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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Before 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) +
Signal (output) +
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cardinal Scale Manufacturing tank mount scales come in a wide range of varieties and uses. Cardinal Scale’s load cell kits are used in a variety of industries ranging from agricultural needs to suspension hoppers in industrial to hydraulic kits that are utilized for tank and hopper weighing. All of Cardinal Scale’s load cell kits are constructed with durable, heavy-duty steel and come in groups of 3 or 4 or 6 or more load cells and stands.
The load cell kits come in electronic, digital, and hydraulic load cell varieties to fit any industrial weighing application. The overall weight capacities per load cell kit can vary greatly, ranging from just a few thousand pounds to 800,000 pounds! Cardinal Scale’s new DC Series Digital load cell kits even feature new technology that has erased much of cumbersome wiring and the junction box for easier transmission of load cell data. Cardinal Scale features load cell kits can be used in suspension, compression, and shear load cell applications for vessel weighing.
Cardinal Scale Manufacturing DB-SP CenterPoint load cell heavy-capacity mounting kits utilize the time-tested and reliably-proven model DB double-ended stainless steel load cells for mixing tanks that feature a center load design. The stands are available in either stainless steel or mild steel powder-painted industrial tan and they bolt directly to the floor and tank. The DB-SP’s environmentally-sealed load cells are NTEP, OIML, and VCAP certified for quality and accuracy. They provide superior performance in a wide range of process control and vessel weighing applications weighing tanks, bins, hoppers, silos, and mixers.
Standard system capacities range from 60,000 lb (27,000 kg) up to 300,000 lb (136,000 kg). The bolt-in-place mounting assembly with articulating top plate makes them ideal for indoor or outdoor weighing applications. Available in three or four-legged mounting assemblies, the DB-SP CenterPoint load cell kits are perfect for mixing, blending, batching, inventory control, and general weighing. Combine them with one of Cardinal’s state-of-the-art 200 series weight indicators for a complete digital weighing system.
The DB-SP stands are engineered for superior serviceability and easy load cell replacement by simply applying a jack under the stand, removing the cotter pins, and swapping out the load cell. The easy load cell removal minimizes maintenance costs. The kits are ideal for new installations or conversions. Each kit, available from Central Carolina Scale, includes the mounting stands, stainless steel load cells, cables, and NEMA 4 junction box. Cardinal Scale’s load cell production facility is VCAP and ISO certified for quality and precision standards offering dependable accuracy for each and every load cell manufactured.
Cardinal’s CenterPoint Tank/Hopper Scales utilize double-ended shear beam stainless steel load cells with center load design. The bolt-in-place mounting assembly with articulating top plate makes them ideal for indoor or outdoor weighing applications.
Available in three or four legged mounting assemblies with mild or stainless steel stands and self-checking sliding pin design, the CenterPoint tank mount scales are perfect for mixing, blending, batching, inventory control, and general weighing. Combine them with one of Cardinal’s state-of-the-art weight indicators for a complete digital weighing system. Capacities range from 7,500 to 200,000 lbs.
Cardinal Scale’s THBC electronic load cell kits are ideal for weighing tanks, hoppers, mixers, and conveyors. These self-checking load cell kits are available with mild steel or stainless steel stands, system capacities ranging from 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) up to 200,000 lb (90,700 kg), and stainless steel waterproof load cells.
The THBC kits are ideal for medium-to-heavy capacity tank and hopper weighing, new or existing installations, and accommodate multi-legged tanks with up to 10 legs. They offer an easy-to-install, low-profile, bolt-down design. Each kit comes complete with 3 or 4 stainless steel load cells, self-checking load cell stands, load cell cable, and a stainless steel junction box. Special self-centering load buttons protect against offset side loads.
The rugged, environmentally-sealed SB series shear beam load cells, also manufactured by Cardinal Scale, are NTEP, OIML, and VCAP certified.
Cardinal Scale Manufacturing digital weight indicators are one of the most vital pieces of equipment available in the company’s extensive product line. These valuable implements can couple with virtually any scale or weighing equipment to provide easy, digital viewing in almost any setting, indoors or outdoors. Each indicator is developed with the highest durability, data integration, and resolution in mind.
Cardinal Scale’s weight indicators service a wide range of industries, from food service and medical to industrial and agricultural weighing applications. Cardinal Scale’s indicators range from waterproof, color-changing displays to full-fledged programmable indicators that can be remotely controlled. Cardinal Scale’s indicators feature stainless steel enclosures, polycarbonate enclosures, or ABS enclosures to protect vital circuitry from the elements and in washdown applications.
