Truck scales can be some of the most expensive measuring equipment your company owns––initially costing you tens of thousands of dollars upon sale, and thousands more for regular maintenance and repair.
Other seemingly inconspicuous things such as dirt, gravel, snow, and ice can cause weightments to be anywhere from a few divisions to hundreds of pounds off. This is why it’s important to make sure your truck scale is clean and free of debris between regular services and inspections. So, does a few pounds extra really make a huge difference on an 80,000 pound scale? When dealing with a one time-weighment, probably not, but to give a better idea of the difference, we’ve included a short example.
Imagine the cost of the goods being weighed out equals $0.045/pound. That’s less than 5 pennies. If the scale is weighing 60 pounds light, that means you are giving away 60lbs of product per truck load. Imagine doing this 50 times per day for the 50 trucks that come through the weighing station. We’d be looking at approximately $2,700 worth of product a month (assuming a 5 day work week). So annually, about $32,400––the same cost as a brand new truck scale.
So how can you avoid this? Keep reading.
#1: Routinely Inspect the Condition of Your Truck Scale
Pay attention to any part of your truck scale where you notice rubbing, leaning, or components that seem to be unlevel. Also, make note of any obvious corrosion of components such as end bumpers and gap covers.
#2: Inspect the End Bumper Gaps
Your end bumper gaps should be no more than ¼ of an inch apart. According to METTLER TOLEDO, end bumper gaps should be at least ⅛ of an inch from the pit wall. Depending on the deck material, and weather conditions, you may want them to be up to ¼ of an inch.
We recommend inspecting this at least twice a year.
#3: Check the Deck and Supporting Frame
The most expensive part of a truck scale is the deck; early inspection of problem areas can prevent having to replace the entire truck scale deck. When checking the deck and supporting frame, make sure you look for excessive cracking, broken welds, and any warped steel.
Steel truck scale decks are especially susceptible to oxidation, so it’s important that you inspect any new areas that may have had their paint scraped off, as proper thickness of paint protects the scale from corrosion and rust.
#4: Keep Your Scale Free From Debris
As previously mentioned, seemingly harmless debris such as dirt, water, snow, and ice can build up in cracks around the load cells of the truck scale. Even the smallest amount of debris can cause your scale to be off by hundreds of pounds. Accumulation of debris like ice or dirt can bend and lift up the deck of your truck scale.
Make sure you regularly clean your scale to ensure no debris can accumulate.
#5: Inspect Cables for Rodent Damage
One of the biggest problems with any truck scale is rodent damage to cables. Since truck scale cables are placed in a pit or less than a foot above the ground, they’re susceptible to rodent damage, i.e. chewed wires.
To properly inspect for rodent damage, keep an eye out for frayed, pinched, or chew up wires. Set up rodent traps near your truck scale to eliminate any pest activity.
For more expert tips on truck scales, load cells, and more, contact Acme Scales today.