Both steel deck truck scales and concrete deck truck scales have their own advantages and disadvantages. So, when you’re asking yourself, should I buy a steel deck truck scale or a concrete deck truck scale, here are some points to consider when deciding between the two:
Steel Deck Truck Scales
Steel deck truck scales are generally more portable and easier to install than concrete deck scales. It’s not uncommon for a steel deck truck scale to be installed and ready to use in one business day. They can be placed on a flat surface and do not usually require any special foundation work. Steel deck truck scales are typically less expensive than concrete deck scales once you factor in the cost of the additional concrete that will be needed for the deck. Steel deck scales may not be as durable as concrete deck scales and may require more maintenance over time. They may also be more prone to damage from heavy loads or harsh weather conditions.
Concrete Deck Truck Scales
Concrete deck truck scales are typically more durable and long-lasting than steel deck scales. They are less likely to be damaged by heavy loads or harsh weather conditions. Concrete deck truck scales require a special foundation and can be more difficult and expensive to install than steel deck scales. They also take longer to install since you have to pour the concrete into the scale weighbridge on location and then stay off the scale for a certain period of time. Concrete deck truck scales are generally more expensive than steel deck scales once you factor in the extra concrete needed for the deck.
Ultimately, the choice between a steel deck and a concrete deck truck scale will depend on your specific needs, timeline, and budget. Consider the factors listed above and weigh the pros and cons of each type of scale to determine which one is the best fit for you. It’s also a good idea to discuss these options regarding should I buy a steel deck truck scale or a concrete deck truck scale with your scale company representative as well.
When choosing a heavy capacity truck scale for your business, there are many factors to consider. Of course, we’ve discussed most of these over the years. But, I’m not sure that we’ve ever compiled a complete list in one entry. So, there are the Top 8 factors that you need to focus on when looking to purchase a truck scale.
Truck Scale Accuracy
It is important to choose a truck scale that is highly accurate, as the scale will be used to measure the weight of vehicles and their cargo. Look for a scale brand that is accurate and has a reputation for accuracy and reliability. On a related note, most truck scales use a 20 lb graduation size. You might discuss the options available for a 10 lb graduation size.
Maximum Weighing Capacity
Make sure that the vehicle scale has a high enough capacity to accommodate the weight of the numerous vehicles that will be using it on a daily basis. This is especially important if you will be weighing heavy trucks or vehicles with large loads.
Durability of the Truck Scale
Truck scales are subjected daily to heavy loads and harsh weather conditions, so it is important to choose a vehicle scale that is built to withstand these conditions. Look for a scale with robust construction, including a sturdy weighbridge and reliable strain gauge load cells.
Truck Scale Platform Sizes
The size of the platform should be large enough to accommodate all the vehicles that will be using the scale. If the platform is too small, it may be difficult for the vehicles to be weighed accurately. Most customers choose popular truck scale sizes like 70′ x 11′ or 80′ x 11′ for example.
Truck Scale Load Cells
There are several different types of load cells used in truck scales, including hydraulic, digital, and analog. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the one that is best suited for your needs. Be sure to discuss truck scale technology with your local scale company who is supplying you with the scale and the scale calibration.
Ease of Truck Scale Installation
Be sure to put some time and thought into the truck scale layout. Consider the location and surface where the scale will be installed. The concrete foundation will need to be installed in a large and flat area with plenty of room. A scale that’s easy to install will allow the scale company to install the scale in several hours and allow you to be weighing. Some scales may require special foundations or concrete work.
Ease of Maintenance
Truck scales require regular maintenance to ensure that they are accurate and in good working order. Regular scale checks and regular scale cleaning (removing buildup under the weighbridge) can extend the life of your scale. Choose a scale that is easy to maintain and has readily available parts is a wise decision. Be sure to discuss this subject in more detail with your scale company that you are working with.
Price of a Truck Scale
The price of a truck scale can vary significantly, so it is important to consider your budget when making your buying decision. We recommend that you find a scale company or two that you trust and has experience with truck scales. It’s one thing to sell a truck scale. It’s another to actually listen to the customer and recommend the best truck scale for their particular weighing application.
Well there you have it. A list of things to look for when choosing a truck scale to purchase for your business. We wish you the best of luck in your search. Be sure to contact us if you need recommendations or advice.
