A Great Foundation For Success

We mention it all the time on this website but a truck scale is a major investment and anytime you invest in something like that you want to make certain that you protect your investment. One key area of importance is where you locate the scale on your property and the scale foundation.

Producing over one million tons of product per year is an impressive feat for any industry. At Giant Cement in Harleyville, S.C., this annual quantity reflects the effective strategies implemented throughout their lean manufacturing process. Producing and transporting this amount of cement requires a devoted workforce and equipment that never stops. The 24/7 demands can take its toll on equipment and installing durable scales is integral to keep product moving. Giant Cement requires the most durable truck and rail scales to handle its high volume of trucks per day and constant stream of rail cars. They turned to Rice Lake’s SR truck scale and a custom-designed railroad scale to meet their needs.

An existing competitor’s truck scale still resides on its original installation site, inhabiting low ground on the lot and providing a reminder that proper installation is an essential ingredient for optimal weighments. Because of its location, every rainfall washed any nearby debris beneath the scale and would often create pools of standing water. “That scale was a maintenance nightmare,” explains Brad Locker, Industrial Controls Engineer for Giant Cement. “It seemed like we were always calling someone out here to make adjustments or clean the foundation.”

Just about every business is looking for ways to make their business more efficient and to save money. One easy way to do that is to research and plan ahead when it comes to things like locating a truck scale on your property. By putting a scale in a certain location it can increase uptime and profitability as opposed to leading to more service calls, increased cleaning times and increased down time.

Why is My Scale Printer Not Working With My Weight Indicator?

Often end users will ask about adding a printer to their existing scale or perhaps to a new system they are requesting. And quite often the end user is under the impression that adding a printer to a scale is as simple as going to the electronics store and buying a computer printer and plugging it into the scale via USB. Unfortunately, adding a printer to a scale system is not usually a plug and play application.

So to answer the question, why is my label or ticket printer not working with my indicator? Let’s take a look at the answer provided by Cardinal Scale. Label printers come from the factory set in a graphics mode (called page mode) while Cardinal indicators send data in a line mode from the print tab setup. It is often possible to set the label printers to line mode, but this can be difficult and is ultimately the less effective option. We recommend creating a graphic-type ticket using Cardinal’s nControl software that can be used to create custom headers and set font sizes. This has been proven to work well with the label printers that Cardinal sells. Works great when designing print outs for indicators such as the 190, 205, 210, or 225.

What Should A Metal Recycling Company Ask When Purchasing a Truck Scale?

For the next few entries we are going to answer some frequently asked questions about buying a truck scale. In the first entry we answer the question below.

What exactly is the difference amongst a full-length truck scale and an axle scale? Which variety do you notice recyclers employing most frequently?

An axle scale is designed to weigh only a single individual axle of a large vehicle at one time and may possibly give an overall total gross weight at the conclusion of weighing the truck. Axle scales are frequently portable, but could also be permanent installations as well. For example, check out the video below.

On the other hand, full-length truck scales, usually 70 feet long can weigh the entire truck (all axles included) in a single weighment, so axle scales need more time to weigh up a truck than full-length weighing machines. Recyclers will normally use full-length 18 wheeler scales due to the fact axle scales will not be NTEP legal for trade, which is needed in the recycling industry.

Recycling businesses are having to pay men and women depending on the load of the timber in their particular vehicle load, so consequently it’s important for the scale to be NTEP listed for correct weighments. In brief, the process involves individuals bringing in their recycled copper, the metal recycling company compensates these individuals for it depending on the weight displayed on their truck scale, and so the recycler then usually utilizes a railcar to deliver the material to steel mills. For more information on Cardinal Truck Scales, contact authorized distributor Central Carolina Scale, located in Sanford NC.

How Do I Install a Weight Alarm Buzzer into My Indicator so I Know A Truck is on the Scale?

One of the questions that quite a few folks ask about from time to time is How do I install a weight alarm buzzer into my Cardinal Scale weight indicator to let me know when a truck is on my scale? Of course the driver could just call the scale operator using a cell phone. Or, the truck driver could lay on his horn until somebody noticed. Well, those are probably not the best choices. This installation is most commonly requested for the Cardinal 225 indicator, although a similar setup can be done on the advanced 825 from Cardinal.

For the 225, you will need to purchase Cardinal part number 6620-0016 which should mount in place of the larger gland connector in the back of the 225. The red wire for the buzzer will plug into pin 2 of the P15 connector. The black wire will plug into pin 10 of P15. Once this is connected, enable the weight alarm within the ID Storage mode of operation settings.

