Spring is a great time to perform some general maintenance on your truck scale. A popular question we hear from folks is how often does a truck scale have to be tested, adjusted, and/or calibrated? Also, what factors can influence how often scales should be calibrated?
The general consensus is normal routine scale calibration is often determined by state requirements and the scale owner’s quality assurance standards which sometimes might be something as simple as comparing truck weights with a nearby truck scale owner. Many states require the truck scale to be tested and adjusted at least once per year. Furthermore, several states call for calibration to be carried out by way of the State Weights and Measures Department or utilize certified scale service organizations to carry out routine calibration. Of course, state certified test weights are needed for appropriate calibration accuracy.
As for the question of how often do you need to calibrate your scale, it’s usually a good idea to do this at least two or three times a year. Number of truck weighments per day and also the age of the scale add to how frequently a truck scale needs to be adjusted. In most cases you should try to work with a scale company that sells and services truck scales. The company should also have a test truck with certified test weights and a portable weight cart which will allow the scale company to drive the cart around the scale and position the weights in certain places on the scale deck to find little errors that might not be found with just test weights.
Initially, service trips and calibration charges might seem expensive but in many cases the savings a company will enjoy far outweighs the service fees. If a scale is tested and is off just a couple of graduations, that could be over 40 pounds of material you’re losing for each truck that drives over the scale. That could be pretty expensive as well.
If you think about it, maintaining your truck scale calibration, keeping your truck scale clean and in good working order and watching out for any operational errors can help ensure that you keep your vehicle scale on track for a solid year of great weighing and perhaps a great year of profits for your business. As you can see from Steve Langford’s article, a lot of this just makes sense. In some businesses a truck scale is the device that ultimately enables you get what you pay for when buying raw materials as well as making sure that you receive proper payment for your products. An accurate scale is not only necessary to maintain profitability but to comply with applicable local and state weights and measures laws. For most of us, the purchase of a truck scale is a major investment and, when you consider its use, it only makes sense to make sure the scale continues to do its job and to help maximize your profits for many years to come. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to do just that.
Perhaps the best advice to ensure that your truck scales continue to meet your expectations is to be proactive. Don’t wait until your scale is out of calibration before calling your service company. Have your scale’s calibration checked at regular intervals. How often? How long can you go with an inaccurate scale causing you to pay for material you don’t get or to give product away? At a minimum, a truck scale’s calibration should be checked by a reputable scale service company at least once every six months. Between calibration checks, keep an eye on the readings to make sure that the readings stay within the ballpark and are not obviously wrong. If there’s any question, call your scale service company. It’s better to spend a few dollars verifying the calibration of your scale than to loose thousands or more with an inaccurate scale.
Truck scales are designed to maintain calibration, within predefined limits, over a range of temperatures but calibration can vary from winter to summer. If you are in an area subject to temperature extremes, it is a good idea to schedule the calibration of your scale to coincide with the temperature extremes. Granted, the scale may still be in calibration and only slightly high or low but, the greater the number of weighing operations, the greater the influence on your bottom line. Keep in mind that you are obligated to keep the calibration as close to a zero error as reasonably possible so that the scale favors neither the buyer nor the seller. Why would an honest business owner want it any other way? Continue reading →
Let’s say you purchased this heavy duty truck scale for your metal recycling business. Now that you have got this truck scale, what preventative routine maintenance is required for weighing scales employed in recycling applications?
Typical preventive servicing requires washing out beneath the scale deck using a high-pressure hose for routine cleaning. With your Cardinal EPR truck scale, bumper bolts and checkrods will need to be tweaked every quarter on account of expansion and contraction in the scale caused by temperature changes. That is one reason why it is a good idea to set up your truck scales for quarterly scale service agreement check ups. With this agreement in place, you can save on labor and mileage charges and keep your scale adjusted, calibrated, and working throughout the year.
It doesn’t matter if we are looking to buy a computer or a treadmill, we all want to buy a product that has a solid warranty. Often times that warranty will only cover the parts that might break, leaving you to pay for the extra expenses like labor and travel mileage. Well, Avery Weigh-Tronix has now added an optional warranty which will be ideal for many truck scale customers. They call it the Blue Blanket truck scale warranty and for just a small investment, the optional 5-Year Blue Blanket Truck Scale Warranty can be the perfect choice for a customer to protect their investment.