Listed below are a number of standard options to consider when ordering your new truck scale. (Curious about truck scale prices?)
Sight Rail / Guide Rail for Truck Scale
Sight rail is an extremely common option to include with a truck scale purchase. The pipe rail is used as a visual guide to help vehicle drivers stay centered as they enter onto the scale. For most commercial and industrial truck scale installations, standard 8” tall sight rail is a common choice.
For most aggregate and mining type weighing operations, 24” tall double pipe sight rail is required for safety. The sight rail assemblies are bolted to the weighbridge so they can be added in the future or easily replaced if damaged by a vehicle.
Sight rails can be customized with handrails or gaps in specific locations along the scale length to avoid hopper supports or other structures very close to the scale weighbridge.
Remote Display for Truck Scale
Large, bright outdoor mounted weight displays are known as scoreboards or remote displays. A scoreboard is placed near a truck scale within the driver’s sight so they can verify the scale reads zero prior to entering and verify gross vehicle weight prior to exiting the scale platform. Remote displays are available in a wide array of digit sizes with 4” versions being the most popular.
In fact, some state’s Weight & Measures departments mandate the use of a scoreboard next to a truck scale. Scoreboards can be hard wired to the scale weight indicator located in the scale house or connected wirelessly. Another useful feature that can be built into the scoreboard enclosure is a red/green signal that can be used for traffic flow control.
Truck Scale Ticket Printer
Another popular option to consider for your truck scale is a ticket printer. We have several to choose from and they allow you to print out the gross, tare, and net weights of the trucks that you are weighing.
Riser Blocks for under a Truck Scale
In some industries and geographic locations, under scale clearance is very important for ensuring a truck scale remains operational for long periods of time.
Aggregate and mining type applications may want increased under scale clearance to prevent build-up of materials under the scale. The build-up may cause the scale to get bound up or impede accurate weighing, especially in cold weather climates.
The extra under scale clearance allows for easier cleanout of built-up debris. The extra clearance is also good for on-scale filling applications such as asphalt where spills and over-fills are possible. Snow and ice in some areas warrant the use of riser blocks to reduce the possibility of winter scale freeze-ups.
Digital truck scales and digital conversion boxes both provide distinct advantages that increase efficiency, calibration, and diagnostic information communication. What are the advantages for both and how do they provide more value for those willing to make the switch to these invaluable truck scale technologies?
Catwalk Stairs for Truck Scale
Catwalk can be added to virtually any truck scale weighbridge. Catwalk can be as small as 60” in length all the way up to the full length of the truck scale on one or both sides of the platform. Catwalk can attach to the side of the scale hanging on the sight rail or be mounted on the ground next to the scale. Catwalk is a way to safely enter or exit a scale platform with stairs and handrail features.
Over the past few years, we have received numerous questions and inquiries about truck scales and vehicle weighing related items. So, we thought it would make a perfect article called Most Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Scales. Below is a summary of the top questions that we have received along with some basic answers to assist you.
What is a Truck Scale and How Exactly Does a Truck Scale Work?
Truck scales are industrial scales built to weigh vehicles. The most common use of a truck scale is to determine the weight of bulk goods being bought and/or sold. You may have seen this mentioned before but in many cases, a truck scale functions figuratively like a cash register for a company. In addition to commercial use, many states use truck scales to check for a truck’s compliance with truck weight limits. The vehicle scales are very popular at feedmills, solid waste processing and metal recycling centers, etc….
As for how a truck scale works, basically you start with a foundation. This is normally a concrete foundation that the truck scale will be anchored to. The actual scale platforms are anchored onto the foundation. There are usually multiple platform modules connected to make up a 70 foot long truck scale. Inside of these modules are load cells. These are the sensors that measure the weight when you drive up on the scale. These can be analog, digital or hydraulic. The weight is then displayed on the digital weight indicator.
How Much does a Truck Scale Cost? Should I Buy a Used Truck Scale?
This is a question that we have tackled before! This number has changed obviously over the years. At the time of this article, the typical truck scale costs are probably near $75,000 or more when you factor in all the various expenses. Remember, this estimate can fluctuate. For example, there have been multiple price increases during the past twelve months.
Regarding used truck scales…. In most cases, we are against buying used truck scales. The reason is these are weighing devices that have 80,000 lb vehicles driven over them constantly and endure all that Mother Nature can throw at them…. year after year. A lot can happen to a truck scale that’s been in use out in the elements for an entire decade.
