Updated: May 22, 2020
So you are looking to install a new truck scale? For those who have not been involved in this process before it may seem like a daunting task.
Luckily, Cech Corporation has installed thousands of truck scales in it’s 75+ years of being in business and we have an experienced Sales and Service staff to guide and assist people through the process.
Here are some important factors to consider when planning to break ground on a new scale.
1. Look at the traffic flow.
How do trucks enter and exit the facility? The scale should be in the line of traffic flow without interfering with productivity. Not all trucks require weighing. In turn, having a truck scale on site shouldn't interfere with or impede normal traffic. Consider the following:
Adding through lanes on either side of the scale for regular traffic.
How entering a scale from either direction will impede other traffic. It may make sense to have a scale that is entered from a single direction.
Trucks staging to be weighed and if they would cause issues for other vehicles entering a facility.
2. How much space is available for a scale?
Once traffic flow is considered, the space available for a scale should be evaluated. There are two kinds of scales, above ground and pit type. Above ground scales require ramps on both ends while pit scales do not.
Ramps typically add 60 feet to the overall length of the scale and approaches. For a 70 ft long truck scale with a 10 ft level approach each end would typically take up 150 ft of space with ramps.
Beyond ramps there needs to be room for vehicles to return to the traffic lane. If the ramps and turning radii required to return to normal traffic interfere with room available on a site, a pit scale is a better option.
Pit scales are flush with the existing grade (level with the ground) and should not be traveled across from the side. They are not designed to be loaded in that manner and damage will occur to the scale.
3. Where is the best location for a new scale?
Now that you’ve determined the scale that best suits your needs, it’s time to begin selecting a location. There are several important construction aspects to consider. Here is what to consider and who to ask:
Is there anything underground? Call Miss Dig, it's the best way to be sure you aren’t picking a spot that has an underground obstacle or poor soil bearing.
What is overhead? Can trucks clear any overhead obstacles when using an above ground scale? Overhead obstacles can also hinder the operation of cranes needed to set the scale in the foundation. A scale professional will be looking for this while they are on site.
What does the existing grade look like? A scale needs to be perfectly level to perform correctly. Scale Professionals need to start with a reasonably flat, level surface when excavating.
Where is the scale house going to be in relation to the scale? If using an existing structure as a scale house, ensure that it is reasonably close to allow a driver to enter and exit a vehicle without entering a busy traffic lane. In addition, cable from the scale to the scale house needs to be in underground conduit. Extensive electrical work can sometimes deter selecting a location for the scale.
The scale location should be within sight of the scale house to allow the scale operator to verify trucks are secure on the scale.
Local code should also be taken into consideration. If the chosen location for a scale near a property line, make sure local code allows for a permanent structure to be placed there.
4. Know all of the information before making a purchase.
Sometimes a new scale is part of a capital project that is being handled by a large construction firm. Do not allow a general contractor to choose a scale without consulting the company or person making the purchase. Contractors frequently choose a scale without considering longevity and performance on a specific site. They are not concerned with what type of scale is purchased.
It is important for a buyer to do research when purchasing a scale - This can be made easy by spending time getting to know a scale company representative and helping them to understand the uses and needs for the scale being purchased.
Here are some key points to consider when deciding on a specification for a truck scale:
Is there a reliable, quality oriented, local scale company that is certified to handle the make and model of a scale? Can they cover warranty work if needed?
What is the warranty on the scale? At minimum, it should be a five year, all inclusive warranty that covers lightning damage, parts, labor, travel, and re-calibration. If it does not cover anything other than the parts, then that warranty is not good. Costs associated with labor, travel, and mileage typically exceed the damaged part price due to the type of equipment needed to repair the scale and re-calibrate it.
Does the scale company meet the site safety requirements? If not, how will they enter a site to do any calibration or service work?
Overall, is the scale company a reputable firm that works with companies like yours elsewhere? Make sure to ask for referrals.
If you're unsure of what kind of scale you would like, Cech Corporation's sales team is always happy to help you. Our sales representatives carry a measuring wheel, and will walk around with you on site to help you find a desirable location for your new scale. Click here to find a sales representative near you.
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