Imagine being robbed of millions of dollars and having no idea how it had happened. That’s exactly what a major international bulk goods manufacturer experienced recently, and it all happened right on the truck scale. Over a period of several years, this manufacturer lost $2 million dollars because of truck scale fraud.
Learn more about how thieves are cheating truck scales and how you can stop it from happening to you.
#1: Incorrect Positioning
One of the simplest and most common ways to trick a truck scale is to position it improperly on the weighbridge. If the station is unattended, or if the station is so busy that the attendant can’t properly supervise each truck, then a driver can potentially drive onto the scale while leaving his back axles off or pull so far forward that his front axles are off. If guard rails are not present, then a driver can also pull off to either side. Any of these tactics will cause the truck to weigh light, and if the driver is buying from you, then they are stealing your product off the scales.
On the other hand, if the driver is selling to you and they want to weigh heavy, they may pull so far forward that another truck can place its front axles on the scale — creating the illusion of a far heavier truck.
#2: Load-Cell Tampering
Tampering with load cells is gaining popularity as a method of cheating truck scales. This problem can go unnoticed for months and cost a company thousands of dollars, especially if no one is checking and servicing scales regularly. Sometimes, the load cell itself is tampered with, or it may be the cables or junction box. Usually, a device is put in at some point in the system, which allows the weight to shift in the truck driver’s favor. These devices can unfortunately be purchased online, and the driver simply has to install them under cover of night, allowing the weight reading to be controlled by a remote from the comfort of his cab.
#3: Changing the Load
This type of deception happens most often at a place with two-pass transactions that have some distance between the scale and the loading/unloading location. Many times, a driver will weigh in initially and then either load or unload additional materials (sometimes a person!). The change will happen between weigh-ins, and the driver gets paid for the excess.
#4: Vanishing Goods
Sometimes, employees decide they want a raise — and they steal to get it. After loading up initially with the goods or materials they are transporting, they will stop somewhere along the way and stash a small amount of the goods in a secret location. When they arrive for the weigh-in at their destination, the difference isn’t detected. Over time, this type of crime can amount to a huge loss for the company.
#5: Data Alterations
Sometimes, a driver and a scale-house attendant will work together to alter the data from a truck’s weigh-in. Then the attendant takes a cut of whatever the driver makes off the deception. There’s also the issue of insecure software that can be easily hacked and altered, resulting in the same type of catastrophic loss for businesses.
How Can You Keep Your Truck Scale Protected?
There are numerous options for safeguarding the integrity of your truck scales. From gates that prevent additional trucks from entering the scale to super-secure DataBridge MS software, Acme Scale has partnered with Mettler-Toledo and takes the security of your scales very seriously.
Checking and servicing your scales regularly is one of the only ways to be sure that you are not falling victim to any truck scale trickery. Learn more about our calibration services.