That being said, sure there might be some good deals on a “low mileage” or “hardly used” used truck scale, but in our opinion, the best long term decision is to buy a brand new truck scale that you hopefully will get to use for two or three decades.
What is the Average Life Span of a Truck Scale?
In our opinion, most truck scales should last around 25 years. However, a lot depends on choosing a quality scale and one that is matched to the amount of truck traffic you expect. Weather elements can also factor into longevity as well. This is where consulting with your truck scale sales person can be a huge benefit when shopping for a truck scale..
All things being equal, a truck scale that weighs a couple of hundred trucks a day is going to wear out quicker than a truck that only weighs a handful of trucks a day. This is an important question and one that you need to discuss with the scale company(s) that you are working with when shopping for a truck scale.
How Accurate is a Truck Scale?
If you buy or sell goods based on the weight of the truck scale, accuracy is critical. Profit, Inventory Levels, and much more are at stake! On a typical 120,000 x 20 lb capacity truck scale, we typically tell folks the accuracy of your truck scale should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.1 of one percent.
How Long is an Average Truck Scale?
Most folks weigh typical trucks with trailer. The majority of the time, that means a 70 x 11 truck scale is typical. However, we have seen 80 foot long truck scales or longer utilized. You want to make sure that you choose a vehicle scale that will allow you to get all the tires on the weighing platforms. This is an important subject to consider when choosing a truck scale.
What is a Load Cell & How Many do I Need?
A load cell is the item(s) in a truck scale that measure the weight being applied. Most truck scales require ~ 8 load cells. In most scales, the load cells are wired through the scale platform & summed together in a junction box.
What is a Junction Box?
A j-box is a box with a summing card inside. Usually anywhere from (4) to (8) load cells are connected to the summing card inside the junction box. The card can then be adjusted by the scale technician when calibrating the scale. The signals of multiple load cells are adjustable and then once they are fine tuned, are capable of being wired to the digital weight indicator via the homerun cable.
Should I Purchase a Steel Deck Truck Scale or a Concrete Deck Truck Scale?
Steel deck truck scales have a quick installation time (usually one day) and they are lighter weight. This also is a benefit if you ever need to move or sell the truck scale, years later.
Concrete deck truck scales have a much longer installation time overall since the concrete must cure. The scales are also much heavier which can make moving them or selling them more difficult. On the plus side, a concrete deck typically has better traction than a steel deck.
I Keep Reading About Lightening. How can I protect my truck scale from lightning?
Most truck scale manufacturers offer weighing scales with grounding and industry standard protection which in most cases involves a single point grounding system with surge protector. This is an ongoing area where manufacturers are working improve their products for better protection. We’ve seen better protection being introduced for load cells and summing boards for example.
How Much Truck Scale Service Maintenance is there? How Often Should I Calibrate a Truck Scale?
Another to consider when determining calibration frequency is how many trucks per day are weighed on the scale and the dollar value of what you’re weighing. If your 120,000 pound capacity truck scale is off just a hundred pounds, it can mean thousands of dollars of profit loss and/or a safety hazard. So basically if your truck scale weighs a lot of trucks every day, then you should consider a regular quarterly calibration program with your scale company.
We hope this article helps you to make an intelligent scale purchase. The truth is, there are numerous scale companies located throughout the United States that employee very smart and talented scale professionals who can work with you to recommend a great scale for your weighing needs. As for the scale manufacturers, there are multiple high quality scale manufacturers in the United States who build very good truck scales.
Itâ€™s common for foundations to outlast truck scale weighbridge, though it can be difficult to find a replacement truck scale with dimensions to match existing foundations.
When planning to replace a truck scale, consider using a low-profile truck scale to eliminate foundation modifications without sacrificing performance.
Legacy truck scale models were manufactured with lower profiles, meaning most standard truck scales currently produced donâ€™t fit these existing foundations.
Solutions for Replacement Truck Scales
The solution is to find a manufacturer who can provide truck scales designed to fit existing foundations. Some manufacturers will create replacement truck scales as special or custom models. These truck scales come with a longer lead time and a higher price because extra time is needed to design and manufacture the scale.
