When it comes to truck scales, the typical standard size is 70’x11′. Sometimes folks will buy a 70’x12′ or maybe a 80 or 100 foot long model. However, most customers do not purchase a shorter scale. Often, it can be a mistake doing that. It may not be a mistake right now… but two years from now or five years from now, truck scale buyers often regret not buying a full size truck scale. There is one main reason you may want to consider purchasing a 70-foot long truck scale instead of a shorter version.
Accommodating Longer Vehicles
The number one reason to buy a 70’x11′ truck scale instead of a shorter one is to accommodate whatever you need to weigh. If you need to weigh vehicles that are longer than the length of a shorter scale, a 70-foot scale should be able to accommodate them. This is especially important if you regularly weigh tractor-trailer rigs or other long vehicles. Nobody wants to tear out concrete and extend the length of a truck scale.
We keep mentioning seventy foot length. It’s a good idea to measure any and all vehicles you will need to weigh before you commit to purchasing a truck scale. Some folks buy 80 foot or 100 foot long truck scales because of this. A little extra work now can pay off down the road.
That being said, if you’ve done all that, it is important to note that a 70-foot scale may not be necessary or practical for everyone. If you’re a metal recycler and only need to weigh shorter vehicles, a shorter truck scale may be sufficient for your weighing needs.
Truck scales are essential pieces of equipment for businesses in industries such as agriculture, mining, solid waste, recycling, logging, and transportation. They provide accurate weight measurements for semi trucks, trailers, and other heavy vehicles, helping businesses to comply with state and federal regulations, optimize logistics, and manage inventory. However, investing in a truck scale is a large expense for many companies, and it’s important to understand the factors that affect truck scale quotes so you can make an informed buying decision.
Scale Platform Size
One of the most significant factors that affect truck scale quotes is the scale’s size and capacity. Truck scales come in a range of sizes, from small portable models to large fixed installations, and the cost increases as the scale’s size and capacity increase. Choosing the right scale size and capacity is crucial to avoid overspending on unnecessary features or purchasing a scale that can’t handle your business’s needs.
The majority of truck scales that we see on a regular basis have a weighbridge length around 70′ long, with a few 80′ and 90′ long truck scales as well. Capacity of a standard above ground truck scale is usually around 120,000 lb.
Another important factor to consider is the scale technology. There are mechanical and electro-mechanical truck scales that are still around… but most customers in the twenty first century are choosing electronic above ground truck scales. You typically can choose from hydraulic load cells, digital load cells, or analog load cells.
The site preparation and installation costs are also significant factors that affect truck scale quotes. An above ground truck scale requires a flat, level surface, a sturdy concrete foundation, and appropriate drainage to ensure accurate measurements and long-term durability. Site preparation can involve excavating, grading, and pouring concrete, which can add to the overall cost. Installation costs will likely include labor, equipment rental, concrete, and transportation, depending on the scale’s size and location. One possible way to save money when purchasing a truck scale is to handle the site prep and concrete foundation yourself.
Scale Manufacturer & Distributor
Another factor that can affect truck scale quotes is the scale manufacturer and the local scale company. Different manufacturers and suppliers offer different products, pricing, warranties, and support services, and it’s important to research and compare multiple options before making a purchase. Many companies offer truck scale buying guides. Some manufacturers may offer different technology, customization options or special features that can add to the cost, while others may have limited availability or longer lead times.
Finally, the maintenance and calibration costs should be considered when calculating the overall cost of a truck scale. Regular maintenance and calibration are essential to keep the scale accurate and reliable, and they can extend the scale’s life and maybe even prevent costly breakdowns every now and then. Maintenance costs may include scale checks and replacement parts and testing and adjusting the scale’s accuracy with certified weights periodically.
Understanding the factors that affect truck scale quotes can be very helpful when you’re in the market to purchase a new truck scale. As you can imagine, scale weighbridge size is a key factor when looking to purchase a truck scale. But other things are important too. Things like load cell technology, site preparation and installation, manufacturer and supplier reputation, and regular maintenance and calibration are also key factors that can affect the cost and overall value of a truck scale.
Purchasing a truck scale is a big investment. We’ve discussed how much one of these scales costs. But, you also want to make sure that your new vehicle scale is taken care of. Likewise, when shopping for a truck scale repair and calibration company, there are several factors to consider. Below are the top five things to look for when searching for a local truck scale repair and calibration provider?
Look for a scale company with a track record of expertise in repairing and calibrating truck scales. This may include scale technicians with factory training, as well as a history of successfully repairing and calibrating a variety of different brands of truck scales.
#2 Range of Services
Consider whether the scale company offers a full range of services, including repair, calibration, and maintenance. Also be sure they have a test truck and cart specifically designed for checking truck scales. It is also a good idea to look for a scale company that offers emergency scale repair services, in case you experience a problem with your scale outside of normal business hours.
#3 Customer Service
You want to choose a scale company that is responsive to your needs and provides excellent customer service. This may include answering questions and concerns promptly, providing clear and transparent pricing, and being flexible and accommodating to your schedule among other things. It’s also important that they stock spare parts for your scale too.
#4 Scale Repair Prices
The cost of scale repair and calibration service can vary pretty significantly from one company to another. It is important to understand the hourly rate charges, mileage charges, replacement parts prices (and availability) etc…
#5 Location of the Scale Company
Consider the location of the scale repair and calibration company, as well as their availability to service your scale. It may be more convenient to work with a company that is located nearby, but it may also be worth considering a company that is further away if they offer better prices, replacement parts that are in stock, etc…
The best scale repair company often comes down to relationships. Customers need to feel that the scale repair company understands them. What replacement parts are needed? What kind of service fees are there? Can we set up a service agreement so the scales are checked on a regular basis? Those are some of the things that are important in addition to the top five things to look for when searching for a local truck scale repair and calibration company.
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