An Introduction to Site Planning for Truck Scales

An Introduction to Site Planning for Truck Scales

When purchasing and installing truck scales, you want to protect your investment. That means making sure the truck scale you have selected is the best fit for your needs – and that includes the site where the scale will go.

The last thing you want to do is purchase a truck scale system and have it be improper for the site you’ve selected. The site should help determine the scale system, and not the other way around.

That’s why it’s important to engage in proactive site planning before choosing truck scales. With site planning, you can cut down on mistakes and protect your investment the smart way.

Considerations for Site Planning

The site for your weighing station will have to be planned out well in advance before any equipment is purchased.

To accomplish this, there are several key considerations you need to take into account.

Layout of the Site

One key consideration in determining the proper truck scale is to get a sense for how the site will be laid out.

Layout, in many ways, depends on the operational capacity of the site. How many trucks are expected to pass through in a given period? Higher volume may lead to the need for parking or staging areas, or accomodations for a longer queue. Higher volume sites may also find the need to reduce waiting and speed up simultaneous weighings by having more than one set of scales.

If your facility will conduct over 100 weighings a day, multiple scales offers advantages in the sense that you can process more trucks and cut down on queuing, thus saving space.


The type and nature of the foundation for the site is crucial. You need a firm, stable foundation capable of not only managing the strain and pressure from heavy trucks driving over it throughout each day, but also of the environmental conditions that surround your site.

The least expensive type of foundation is a variable depth pier foundation. The scale’s load-bearing points will have a concrete pier placed under them. This type is not very complex nor is it very expensive, but it may be limited by the soil itself or by the operational conditions you’ll be expecting.

A beam slab foundation is more expensive to construct because it involves beams running horizontally and vertically throughout the excavated space. A beam slab foundation, though, is stronger than a pier foundation.

Another type is an above-ground installation. Above-ground installations don’t require excavation, and they offer more access than other forms. They can also be less expensive, although they do require ramps and therefore more space

The final type is a pit foundation. Pit foundations have a lot of similarities to beam slabs in terms of how much weight the soil can bear, and they allow for more compact sites than above-ground sites because they don’t require ramps. Technicians can also typically access the scales more easily through the pit.

Hazardous Materials and Areas

Finally, will your scales be operating in a hazardous area or next to hazardous materials? If so, they’ll need to be approved for that kind of environment. Different scales have different classifications for what kind of operating environment they can be in; for example, some are classified for lower amounts of voltage because voltage is capped in particular environments to avoid the risk of fire caused by shortages.

Purchasing Truck Scales for Your Situation

Site planning is important, and there’s more that goes into site planning than the above factors. For more information, you can check out METTLER TOLEDO’s excellent guide to buying scales and its section on site planning.

When purchasing truck scales in California, consider Acme Scale Company for your scale needs.