Other truck scale manufacturers may offer standard models designed to fit the foundations of their older truck scale models. These manufacturers provide a standard steel deck or concrete deck weighbridge that can be installed only after extensive modifications are made to other existing foundations.
Basically, not all manufacturers take the same approach to providing replacement truck scale solutions to fit existing foundations.
The OTR-LP was specifically designed to fit the most common foundation sizes and because they are offered as standard models, there are minimal lead times and lower costs since itâ€™s not a custom scale. With a diamond plate steel deck and the same rugged construction SURVIVOR scales are known for, the OTR-LP is the ideal replacement solution.
Rice Lake works with a nationwide network of certified dealers to ensure each application gets the support they need.
Rice Lake Weighing Systems is a family-owned, ISO 9001 certified corporation, and has been manufacturing and distributing weight-related products and supplies since 1946. Within the company, progressive new technologies merge with the wisdom of industry experience to create the future of weighing through cutting-edge research and design.
Rice Lakeâ€™s roots are planted firmly in the principles of quality and customer service. Through three generations of family ownership, these ideals remain unchanged. Today, Rice Lake Weighing Systems is a global leader in measurement and automated process control.
Rice Lake offers more than 40,000 products, with over one million items in stock and available for same- or next-day shipping. The company continues to lead the industry in technological advances and quality products, all with legendary customer service.
The truck scale is the workhorse of any solid waste or recycling facility to measure your operationâ€™s daily traffic flow of materials. Cardinal Scale manufactures heavy-duty ARMOR portable digital truck scales and also SmartCan digital upgrade systems for existing scales. If you have lower-volume traffic flow for light-duty use, the Scrapper precast concrete deck truck scale is also available.
Cardinal Scale specializes in customized truck scales to fit existing specifications and they manufacture a wide array of peripheral equipment such as weight indicators, remote displays, database software, and unattended kiosks.
Contact Central Carolina Scale today for a free consultation and quote on upgrading your existing scale or investing in an all-new truck scale for your facility. Call: (919) 776-7737
Cardinal Scale Manufacturing ARMOR Portable Digital Truck Scales can be moved to multiple locations for changing job sites. Their modular design with expandable bulkheads allow you to vary platform sizes depending on weighing needs.
The Cardinal ARMOR Portable Truck Scale features IP69K-rated waterproof digital SmartCell load cells, capacities up to 135 tons, heavy-weight 50-ton CLC, 5/16 in thick checkered steel deck, anti-corrosion baked-on tan powder paint, top-side access to all electronics, and NTEP and Measurement Canada approval. The floating center module makes it easy to add or remove sections to fit application requirements.
Armor Portable Truck Scale Features
axis Frictionless Centering System Load Cell Stands
Expandable Bulkheads Allow Varying Sizes
Heavyweight 50-Ton CLC
Load Cell Pockets Completely Surrounded by I-beams
Load Cell Stands Pre-Installed for Lightning-Fast Installation
Long-Lasting Baked-on Tan Powder Coat Paint
Measurement Canada Certified
Modular Design for Platform Sizing Adjustments
NTEP Legal for Trade
Optional Ramps and Bolt-on Wings
Portable for Moving Job Sites
SmartCell Stainless Steel Waterproof Digital Load Cells
Tightly-Spaced I-beams for Optimal Structural Integrity
Top-Side Access to All Electronic Components
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 20′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 50 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 40′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 70 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 47′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 70 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 50′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 80 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 60′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 110 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 70′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 135 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 75′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 135 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 80′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 135 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 90′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 135 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 100′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 135 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 110′ X 10′, 50 ton CLC, 135 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 20′ X 11′, 50 ton CLC, 50 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 40′ X 11′, 50 ton CLC, 70 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 47′ X 11′, 50 ton CLC, 70 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 50′ X 11′, 50 ton CLC, 80 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Truck Scale, Armor, 5/16″ Steel Deck, 60′ X 11′, 50 ton CLC, 110 Ton Capacity, SCBD Smart Cells
Digital truck scales and digital conversion boxes both provide distinct advantages that increase efficiency, calibration, and diagnostic information communication. The following is just a portion of the information contained in this article which highlights the advantages for both and how they provide more value for those willing to make the switch to these invaluable truck scale technologies.
What are the advantages of a digital truck scale vs. a digital conversion box?
