Avoid Hefty Transportation fines: All you need to know about portable truck scales!

Scales, whatever kind they may be, are a pivotal part of any transportation business. This is especially so because the value of products transported is determined by weight. They are needed by farmers to weigh their harvest, manufacturing companies to weigh their raw materials and products, and other types of business owners to keep track of their produce or waste materials. You can imagine by having the wrong measurement of your products, big losses will accrue to your business and may even cripple it eventually.

Also, there are many laws and safety regulations relating to the weight that must be adhered to during transportation. Your business could be subject to very hefty fines if your truck is found to have exceeded the legal weight limit. It’s also a well known fact that overloaded trucks are difficult to control as their brakes tend to work less efficiently. With that being said, it is vital that a quality scale be part of your business equipment list. Portable truck scales are some of the best scale options for weighing produce during transportation.  They provide reliable measurements and can be moved from one location to the other with much ease.

What are portable truck scales and how do they work?

Portable truck scales are simply well-designed low profile surfaces that are placed on a level ground and a truck drives over to calculate its weight. They have a load cell at the core of the surface which measures the truck’s weight and transmits the recorded data to a remote terminal. The load cell is well protected by a strong casing that ensures the truck scale remains in proper working condition for a long period of time. The scales also have ramps placed on each side of the load cell surface to help the trucks climb and exit the surface easily. The truck scale measures all the axles of the truck separately. The sum of all the axles is then computed and the weight of the empty truck is subtracted from the total to give you the total of the carried product.

What are the benefits of a portable scale?

There are numerous benefits of having a portable truck scale for your transportation operations. The most important being their efficiency and accuracy in the computation of a truck’s weight.  With today’s technology, they have been developed to offer great accuracy just like their stationery counterparts. Plus, they are very easy to set-up and can be done by just a single person. It takes only a few minutes to set-up a typical portable truck scale. Their small size also makes them convenient for portability. Many of the various designs available can fit into the back of a small car and be transported with ease. They are also great in saving you transport expenses because with stationery scales, trucks carrying produce from the farm or mine have to converge at one point for weighing. This takes much effort, time and fuel expenses. And despite their size and weight, portable truck scales are still highly durable and able to withstand the loads and stress of industrial applications.

Another advanced feature of portable truck scales that make them profitable to many industries is the weigh-in-motion capability. With this feature, your trucks no longer have to come to a complete stop for the measurement of load weight and/or gross vehicle weight. Weigh-in-motion portable truck scales allow trucks to pass over the scale at speeds of around 3 to 5 MPH and the system still accurately takes measurements as needed.

What is truck scale calibration and why is it important?

Calibration is the process of finding a relationship between 2 unknown quantities. It is done when one of the quantities is known by way of a measurement device. This device with the assigned correct measurement is referred to as the standard. During calibration, another measurement is taken with a second device under similar conditions and this device is known as the unit under test. Calibration ensures that the measuring device such as a portable truck scale is accurate, consistent and reliable. This is because a unit of measurement used in decision making has to have extremely high levels of accuracy.

Calibrating your truck scale is extremely essential. A scale that is off by even the slightest margin can end up costing your business thousands of dollars over time, especially if your scale is used constantly to weigh product shipments. The value of many products is determined by their weight. So, if you are sending out products every now and then in trucks, you need a truck scale that is durable and highly accurate. It’s also vital to determine your load weights for compliance with federal regulations.

In a business where your shipments are in excess of thousands of pounds, a slight inaccuracy might seem negligible but in the long-run, hefty costs will accrue to your business. Here is an example with 80,000lb truck loads for company X;

Total number of trucks weighed: 300 trucks daily

Number of times weighed: 5 days a week

Product value: $25 per ton

Scale’s inaccuracy: -200 pounds

Total loss in annual revenues: $195,000

Two factors determining the accuracy of a truck scale

The accuracy of a portable truck scale depends on two factors namely; quality of the scale, and whether or not the scale is calibrated. There are many quality scales on the market today, but getting the perfect one for your industry operations can be tricky. If you face any challenges in selecting the perfect portable truck sale for your business, do not hesitate to contact an expert from Brechbuhler Scales, Inc. for professional advice on purchase or rental guidance.

The second factor determining scale accuracy is calibration and this involves the use of special test weights and calibration devices. Professional calibration technicians at the Brechbuhler Scales, Inc. can help you get your truck scales calibrated to precision in no time.

Additional information on scale calibration

When scales are first purchased or installed, they are tested by the governing state’s weights and measures organization. This helps to ensure the scale’s accuracy, protect the buyer, seller and installation companies. A scale approved by the state is certified and ready for use but that does not guarantee continued accuracy.

Calibration is never fully guaranteed as it depends on how the scale is used and taken care off. Elements such as the weather, too much use, and electrical currents can distort the accuracy of a portable truck scale. Therefore, frequent periodic checks should be done to ensure accuracy is maintained. Additionally, it is necessary for truck sale owners to know that a commercial scale company cannot perform the initial scale certification. Only state weights and measurement entities have the mandate to do so. Commercial scale companies however recalibrate and re-instate scales that have been ‘tagged out’ by the state given they are a state-licensed service provider.

Is your truck scale performing to standard?

At times, the equipment used for your business can disrupt the way of operations. For example, when you use scales that do not meet the demands placed on them, they end up getting damaged and may even become useless. That’s why it’s always advisable to work with an industrial scale expert for professional advice. A scale expert can ensure that your facilities are fitted with the proper scale for your needs and regularly check your truck scales to ensure that they are performing to standard. They will advice you on the right portable truck scale to purchase depending on the weight and rigors of your everyday business operations. The expert can also help you in getting scale software systems that enable you to collect weight data with speed and enhanced accuracy.

Renting a portable truck scale

In some cases, it makes more sense to rent out a potable truck scale rather than purchase one. This is especially so if the scale is not needed regularly. For example, a farmer who harvests his product twice or once a year can opt to rent a portable truck scale for those few times instead of purchasing one. Also, it could be that you have a fixed truck scale but this time your business operations are offsite. In such a case, you can get a wide range of portable truck scales for rent available around the clock. Ensure to be guaranteed that rental scales come with a certificate of calibration to guarantee you that your measurements will be nothing less than accurate.

Where to find quality and reliable portable truck scales

If you are looking for reliable portable truck scales for purchase, you can start by asking for recommendations from other partners in the industry of friends, family and colleagues. Also search on the internet for providers near you or for online stores that can have the scales delivered right to your doorstep. When making your purchase, ensure you get a provider that can offer you hassle-free quotation on scale servicing and preventative scale maintenance. They should also offer custom software to enable you generate reports and send data wherever it’s needed.

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