The new ‘blue blanket’ warranty option can really add another dimension of long-term value to your AWTX truck scales. If you were to add this additional protection to your truck scale, the customer now has an option to use scheduled preventative maintenance to extend their warranty. This is great since these days some bid specifications call for a 5-year comprehensive warranty and this option fulfills that requirement.
This ‘blue blanket’ includes all weighbridge components and indicator plus travel and labor at standard rates. The part number for the blue blanket warranty is AWT97-501690.
Most of the time we focus on how to buy scales or what features are ideal for your next truck scale purchase. Today we wanted to briefly discuss truck scale service and repairs since eventually you will have to call to have service and repair done on your truck scale. And let’s face it, if a repair isn’t done right and efficiently, any money you saved on your truck scale purchase could be lost in a lengthy repair. Almost every digital scale from a small bench scale to a large truck scale has a digital weight indicator. Most scales have one or more load cells. Quite a few scales have a junction box with summing board. Most electronic truck scales feature these components as well. Most of the time to test and calibrate these bench and floor scales, you just place weights in a few spots, test and calibrate if necessary. However, the testing and calibration that is performed on a truck scale varies from the standard bench and floor scales.
Most truck scales are checked with test weights and a portable test cart filled with certified weight. This allows the scale technician to drive the cart over the scale and test the scale more thoroughly than just placing weights on the end of the scale. Having a test cart with weights should allow you to get a better and more detailed test of your truck scale than if you don’t use a cart. That is one reason it is important to choose a truck scale calibration service company that has a test cart in North Carolina that can test truck scales accurately. Companies that don’t have a test cart can be at a disadvantage when it comes to finding certain hard to find errors that can creep into the picture from time to time.
We’re just about ready to head into the busy summer months. In a lot of cases, it is also a busy time for your truck scales. Spring is the best time to get the following maintenace done, because all the melting snow (in some areas) creating running water, mud and muck can wreak havoc on your truck scale operations; washing debris into pits and foundations, and damaging equipment. Not to mention the critters who have taken up residence over the long winter. We recommend completing the following steps in late spring to ensure you are up and running in time for the busy summer season. Continue reading →
The economic advantages of incorporating an iQUBE junction box in a scale system are vast. For many companies, scales are virtual cash registers, documenting weight-based transactions. Downtime can mean lost revenue and lost business opportunities. While up and running, iQUBE continually verifies that the scale is weighing correctly, guaranteeing that the accuracy of an operation is never questioned. Whether iQUBE is added to an existing system to update the technology, or purchased in a new scale bundle with a truck scale and indicator, both will see less downtime and a timely return on investment. Continue reading →
This month we continue looking at truck scale service. This months topic is Load Cells. From a service perspective the overall procedure is to examine load cells and the area surrounding them. The load cell area may contain dirt and debris that has built up since the scale’s last check. Load cells must have clearance to deflect through their capacity range. The same debris that can bind the scale deck can also keep the load cells and suspension components from moving freely. Continue reading →
As we continue to look at service of truck scales, this month we look at checking devices. Some vehicle scales utilize suspension systems that don’t require checking devices, eliminating a time-consuming step in your service protocol. If your scale has checking devices, make sure they are working properly. Inspect check rods to make sure the attachment points are solid. Check for binding. If there is a problem, weight readings will be inconsistent from section to section. Inspect hardware to ensure jam nuts are tight, rods are level and free of foreign material, and washers are not rusted or distorted. Even if they are working properly, replace corroded hardware components so they don’t fail in the future when you least expect. Continue reading →
This month we continue to look at the overall service and maintentance of a truck scale. Today we look at the weighbridge and the foundation. Even the toughest scale on earth is put at risk on a poor foundation. Cracked foundations can lead to movement or settling which causes chronic calibration errors. Letting little cracks become big cracks may require removing part or all of the foundation and pouring a new one for the scale to once again weigh accurately. It is important that the end user periodically walk around their scale and do a thorough visual check of the foundation and let your service tech know of any issue that you see possibly developing. Take a look at the weighbridge or deck. Rust or crumbling concrete can weaken the scale’s structure and cause problems. Clean and paint rusted steel decks. Continue reading →