Digital truck scales offer many more diagnostic options regarding weight offset, maximum weight, cell capacity, calibration within the cell, hot and cold temperature compensation values, and temperature offsets for external temperatures. Digital truck scales feature internal calibration and all truck scale diagnostics originate from within the digital load cell itself. Digital truck scales feature load cells and load cell cables that are plug-and-play to simplify the connection process and reduce time spent terminating wiring connections. Load cells can be very easily and quickly replaced to save time and effort. Since the cell circuitry is internal to the cell, the need for a junction box and all of the accompanying wiring is eliminated. Digital truck scales also have the added benefit of remote digital monitoring, which can monitor the digital truck scale system in real time.
Digital conversion boxes have the capability of updating an analog load cell system to a digital version. If the scale owner already has an existing analog scale, then upgrading to a digital conversion system might make sense. Digital conversion boxes tend to be used more often with multiple scale systems to maximize utility of the digital conversion box system. They can be configured to a remote digital monitoring system, so they can view multiple locations at a time.
How do digital truck scales and digital conversion boxes increase efficiency over an analog system?
Digital truck scales greatly decrease the time and effort needed in diagnosing potential failures and, in turn, decreasing downtime due to cell failure. Since digital load cells are calibrated to the system before shipment, set-up time is minimal. The quick and exact digital diagnosis from remote diagnostic software reduces guesswork and time needed to find the root cause of the load cell failure. Since the system is completely digital, there is little chance of loss of signal resolution due to an analog signal. Digital truck scales feature a much simpler daisy-chain design regarding load cell wiring and load cells, and load cell cables can be replaced much quicker.
Digital conversion boxes expedite the conversion of analog information into a more manageable signal and can make diagnosing cell problems easier to detect when compared to an analog system.
A digital conversion box begins the diagnostic process within the conversion box. The digital conversion box gathers analog signals that are converted to digital signals and diagnoses cell failures when summing signals within the conversion box. Digital conversion boxes provide a panel of diagnostic attributes when checking for cell viability. The cell failure will be isolated to the faulty load cell section that includes the load cell, load cell cable, or analog section. This means less specific information is provided to the digital conversion box due to limitations within this type of system. When a cell fails, the replacement cell will be calibrated to the existing system.
Digital truck scale systems are monitored through remote software. Digital conversion boxes have the capability of being remotely monitored to diagnose problems as well. Any digital system will have an immediate advantage when giving the end user the capability of receiving alerts through the indicator and/or remote monitoring software when an issue arises.
What is required to replace a digital load cell vs. an analog load cell working in conjunction with a digital conversion box? How long does it typically take?
Since digital conversion occurs within the load cell in a digital truck scale system, digital load cells can be replaced quickly and easily. The scale corner must be lifted, bolts holding the load cell in place must be loosened, and the load cell cable connector must be uncoupled. Once the faulty cell has been taken out, the replacement cell will be connected to the load cell cable, bolted back into place, and then the digital load cell is back in full operation. This whole process takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
Digital conversion boxes monitor a system of load cells from within the conversion box. Once a load cell has been shown to possess an error, errors will be checked for the cell. The scale corner is lifted and the junction box will be opened to disconnect the five-wire cable from the load cell that must be pulled through the conduit. Then the load cell cable must be pulled back through the conduit to connect the new load cell. The wiring is then connected to the digital conversion box. After this, the junction box must be re-sealed. Special attention must be paid to prevent moisture or sediment from gathering or entering the junction box enclosure, due to the increased likelihood of leaks from within the junction box, leaks from gland connectors, and exposure from wiring load cells onto the board inside the junction box. On average, replacing an analog cell through a digital conversion box will take roughly an hour or more.
What are the connection differences between digital truck scales and analog truck scales with digital conversion boxes?
Digital load cells are daisy-chained through load cell cables linked by cable connectors. The need for wiring back to a junction box is not necessary, since the digital load cells communicate directly with the indicator. If the cables are damaged connecting to the load cell, they can be replaced without having to replace the load cell.
Digital conversion boxes are wired from the analog load cell to the junction box. Once there, each of the load cells are wired directly to a digital conversion board, secured through gland connectors on the junction box, and adjusted to calibrate the analog load cell. Analog load cell cables do not have the advantage of being monitored as they are permanently linked to the load cell. If a section of the wiring to a load cell is damaged, the load cell will have to be replaced.