Get To Know The Cardinal EPR-LF Portable Vehicle Scale

Cardinal Scale’s EPR-LF series portable vehicle scales are the ideal answer when a scale is needed that can be moved from site to site. Industries such as rock quarries, sand and gravel pits, and logging companies must relocate equipment from time to time to maintain efficient product flow. The complete scale is contained in modules which are furnished with lifting eyes for easy moving. Simply lift, move, and lower the scale to its new location for weighing with minimal time and effort necessary. Optional steel ramps, guide rails, weight indicators, remote displays, and lifting kits are also available for the EPR-LF truck scale.

Standard features of the scale include Checkered Steel Deck, Durable Anti-Corrosion Powder Paint, Heavy-Duty Structural Steel Tubing, Low-Profile 16-inch Overall Height, Made in USA Quality Measurement Canada Certified, NTEP Legal for Trade, Self-Contained and Portable, and SnapStream Wireless Connection Between Scale Decks and Indicator.

Best of all, SnapStream wireless connectivity comes standard with the EPR-LF. This allows wireless communication between scale deck modules and the Cardinal Scale weight indicator for seamless integration between all scale components and alleviates the need for rewiring every time the truck scale is moved. SnapStream is a digitally controlled weighing and diagnostic system that is NTEP legal for trade and designed utilizing the Zigbee protocol for reliable and accurate weight and data transmission for truck scales.

Designed for easy transport, each completely self-contained EPRLF scale consists of 16-inch-high modules fabricated to minimize overall height and maximize strength. Heavy-duty structural tubing is placed in strategic locations to support heavy vehicle loading. Cross members and other lateral structural members provide rigid support for the heavy-duty checkered deck plate. The EPR-LF may be placed on compacted surfaces or timbers for an economical installation (applicable in states which approve temporary installations). Contact your local weights and measures office for specific
requirements in your location.

Video Example of Truck In & Truck Out With Scale Printer

One of the more popular digital weight indicators currently available is the Rice Lake 720i Programmable Indicator/Controller. While not as robust as the legendary 920i this indicator is a great choice for many truck scale operators who are looking for easy to use simplicity.

The 720i from Rice Lake is an economical choice for those looking to increase functionality and simplicity. Make no mistake, this is an advanced intelligent indicators but it’s not quite the same level as the 920i so most users develop a level of comfort using it fairly quickly. From basic weighing and data collection to recipe formulation, inventory management and traceability, customers have grown to love the Rice Lake’s 720i. Advanced programmability is available using ProAction (PCEE) and enhanced data base storage make the 720i ideal for a wide variety of weighing applications. The indicator is available in both universal and panel-mount configurations.

In the entry today we wanted to share a video with you. In this video you will see an actual demonstration of a truck scale in/out using a ticket printer. Over the years we have had quite a few folks ask us for this basic overview of a typical truck transaction using a ticket printer. In this example we are using a Rice Lake 720i weight indicator and the process can be slightly different, depending on which indicator you’re using and how it has been set up.

As you can see in the example, we have a blank ticket in the printer and a truck drives on the scale empty. His weight is 20,000 pounds. We press the Weigh In key, assign him an ID number and press print. The truck then pulls off the scale. Now when the truck returns, loaded this time he drives back onto the scale and his weight is displayed as 50,000 pounds. We press the Weigh Out button and enter our same ID number that we used earlier and press the print key. Now you can take a look at the print out and see everything that was printed. The time and date are there along with the ID number. You also see the original empty weight of the truck listed as the tare weight which is 20,000 lbs. You see the net weight of product that was added to the truck which is 30,000 lbs. Finally you see the gross weight which is the total weight of the truck and the product which is 50,000 lbs.

As you can see, the truck in / truck out process for vehicle scales is pretty straightforward. Scale operators will need some training and it’s always a good idea to have a laminated quick start instruction guide handy as well.

Truck Scale Cost Justification Guide

We were reading the cost justification guide from Cardinal Scale recently and they brought up a good point. It is surprising how many truck scales are manufactured by one company and use load cells from yet another company and a digital weight indicator from yet another company. So if something breaks, where does responsibility for the scale begin and end with each manufacturer? Cardinal Scale Manufacturing is one of the very few companies that manufactures not only the scale weighbridge structure but the load cells and instrumentation that go with it to complete the scale. With Cardinal you really do have single source responsibility and reliability. If you’re thinking about a Cardinal Truck Scale or better yet thinking about going with a hydraulic truck scale, read here.

