By the Numbers
Eight tips to keep your scale in top shape.
Just like regular doctor and dental checkups, a scale needs regular checkups as well. Although it seems like common sense, regular maintenance is sometimes pushed off or skipped — just like with medical appointments.
As a general rule, a thorough check up is needed every six months at the very minimum, according to Wisconsin-based Rice Lake Weighing Systems. Scale operators also need to consider the number of trucks being weighed, the climate, and the value of the product being weighed. Aside from the actual calibration, most of the inspection will consist of the scale house operator or scale technician conducting a visual inspection of the scale, the foundation, and the surrounding area.
The scale manufacturer provides the following eight tips as a quick guide to keep your scale in top shape:
1. Calibration: Every vehicle scale should be calibrated and tested by a state-licensed servicing agent with no less than 25,000 pounds of certified test weights.
2. Foundation: Even the toughest scale is put at risk on a poor foundation. Cracked foundations can lead to movement or settling, which causes chronic calibration errors. Letting little cracks become big cracks may require removing part or all of the foundation and pouring a new one for the scale to once again weigh accurately.
3. Weighbridge: Take a look at the deck. Rust or crumbling concrete can weaken the scale’s structure and cause problems, so make sure to keep the deck smooth and clean, and paint rusted steel decks.
Binding is a common cause of inaccuracies. A rock as small as a big toe can become wedged between the foundation and deck, so installing T-Strip molding between the deck and foundation can help keep debris from getting caught or falling down into the scale.
Note that some above-ground scales have end cleanout plates that can be removed, allowing access to clean out debris that builds up on the foundation’s surface closest to the scale’s end.
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