Ultimately, whether you’re purchasing a brand new digital truck scale or you’re updating your traditional analog truck scale to digital, one of the most important benefits to end users is the ability to keep their scale operating for longer, with less interruptions and smaller intervals of downtime. If you need additional information on this information, please contact the sales team at Central Carolina Scale.
Anytime that you need to make a large investment, it’s only natural to ask a lot of questions. That is certainly true when it comes to purchasing a truck scale. Manufacturers and dealers are sure to hear all kinds of questions like…
What kind of truck scale do I really need?
What are the local requirements and environment that must be addressed for the application?
Which scale options would be most beneficial for the application in question?
Which type of construction would be best for the environment the truck scale will be used in?
Should the truck scale be installed in a pit that is flush mount with the road or include ramps and be installed above ground?
Which technological advancements will pose the best advantage for my application?Â Things like hydraulic or digital load cells for example.
All of these questions must be taken into serious consideration to get the most out of truck scale longevity, maintain truck scale functionality, decrease downtime, and maximize the return on your investment.
Below is a portion of the truck scale purchasing decision guide by Cardinal Scale Manufacturing. This document will analyze strengths and limitations of options available on the market today, and which weighing technologies are the most appropriate in a given environment.
Concrete Deck Truck Scale A concrete deck truck scale is ideal for environments where high levels of moisture and a corrosive environment are a concern. Scrap yards, trash dumps, transfer stations, chemical distribution centers, and grain elevators are ideal environments for concrete decks due to their likelihood of causing rust. Climates where road salt is frequently used may influence the purchase of a concrete deck to combat the corrosive effects of the salt.
Concrete decks yield a more reliable surface texture when in used slippery or snowy conditions. Concrete decks also distribute weight better, which gives them an advantage in applications that are of very high traffic. On average, they will require less maintenance over the life of the truck scale, and they will last longer than a steel deck truck scale.
Not without drawbacks, concrete deck truck scales are more expensive, require an initial curing period, and require some additional finishing work that a steel deck scale would not. Their mass is usually greater than that of a steel deck, which will make relocation of the deck more arduous if performed at a later date.
Steel Deck Truck Scale Steel deck truck scales will cost less than concrete deck truck scales, eliminating the costs of labor associated with concrete pouring. Steel decks are much easier to install and can be functional within a day, saving much-needed time when production output is of the utmost importance.
Recent improvements in steel deck design provide a more robust weighbridge and less susceptibility to corrosion caused by moisture. Steel decks that utilize close-spaced, thicker I-beams and stiffeners ameliorate deflection caused by high-stress concentrations, i.e., bowing or dimpling. Minimal spacing between I-beams allows for greater CLC (Concentrated Load Capacity), a load rating which measures maximum load capacity in a moderately small area of the scale platform. Steel decks that feature an open-bottom underside prevent moisture build-up, thus alleviating one cause of deck corrosion.
Despite these improvements, steel decks still have more issues with moisture in comparison to concrete decks. They tend to be more slippery in wet environments and are more disposed to corrosion. Because of their inclination to corrode, steel deck truck scales require more maintenance and tend to have a shorter service lifespan if not properly monitored and cared for.
Electronic Truck Scales Electronic truck scales are the most common type of truck scale available on the market. This type of truck scale accumulates electrical signals, which are derived from analog strain gauge load cells and summed up in a junction box, combining signals from each individual load cell. These summed signals are then fed from the junction box into an indicator and converted into a digital value displayed for the customer to view. Analog load cells come in many variations, but the two most common types of load cells for truck scales are the compression load cell and shear beam load cell.
An electronic truck scale system employing analog load cells has some distinct advantages. Analog load cells are inexpensive and have been on the market for a relatively long period. There are many variations of analog cells that are available, and they have a fairly wide range of weight capacities.
Analog load cells have many drawbacks, however. Analog load cells, because of their construction and electrical characteristics, are especially sensitive to lightning damage. When a 70-foot-long piece of steel is placed in the middle of a field, like a truck scale platform used in a trash dump, it becomes a lightning rod that is very susceptible to lightning strikes. Suppression circuitry is added to the overall wiring to divert extreme lightning current from the strain gauges. However, this does not prevent load cells from being destroyed by lightning and require replacement by a trained scale service technician.