◾As previously mentioned, lightning and water are the two most common sources of load cell failure. Often truck scales are placed in locations subject to flooding or are subjected to routine high-pressure washings. While digital and analog load cells are sealed against the entry of moisture, they often fail due to damage to a seal or abrasion of a cable jacket allowing entry of moisture. Analog and digital load cells are both subject to lightning damage. The extremely small strands on a strain gauge are especially sensitive to voltage surges. Hydraulic load cells have neither strain gauges nor electrical wire and are immune to damage from both water and lightning. If your scale will be in a location subject to spring time thunderstorms, you should give serious consideration to Cardinal’s Guardian hydraulic load cells.

◾Guardian hydraulic load cells operate by sensing weight via fluid pressure, which means that they require no power within the scale itself. You won’t lose any operational time when lightning or other power issues strike at the scale location. Guardian load cells carry a lifetime warranty against lightning and power surges.

◾Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that if something can be overloaded, it will. Same goes for shock loading on a truck scale. Whether you’re filling trucks with rock or ore, shock loading will take place. Both analog and digital load cells use a steel spring element to sense the load. Applying a shock load, even one less than the capacity of the load cell, can and will cause permanent damage to the load cell rendering it unusable. Cardinal’s Guardian hydraulic load cells, on the other hand, act much like a shock absorber on your automobile dissipating the shock load in the hydraulic fluid.

â—¾Hydraulic tubing from the load cells is terminated at the scale house by a non-conducting Goodyear rubber line. This creates an important barrier of protection, preventing lightning from traveling into the scale house where your load-sensing digital weight display is located.

◾If you’ve ever experienced costly downtime and repairs due to lightning or a power surge, the Guardian hydraulic truck scale can help you save in the future.

We can definitely confirm to you that customers are buying hydraulic truck scales. Yes, they are more expensive than traditional truck scales with analog load cells but for quite a few customers, they feel the added costs up front are worth it. Lightning and water are the two most common sources of load cell failure. Often truck scales are placed in locations subject to flooding or are subjected to routine high-pressure washings. While digital and analog load cells are sealed against the entry of moisture, they often fail due to damage to a seal or abrasion of a cable jacket allowing entry of moisture. Analog and digital load cells are both subject to lightning damage. The extremely small strands on a strain gauge are especially sensitive to voltage surges. Hydraulic load cells have neither strain gauges nor electrical wire and are immune to damage from both water and lightning. If your scale will be in a location subject to spring time thunderstorms, you should give serious consideration to Cardinal’s Guardian hydraulic load cells.

What Does a Truck Scale Cost?

We get this question all the time! How much does a certified truck scale cost? New or used? Well, in today’s entry we are going to give you a rough idea of how much a truck scale costs. Now in our example we will be looking at new truck scales.

As for used scales, generally if you’re looking for things like a used 70 footer watch out for things like too much rust and excessive wear on the under side of the deck. And let’s face it when you’re talking about a truck scale, it’s an item that is going to be outdoors in the elements and if it has decent traffic counts, it could go through a lot of wear and tear and in most cases a used truck scale will have little or no warranty. Just some things to consider when you’re looking at a used scale.

Now, let’s take a look at a new truck scale. Generally, in 2021 you can expect to pay Continue reading

The Power of Zap 3

The Third installment of the series “The Power of Zap” is called Grounding 101. Jim Daggon, Rice Lake senior product engineer and Chuck Crowley senior technical support manager focus on the importance of proper grounding for safety and the performance of sensitive electronic devices. The idea of grounding is that the earth itself acts as the electrical ground, providing not only a common reference for all electrical devices, but also a standard between devices regardless of location. The earth is used as the common reference conductor.

The consideration that the earth acts as a constant conductor is the underlying principle, and in the larger sense, it does. However, the connection to the ground or “earthing” needs to have the lowest resistance possible. Any resistance due to improper or faulty connections will allow the presence of a current to flow. In the context of safety, current flowing through a vital organ is what causes injury or death. The frequency of the alternating current, the duration of contact, and the path of contact are all important factors in determining the severity of the shock. The connection to the earth consists of two basic parts: the grounding electrode and the connection (or bonding) to that electrode. Any resistance introduced in the grounding path could lead to a damaging or dangerous condition.

The relationship between resistance, current, and voltage is revealed in Ohm’s Law1:
I = V / R
Where :
I = current flow
V = voltage
R = resistance2

Using this equation, if the resistance is 0, then the current flow will be maximized in the ground circuit. (This is what you want, not current flow in another path that does not include the ground, but may include YOU!) The accepted National Electrical Code (NEC), standard for a grounding circuit is 25 ohms or less, but much lower values can be obtained using multiple grounding electrodes. Click here to read the entire part 3 article.