These indicators can be gimbal-mounted, panel-mounted, DIN-rail mounted, or placed within unattended weight kiosks. From commercial foodservice product and patient weighing to truck or rail scale weighing, Cardinal Scale has a digital weight indicator for your weighing job.
There’s no need to wait on a slow boat from overseas causing months of delays when you can get tank mount scales shipped from Cardinal Scale’s factory in Webb City, MO. Please give us a call (919) 776-7737 or complete our Request a Quote form today, so we can help with your tank mount scale needs.
Today, most large vehicle scales are installed with above ground or concrete pit foundations. Depending on state or regional requirements, scales can also be installed in a shallow pit, as opposed to the deep pit required by older mechanical scales.
A pit installation requires less space than an above ground scale since longer approaches are generally required for aboveground configurations. However, pit-styles require sump pumps and drains, and are generally more vulnerable to corrosion due to potential standing water.
PROPER SITE PLANNING FOR TRUCK SCALE FOUNDATION
Before we talk about truck scale foundations, it’s important to think about the overall site to make sure we find the perfect location to actually locate the foundation.
To ensure the longest lifespan and best performance for your truck scale, proper site planning is essential. Your truck scale supplier will help you select the best site, considering the traffic flow of your operation, the best location for a foundation, electrical and conduit requirements, soil conditions and drainage, ease of maintenance and accessory locations.
Before purchasing your new truck scale, it may be helpful to draw out a flow map of your current operations and determine if there are any areas for improvement. It is also important to consider future site use when planning. If you expand your site in the future, will the traffic flow and truck scale location still allow for easy operation?
Creating an efficient traffic flow is important to keep operations running smoothly. Be sure there is adequate room around the scale to perform maintenance and to accommodate driver safety. Is there often a waiting line to use your truck scale? Consider the amount of space needed to accommodate a line of trucks, if needed.
Plot out traffic patterns on your flow map, marking where trucks enter the site, load and/or unload material, and exit the site. Make sure there is plenty of room for drivers to maneuver. Take a test drive with a full-size truck around your plotted traffic flow to test for any tight spots or potential safety issues. Note any special filling or dumping that must take place on site to accommodate for the space needed.
Choosing a Truck Scale Foundation Type
Even the toughest scales are put at risk with a poor foundation… Many factors, such as the slope of the site and soil conditions, must be considered prior to construction. The ground must also be free of any settling prior to scale installation. If the foundation is not properly constructed according to the certified drawing provided by your truck scale manufacturer, your truck scale foundation could shift, causing the scale to be outside acceptable calibration tolerance.
Concrete curing periods can vary depending on the type of concrete being used. Work with your scale supplier to integrate the foundation and approach design into your installation and site plan. Your scale supplier should also be able to recommend local contractors with truck scale foundation experience. Of course all of these decisions will be factors in the overall truck scale installation costs.
Above Ground Foundation or Pit Foundation
Until the early 1970s, all truck scales were mechanical and installed in expensive concrete pits. Today, most scales are installed above ground or in concrete pits with floor foundations. With the benefit of new modular construction, scales can also be installed in a shallow pit, as opposed to the deep pit required by older mechanical scales.
One of the biggest reasons for choosing a pit-type installation is space—or lack of it. A pit installation requires less space than an aboveground installation since longer approaches are generally required for aboveground foundations. However, pit-type scales require sump pumps and drains, and are more vulnerable to accelerated rust and corrosion due to the potential of standing water in the pit.
Truck Scale Foundation Designs
Deep Pier Foundation Typical for colder climates such as those found in northern areas of North America, the deep pier foundation places part of the foundation below the frost line to eliminate the negative effects that freeze-thaw conditions can have on foundations. Discuss with your scale supplier if a deep pier foundation meets your application requirements, or if a deep pier or other specific foundation design is required by your state and region. Similar to isolated pier foundations, the deep pier foundation also requires 2,500-3,000 PSF soil bearing pressure.
Shallow Pier Foundation Shallow pier foundations are a cost-effective solution for truck scale sites with adequate soil compaction and a warmer climate that will not encounter frost line issues. Discuss with your scale supplier if a shallow pier foundation is best suited for your application and meets state and regional requirements.
Floating Slab Foundation A full slab foundation is a continuous or monolithic pour of concrete that runs the entire length of the weighbridge. This is the second most cost-effective type of foundation and is designed for ground that has a soil bearing pressure of at least 1,500 PSF. Discuss with your scale supplier if a floating slab foundation is ideal for your application and location, as well as meets state and regional requirements.