Analog load cells can be prone to moisture ingress. Internal circuitry can be compromised easily, leading to unstable readings, inoperable cells, or a completely defective system overall.
Hydraulic Truck Scales Hydraulic truck scale systems operate on the same information transfer system, but the elicited signal is triggered by a different source, and the respective signals are combined by stacking pressure actuators or combining pressure transducers. In the transducer method, hydraulic load cells utilize hydraulic fluid to transmit force applied to the scale weighbridge to pressure transducers, converting that force into an electrical signal. This process operates solely on hydraulic pressure, meaning no electrical components are used in the scale weighbridge.
Hydraulic truck scale systems perform extremely well in moist environments, and they donâ€™t experience many issues regarding lightning damage. Hydraulic truck scale systems do not have the onus of strain gauges or internal circuitry, allowing for superior capability in the aforementioned environment. A system based on this type of technology is more expensive than analog cells; however, this increased cost can offset the issues analog systems experience regarding lightning and water and create a lower cost of overall ownership over the lifespan of the hydraulic truck scale.
Digital Truck Scales Digital truck scale systems produce a digital output signal, performing the analog-to-digital conversion in the load cell itself. This important distinction precludes signal degradation associated with analog cells. Digital load cell systems are much easier to manage due to the lack of a junction box and its associated wiring requirements. Digital load cells can be simply linked to one another in a daisy chain.
Digital truck scale systems, because of their simple design, are very easy to install, maintain, and repair. Since the load cells are more reliable and accurate, costs associated with diagnosis are decreased. Digital truck scale systems have the capability of detecting and diagnosing faults and failures more quickly, efficiently, and precisely.
Digital load cells also offer the highest protection against lightning strikes among electronic load cells due to the transient suppression circuitry that is located directly on each individual digital load cell.
Summing it all up, truck scale construction and technologies are a pretty broad range of choices. Often, the overall cost of ownership can be lowered by purchasing a higher quality hydraulic or digital truck scale that will offer more competitive features than a lower cost traditional analog truck scale. Taking these factors into consideration will improve your overall experience and satisfaction with your truck scale purchase.
Cardinal Scale Manufacturing recently announced the official launch of the new ARMORÂ® series digital truck scales with SmartCellÂ® load cells that offer unmatched performance built to last a lifetime of heavy-duty weighing use. Every facet of the digital truck scale weighbridge and electronics have been specifically built for long-lasting endurance, minimal upkeep, and IoT monitoring convenience. Deliveries are scheduled to start in January 2018.
ARMORÂ® truck scales feature a heavyweight 50-ton CLC, no moving parts below the scale deck (including the load cells), more structural steel than the competition, SmartCellÂ® stainless steel waterproof digital load cells, and IoT-enabled iSite remote monitoring software.
The state-of-the-art, debris-inhibiting axis load cell stand design limits obstructions to the scale’s performance with the digital load cells mounted high within the stand near the scale deck. The load cell stands are fabricated from one-inch-thick steel to minimize rust and corrosion damage and ensure long-term strength and durability. The long-lasting baked-on tan powder coat paint finish ensures a lifetime of trouble-free protection. The Cloud-based iSite remote monitoring software offers e-mail and/or text alerts to ensure your scale is performing at all times.
ARMORÂ® steel deck weighbridges utilize a tight concentration of 7.5-inch I-beam spacing which minimizes unsupported deck plate area and ensures that truck tire contact patches are always directly supported by one I-beam. Four rows of welded stiffeners provide maximum structural rigidity and safeguard against I-beam deflection under loads for optimal strength and longevity.
Cardinal Scale’s SmartCellÂ® digital load cells are the newest solution in advanced load cell technology. Messy, time-consuming wiring is no longer necessary, since cables connect plug-and-play to the cell through metal braided rodent-proof cables. Internal cell circuitry eliminates the need for a junction box.
The ARMOR’s SmartCellÂ® load cell pockets are surrounded on both sides by I-beams which run the entire length of the weighbridge. This alleviates any potential structural weakness around the load cell region like in competitors’ truck scales. The no-bolt bridge connections feature interconnecting load blocks and receivers welded directly to the I-beams for strength and durability.
Contact your local Cardinal Scale dealer today to begin taking advantage of the entire gamut of new features and functions of the Cardinal ARMORÂ® digital truck scale!