Steel or Concrete Weighbridge for Truck Scales?

The structural integrity of the truck scale weighbridge is the single most important consideration in the purchase of any truck scale. A failing weighbridge results in continuous problems that can only be solved with replacement. Rice Lake Weighing Systems standard model truck scales are comprised of beams spaced no further than 12 inches from center line or 8 inches from the edge of one flange to the next. This design ensures that a truck tire is on an I-beam at all times and never between.

Concrete Deck
While a concrete deck needs approximately 21 to 28 days to cure, it offers greater resistance to rust and corrosion from road salt and generally requires less maintenance than steel decks, helping to extend the life of the scale. A concrete surface also yields better traction with rain and snow. Because of their design, concrete decks distribute the load over a wider area than steel decks. Rice Lake SURVIVOR® Series concrete deck truck scales are poured at the job site and typically have cure strength of 4,000 PSI at 28 days. The concrete is reinforced with steel rods and a minimum of two wide-flange main beams and seven wide-flange beams below. The RiceLake SURVIVOR® concrete deck design incorporates galvanized steel sheets working in conjunction with I-beams to ensure that concrete remains above the neutral axis of the weighbridge.

Many low cost models contain concrete below the neutral axis. Concrete below the neutral axis increases tension causing the deck to crack and eventual weighbridge failure.

Steel Deck
A steel deck typically involves less initial cost there is no investment in concrete or the labor to pour it. A steel deck scale weighs less, which makes it easier to move or relocate if needed. It can be fully operational within a day, reducing production downtime. Rice Lake SURVIVOR steel deck truck scale designs are consistent with the design standards used by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the federal Road and Bridge department. The diamond checkered steel tread plate is supported by wide flange structural I-beams positioned longitudinally with traffic flow.

Many other manufacturers use lighter beams, C-channels in the middle of the bridge or space beams further out from the center of the module to reduce the cost of the scale. Over time, this type of bridge can bow or dimple, causing inaccuracies in weighments, scale downtime and eventually complete failure.