Pit Foundation The pit foundation is available in numerous depths, from two to six feet. Your pit depth should best fit your needs as well as adhere to all federal, state and local requirements.
Drainage Away From Truck Scale
One other thing to think about with truck scale foundations is water drainage and avoiding buildup that can collect under the truck scale or excessive water standing in the pit. Efficient water drainage around the foundation is key to preserve scale components. The installation site should have adequate runoff, allowing water to easily drain away from the scale. Areas with heavy rain and melting snow should take extra consideration when planning site drainage.
We sincerely hope that the information contained in this article assists you in your truck scale buying journey. If you need a truck scale quote or purchasing advice, please contact our truck scale sales department by calling (919) 776-7737 or you can complete the Request a Quote form on our website at your convenience.
One of the things that we try really hard to do is provide our customers with as much value as possible. How do we do that? We do this in many ways through things like factory training, sales training, and product research. One other thing we do quite often is constantly strive to find quality products that are affordable for customers.
However, one of the really challenging things we have to deal with is striking the balance between quality and accurate products. Or, unfortunately, in some instances, good products versus junk.
Unfortunately, the line between a good product and a not-so-good product is getting finer and finer…
I was reminded of this challenge over the past couple of weeks. Recently, I had a line of imported scales from China presented to me that seemed to have a lot of promise. The price was attractive and the visual look of the scales was appealing. However, once I evaluated these items, it quickly became apparent, that although these scales would please everybody’s demand for a low price… they would not meet our standards for accuracy or the demands of our customers.
If you’re an end user, then you face a similar challenge. Perhaps you’re in the market for a counting scale. With minimal internet research, you can find prices on parts counting scales from $100 and up! Of course, the hundred dollar scale is 99% plastic and 1% aluminum and certainly not what we would recommend for anyone looking for a durable and relatively long lasting scale.
The same thing can be said for many types of scales…
Farmers or Market Sellers searching for price computing scales are often easily fooled by the $60 produce scales they may see on popular auction sites only to find out later, (when their state inspector shuts them down), that what they really needed is what’s called a NTEP Legal for Trade certified price computing scale, which is more expensive.
Perhaps it’s a floor scale that you need to weigh pallets each day. Although many floor scales look similar in pictures online, these “pallet scales” feature various components, such as digital indicators & strain gauge load cells, which can vary greatly in quality. The product construction and durability can also vary quite a bit depending on who actually manufacturers the scale platform and how much engineering truly went into constructing it.
So how do you find a weighing scale that meets your budget and is built to last?
These days it’s easier than ever to just buy everything you need without the help of anyone. Just point and click. But many times when you do that, you could be missing out. How does the old saying go? You don’t know what you don’t know…
I recommend contacting your local scale company or a scale company that you have done business with and trust. (Hopefully, we’re included in that choice!) It really does make the process of buying scales much easier when you have a good working relationship with your scale company.
As you work with your scale company representative, they will become a trusted partner in your business. Your scale sales person knows what you’re weighing and the weighing needs of your business. All you need to do is mention what you’re looking to do and what type of weighing device you think that you’ll need.
Pricing and Quotes
Over the years I have seen some really nice scales and I have seen some really bad scales too! I suggest working together with your trusted scale supplier to find products that will meet your requirements while staying within your budget.
The product and sourcing experience that your scale dealer has is invaluable. Don’t forget, in addition to working with you, we also work with hundreds of other customers helping them to find the perfect weighing equipment for their needs. So that product experience and knowledge that we gain can then be applied to your scale search as well.
I also recommend working with a scale company who’s willing to offer various brands of scales as opposed to a dealer who just pushes one brand of scales for everything…
It’s very common for us to recommend different brands for various types of scales. For example, we might suggest CAS retail scales, B-Tek floor scales, Avery Weigh-Tronix counting scales and Cardinal truck scales.
In other words, we base our product recommendations largely off past success and not because we’re trying reach some kind of sales quota.
We realize that customers want to find a great deal on whatever it is that they need to purchase. It can be anything from scales to copy paper… everyone wants to find a cheaper alternative that is just as good as what you’ve been using.
Unfortunately, as many of us have found out, often a product is cheaper for certain reasons. Let us help you make intelligent scale purchases for your business. We can help you save money while still buying quality scales and weighing equipment. We’re just a phone call away (919) 776-7737. If you prefer, you can also email us or complete our Request a Quote form and someone from our staff will get back to you in a timely manner.