September 26, 2019
Industrial truck scales are crucial as they are used for weighing heavy vehicles and their contents. These scales are designed to withstand heavy-duty loads and are consistently subjected to demanding usage such as weighing construction materials. Hence, constant stress is exerted on them. This makes them prone to certain issues such as calibration problems. If neglected they can cause major problems for drivers and damage to the infrastructure. The best solution to avoid truck scale issues is to be well aware of them so that you can prevent them. For instance the importance of industrial scale calibration cannot be stressed enough. If done periodically and properly, calibration issues can be easily avoided.
Let’s understand the 6 common truck scale issues and their solutions so that you can avoid them.
- Outdated Equipment
This is one of the most commonly occurring issues with truck scales. Make sure that you know your equipment and its expiry period so that you can avoid overworking them. It can seem daunting to replace your outdated truck scales with new ones. However, continued usage of outdated scales can cost you more than only money. Even if a single component is outdated it can fail and lead to expensive downtime. Hence, it’s best to ensure that your truck scales are always up-to-date and comply with the required safety and regulation standards.
- Environmental Factors
The surrounding environmental conditions in which the truck scale is used, has a substantial impact on the scale’s performance. Harsh environmental factors can affect the accuracy of the truck scale. In winters, the moisture can buildup in and around the scale and quickly freeze which may make it difficult to clean the scale and nearly impossible to use it. Ensure that the truck scale is well protected from extreme moisture, temperatures as well as corrosion. This preventive measure also helps ensure that your scales stay calibrated and deliver accurate results.
A single bolt of lightning can cause heavy damage to your scales or disturb their calibration. Those scales which are used in areas of higher elevation are the most susceptible when it comes to lightning risks. All the components of the truck scales – cables, load cells and junction boxes are vulnerable to damage caused by lightning. Even other problems caused by lightning such as power surges, fried wiring and voltage sags can affect the calibration and performance of truck scales. The risk of expensive downtime, repairs and replacements increases if proper measures are not put in practice to safeguard the truck scales from lightning. A few models of truck scales do offer lightning and transient protection. However, it is wise to keep in mind the following factors before installing a truck scale especially in areas where lightning is a common occurrence:
- Good grounding system
- Load cells with lightning protection
- Warranty and service guarantee
- Transient protection
4. Load Cells
Limited or poor access to load cells may complicate the industrial scale calibration and also cause repair and maintenance issues. Also, when the concrete surrounding the truck scale fails or cracks or when debris buildups it can result in truck scales calibration issues. It is also recommended that you keep in mind the correct usage of load cells. Remember, each load cell should measure the same proportion or percentage of the total load. This ensures that any single part of the scale does not get more worn out than the others. Know the capacity of your truck scales and don’t exceed it under any circumstances. As a thumb rule, never use more than eight modules for a single load cell. Generally three-point systems are recommended as they are self-leveling. Easy access to load cells can help you keep calibration, repair and maintenance issues at bay.
5. Junction Boxes
Even though these are small sized components, they can cause big issues with the truck scales if neglected. In order to service and calibrate the scale, junction boxes must be opened. This may allow moisture and other debris to enter in their system and compromise the sensitive circuit and connections inside. Always ensure that the junction boxes are well-sealed, especially after they are opened for industrial scale repair, servicing or calibration.
6. Electrical Surges
When the scales or load cells are not grounded properly, electrical surges are most likely to occur. To avoid this issue, always ensure that the scales are installed and grounded correctly before using them.
To understand more about the risk factors which could affect the calibration and performance of your truck scales and their solutions, it’s best to consult certified weighing scale calibration services provider.
About the Author:
Kevin Hill heads the marketing efforts at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, CA. Besides his day job, he loves to write about the different types of scales and their importance in various industries.