What are the Advantages of a Digital Truck Scale versus a Digital Conversion Box?

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.

Cardinal Scale Digital Truck Scales

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.

New Precast Concrete Scale Now Available

The Cardinal Harvester series precast concrete scales offer an economical approach to truck weighing for farms. The Harvester is a fully-electronic truck scale featuring factory poured concrete decks for above-ground, low-profile weighing. Incorporating the latest in patent-pending concrete composition with high tensile strength and optimal deck weight, the Harvester is designed for farms with 3,000 acres or less. Cardinal offers single-source convenience and quality construction utilizing USA-made stainless steel model CBC compression load cells.

Designed for light-duty agricultural weighing, the NTEP certified Harvester series of vehicle scales are the farmers’ choice for all types of vehicle weighing from planting to harvest. The Harvester’s low-profile design allows direct access to all scale components for ease of service. Clearance underneath the Harvester® truck scale’s weighbridge is 7.5 inches from the top of the pier to the bottom of the deck which allows plenty of room for washouts and easy access to the load cells. Bumper bolts allow for easy maintenance of the truck scale. Lateral checking is placed in the center of the scale to reduce bumper bolt adjustments due to expansion and contraction of the weighbridge from temperature change.

Survivor OTR

Rice Lake SURVIVOR® OTR vehicle scales are heavy-duty, top access, low profile concrete or steel deck scales. These heavy-duty, top access, low profile concrete or steel deck scales have an outstanding design that incorporates the most advanced engineering and production technology to produce the highest quality vehicle weighing system in the marketplace. The Rice Lake Survivor OTR truck scales don’t sacrifice quality for price. Both the OTR concrete and steel deck models boast wide flange I-beam construction. The wide flange beam construction helps minimize span deflection and lengthens the life of your truck scale. Both the concrete and steel deck models are built to be the “Toughest Truck Scales on Earth”®

Typical Installation Time for a OTR Survivor

When scheduling and planning installation for a typical three-module, 70′ Rice Lake Survivor OTR truck scale, plan for a minimum two-hour crane rental to place the modules into position. A two-man crew, aided by a crane operator, can usually unload modules from the freight truck and place them into position in approximately 1 hour.  Mount and load cell installation will require approximately 3 – 4 hours.  Electrical wiring is run through conduit and can be done in approximately 2 – 3 hours. Continue reading

What is concentrated load capacity and ntep?

Concentrated Load Capacity, or CLC, is an industry recognized rating of a vehicle or axle load scale. The rating defines the maximum load for which the weighbridge is designed as applied by a group of two axles with a center line spaced 4 feet apart and an axle width 8 feet apart. When a CLC load is applied to the weighbridge during a National Type Evaluation Program test, the NTEP tester records the displayed weight. If the scale falls within accepted testing tolerances, the scale has that CLC weight value recorded as the CLC on the Certificate of Conformance.

The CLC rating is not a measure of weighbridge strength or rigidity, because weighbridge deflection is not measured in the NTEP test. It is irrelevant if the load weighbridge sags 1/10th of an inch, or 10 inches, as long as the scale weighs within the accepted tolerance. The scale’s CLC weight rating passes in either case. A high CLC rating could be given to an extremely flexible deck sitting on load cell mounts which are capable of accurately handling the side loading resulting from a severely sagging weighbridge.

The Rice Lake SURVIVOR® truck scale line boasts a 45 ton (90,000 pounds) CLC rating. With most legal highway weight limits being a fraction of Rice Lake’s rating, owners of a SURVIVOR scale can expect a long lifespan through Continue reading

Truck Scale Digital Weight Indicator Cardinal 225

Truck Scale Indicator

Truck Scale Indicator

Cardinal’s 225 Navigator features transflective technology which allows the 225’s display to be viewed under any lighting conditions from direct sunlight to total darkness. One-inch-high (25 mm) weight characters make viewing easy. View up to 3 scales with total weight simultaneously with the optional dual scale input board; no special software is needed with Cardinal 225 Navigator digital weight indicator.

Entering, viewing, and storing truck names is easy with the 225 Navigator’s convenient Truck ID menu.  Complete alphanumeric descriptions for truck and material prompts make storing and recalling tare weight values quick and simple.

Cardinal Truck Scale Load Cell

Cardinal Truck Scale Load CellThe heavy capacity series of compression load cells are ideal for multiple load cell compression applications such as motor truck scales, railroad track scales and heavy duty tank weighing systems. These compression load cells are available in 50K-SCA 22680kg, 100K-SCA 45360 kg and 120K-SCA 54430 kg.

Cardinal SCA Truck Scale Load cells are fabricated from stainless steel to provide the ultimate in protection when caustic, corrosive or wet environments are encountered. Load cells are hermetically sealed for absolute water protection (IP68). Each load cell is furnished with stainless steel load buttons on each end, and a 9m integral multiconductor cable secured by a strain relief seal.

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 Rice Continue reading