Truck scale projects can be resource-intensive. No one makes the decision to buy new scales or set up a site lightly. A lot of capital goes into truck scale purchases, and it makes sense that site owners and managers want to maximize this investment.
Part of maximizing the investment for a truck scale project is to get the most of the scale’s designed lifespan. But, what we expect the operational life of a scale to be on paper can be different from what we see in the field through years of wear and tear.
It gets even worse if site operators don’t have a robust truck scale maintenance program – especially a preventative one.
Here, we’ll discuss how servicing your truck scales on a preventative basis can actually prolong the lifespan of your scales, thus getting the most return from your investment.
Preventative Versus Reactive
Reactive maintenance, or run-to-failure maintenance, steps in when there’s already a problem that is costing you time and money. Frequently, this is when the scale system breaks or is close to doing so. Damage has typically already occurred before a maintenance specialist takes a look at the system.
Preventative maintenance, however, carefully inspects the scale system on a frequent and thorough basis and can identify potential problems before they turn into real ones. They can help mitigate damage and stress on the system and take action to keep the scale operating as it was designed to do for as long as possible.
Put simply, preventing a costly repair or replacement is a lot more preferable than having to deal with it because an unidentified problem blossomed into something expensive.
Key Areas of Preventative Maintenance
When we conduct preventative maintenance, we are typically examining three main areas, and we have a list of things we are looking for in each area.
Weighbridge and Scale Foundation
Here, we’re inspecting the approaches, checking the foundation for binding, looking for foreign objects along the scale’s edges, seeing if there is any debris buildup, and thoroughly checking for cracks, corrosion, stress, and broken welds.
We’re also testing the drainage, since corrosion caused by moisture is one of the key causes of scale failure. Additionally, we make sure tolerances on the suspension system are properly set; if they aren’t, they can be adjusted.
Load cells are the heart of your scale system. We take a careful and detailed look at each load cell, removing them if possible to get closer. We’re looking for off-center loading, abnormal wear patterns, loose mounting plates, damaged or loose cables, and ineffective grounding and lightning protection.
When applicable, we examine junction boxes to make sure debris and moisture haven’t infiltrated the box. We want to make sure cable connections are properly secured and that the seal on the box is intact. If it isn’t, we can replace it.
Preventing Problems Before They Turn Into Problems
With the right frequency and attention to detail, a truck scale repair specialist can pinpoint potential problems and nip them in the bud before they turn into expensive problems that just add to the cost of the truck scale project.
Contact us if you need preventative maintenance and want to extend the lifespan of your truck scale site for as long as possible.