In today’s entry we focus on pallet scales and discuss some of the most popular questions that we receive regarding these items. One challenge that sometimes exists with pallet scales is the naming of the actual scale.
Customers refer to them as everything from pallet scales to floor scales to platform scales to warehouse scales. They are even called freight scales or shipping scales by some customers. And sometimes customers refer to a pallet jack scale as a pallet scale. So it can be confusing for both the customer and the scale technician!
What is a pallet scale?
A pallet scale is usually defined as a platform scale that is large enough to weigh a standard wooden pallet. The size is normally 48″ x 48″ approximately. The capacity is usually 5000 pounds.
Are pallet scales accurate?
Yes a pallet scale is accurate. A standard industrial style pallet scale is accurate to within 0.1 of one percent. So if you were to place 5000 pounds on the scale, the weighing instrument would display a reading of +/- 5 pounds from 5000. This is sometimes related to the question, how accurate is a floor scale? It basically means the same thing.
How much does a freight scale cost?
A typical “freight scale can cost anywhere from $900 to $2800. That’s a wide range but it often depends on who manufacturers the weight indicator and who manufacturers the scale platform. If you’re using a freight scale to weigh an occasional pallet, a lower priced scale might work fine. However, if you’re weighing heavy totes all day long, we recommend you purchase one of the heavy duty scales that are more expensive.
How do you use a pallet scale?
Normally the way that customers use a pallet scale is by simply driving their forklift to the pallet scale and gently setting the pallet down on the scale platform. The pallet weight will then display on the scale controller.
How do you calibrate a pallet scale?
To calibrate a pallet scale you will need to have at least 10% of the capacity available in test weights, a copy of the digital weight indicator technical manual, and ideally a licensed scale technician.
What type of scales are the most accurate?
The most accurate scales are typically laboratory balances and pharmaceutical grade scales. See our balances section on our website or our Sartorius & Minebea Intec products.
How much does 1 empty pallet weigh?
One empty wooden pallet typically weighs around 45 pounds but that number can vary greatly depending how sturdy the pallet was constructed. This sometimes referred to as how much does a 4 foot pallet weigh? This basically is the same question, just re-worded.
Can you use a regular scale as a shipping scale?
You can use a regular scale as a shipping scale as long as the item you’re weighing is able to be accurately weighed. You really need to define what a “regular scale” actually means. If you’re weighing a box that weighs 20 pounds and your “regular scale” only has a 10 pound capacity, that will not work. Also if you’re weighing a box that is odd shaped like say an umbrella for example, that could possibly hang over the side of a small “regular scale” and touch the desk. If that happens, your weight of the package won’t be correct.
What kind of scale do I need to weigh packages?
The scale you need to weigh packages ideally can be interfaced to your shipping software. If that happens, it will make shipping easier for you because the weight will populate automatically right into the software. You also need to look at the capacity and platform dimensions to make sure those match up with what you are consistently weighing. Most standard shipping scales that we offer have a 150 pound capacity and the platform dimensions are around 12″ x 14″. Other sizes and capacities are available. Same is true with pallet scales. 4×4 5000 pound is the standard but we have all kinds of freight scales available from 3×3 to 4×6 to 5×7.
Can I use any scale for shipping?
You can use just about any scale you want for shipping but it often makes more sense to use the correct scale for your application. If you’re shipping pallets via LTL truck, you need to use a 5×5 pallet scale with 5000 pound capacity. If you’re shipping boxes for UPS or FedEx pickup then you need to use a shipping scale that connects to your shipping software like UPS Worldship for example. You’re also going to have to come up with a reliable way to measure the dimensions of the box or pallet as well.
Which pallet scale do you recommend?
The pallet scale that we recommend for you will vary depending on your weighing application. For example, if you are a metal recycling center and you are using your platform scales on a regular basis and putting large amounts of weight on the scale, then we recommend a heavy duty pallet scale. Rice Lake Roughdeck, B-Tek Clydesdale would be a couple of the better choices.
We hope this entry about pallet scales and shipping and freight weighing has been helpful. Many times customers contact us and they kind of know what they’re looking for but they just need a slight push in the proper direction. To discuss your application with us call (919) 776-7737 or fill out the RFQ form on our website.