual failure of a lower quality truck scale could mean a higher total cost of ownership from extensive downtime, increased maintenance costs, lost revenue and premature replacement.

One other note to mention on the subject of money would be taxes and leasing. This article is not going to be in depth on either of those subjects but if you purchase a new truck scale there can be tax advantages (see IRS section 179). We also have leasing programs which can make it easier to afford a larger purchase like a truck scale.

One other thing we wanted to mention on this subject is the overall trend for truck scale pricing. Generally speaking, the price for new truck scales is not going to get any less expensive in 2021 and beyond. In fact, at the time of this article in early 2021, we have received word from at least (3) truck scale manufacturers that there will likely be surcharges very shortly due to steel prices. (So if you’re in the market for a new scale, it might be time to act now!)

Believe it or not, the goal of this article is not to be completely gloom & doom about repairing a truck scale weighbridge. There are certainly situations where a truck scale overhaul makes sense. Most of the time, it makes more sense to upgrade components and less sense to try and do major weighbridge structural repair.

replacement 75k truck scale load cells

However, if you’re in the market for refurbishing a truck scale or purchasing a new truck scale… we encourage you to look at the entire picture and get a true understanding of the costs involved and the expected lifespan with each scenario. The fact is that many truck scale manufacturers are getting really good at building their truck scales to fit existing foundations. This can help to lower costs and lessen the down time when you’ll be without a scale.

Truck scales are important to the daily operations of the facilities that use them. That means that selecting a truck scale is an important decision. Whatever scale you choose (or have chosen), will likely be your scale of choice for possibly two or three decades! Often, a little extra thought or cost up front, can pay off down the road with a durable truck scale that can provide decades of service with proper scale maintenance.

If you have questions or would like to obtain a truck scale quote, please complete our RFQ form on our website or you can call our heavy capacity scales team at (919) 776-7737.