What’s Involved in Obtaining a Truck Scale?

Let’s start with the basics. Why would a company need a truck scale? A truck scale has many uses from determining the weight of bulk goods to ensuring trucks are compliant with vehicle weight limit. They collect incoming and outgoing weight to make sure legal-for-trade requirements are met. They are used for transaction pricing, profit margins, quality control, inventory management, and legal compliance. Truck scales are a major investment and are critical to the success of a company. One will want to make sure that every decision made is the right decision.

For this reason, there are many people involved. There’s the internal project team that oversees facilities, operations, traffic, computer software, and finances. There’s the general contractor that puts in the foundation, the engineer that certifies the plan for foundation, the scale supplier that installs the truck scale, and the electrician that connects vital signals.

The internal team will want to assess the site. Water, sewer, gas, and electric can affect where to put the scale. They will want to consider the flow of traffic, the type of scale they want installed, and many other decisive actions.

The scale could either be a pit type or surface mounted scale, it could be open sided or have rails, the truck scale could have a steel or concrete deck. There are pros and cons to consider for each. Grand Rapids Metrology installed a surface mounted, open sided, concrete deck scale that is pictured below. We spent quite a bit of time balancing the load cells and correctly wiring the cables. Both of which are very important steps to the installation. The load cells are used to measure the weight and the cables transmit information from the load cells to the indicator. The indicator is the control panel for the scale and displays the weight value.

Grand Rapids Metrology not only supplies, installs, calibrates, inspects, and maintains the scale; but we are also able to serve as the general contractor and electrician. We strive to be the most effective supplier in the Mid-West. Grand Rapids Metrology certifies scales to some of the highest standards in the metrology industry with our IS0 17025 and A2LA accreditation. For more information or consultative advice, contact us at 800.348.5701!

Scale Verification with Test Weights

For most industries, scale accuracy is a critical part of operations and can directly impact the bottom line. Grand Rapids Metrology certifies weighing equipment to the highest standards in the metrology industry. However, there are numerous factors that can affect the accuracy of your scale between GRM planned maintenance visits; such as debris building under platforms, scales being bumped and becoming out of level, tare weights being entered and not cleared, etc.

Quality Auditors are increasingly asking companies how they ensure their scales are operating correctly after scheduled calibration. To solve this problem, GRM recommends that scales are periodically verified using certified test weights that safeguard accuracy and functionality.

Routine tests can be performed at various points of use and for various test weight ranges and intervals. For each test situation, the scale is zeroed then tested with known certified weights. Results can be evaluated graphically or statistically. Grand Rapids Metrology recommends that the scale be tested in the same range in which the scale is used. For example, if a scale is used to weigh 50 lb. boxes, then we recommend using at least (1) 25 lb. and (1) 50 lb. weight and testing your scale at 25 lb., 50 lb. and 75 lb. This will ensure that the scale is not only accurate at the target weight, 50 lb., but also linear through the weighing range.

GRM offers a wide array of certified test weights for purchase. Our primary manufacturers of mass and test weights include Rice Lake Weighing Systems, Sartorius, and Troemner. Please note this verification procedure does not replace the service, calibration, and planned maintenance performed by Grand Rapids Metrology. This process should be used to verify scale accuracy and reinforce quality importance. For more information of the benefits and sale of calibration and test weights, contact a GRM Sales Representative or call us at 800.348.5701!

Winterizing Your Truck Scale

As a truck scale owner, you know scales are a vital aspect of your business operations. Its ability to accurately and promptly read measurements is imperative to an organization’s quality, efficiency, and revenue.

As winter approaches, it is important to understand what precautions should be taken in order to maintain the condition of your equipment and prevent any damages that accompany the seasonal shift.

Grand Rapids Metrology advises customers with truck scales to schedule a preventive maintenance check in the upcoming weeks to determine if any cleaning is necessary. “Both above-ground scales and pit scales need cleaning especially prior to winter and should be kept up throughout the year,” suggests our Heavy Capacity Project Manager, Dan Johnston.

Above-ground scales will fill with dirt, ice, and snow more quickly than pit scales due to their low clearances. Pit scales, however, will still fill and should be routinely cleaned especially before winter.

On any truck scale, normal traffic will carry dirt and debris from their tires onto the equipment.  This dirt and debris can easily fall down into the end gaps of a scale and eventually fill with dirt. When dirt builds up, it may do so enough to interfere with the scale infrastructure, resulting in inaccurate measurements. This problem could snowball (no pun intended) into a larger issue because if the State comes to examine a scale that has dirt and debris build up and reads inaccurate weighments, they may condemn the operations of the scale.

To make matters even worse, the dirt and debris may freeze due to the drastically low temperatures this region receives in winter months. In that instance, cleaning that material becomes much more difficult, for it will likely need to be chipped out and with limited access, that is not an easy task. There have been instances when someone has tried to chip away ice and mud and in result caused damage to the load cell and the load cell cables. Notes that when cleaning with a power washer, one must take caution as not to spray high pressure water at cells and cable to avoid causing damages.

We highly advise that anyone who operates a truck scale take time to examine the condition underneath the scale. If there is any noticeable dirt or debris buildup, clean the area promptly and thoroughly.

At Grand Rapids Metrology, we aspire to do everything we can to help maintain the accuracy of your measurement equipment. Our experts are happy to examine your scale, remove necessary debris and prepare it for this icy season. Contact us for our scheduled service today or give us a call – (800) 348-5701.

Benefits of Using a Single Source Vendor

In 2013 we changed our name from Grand Rapids Scale to Grand Rapids Metrology to better communicate our expanded scope of capabilities. The word scale has a limited connotation, however the word metrology, the scientific study of measurement, has just the opposite. Before 2013, the services that followed our name were that of a scale variety and not much else, but now our offered services are much greater. From dimensional and mechanical test equipment to temperature and electronic calibrations, our new name is a reflection of our ultimate goal; to be a single source measurement vendor for our customers.

This goal is a great responsibility for us, but we see it as a great opportunity for our customers. Using a single source vendor in any area can be vastly beneficial for both parties involved. When working exclusively with Grand Rapids Metrology as your measurement vendor, here are some benefits you will encounter:

Lower cost of doing business due to the consolidation of all requirements with one supplier.

More consistent quality. In our industry, different vendors have varying accreditation standards. Using multiple suppliers, for instance, could result in half of your equipment being A2LA accredited while the other half is only NIST traceable. That leaves a headache for you to remember which equipment has which accreditations (even more so, when do they all need to be calibrated??), but using one measurement supplier is an easy fix to that problem (by the way, GRM is A2LA accredited and reminds you when calibrations are due to occur).

Customer service relationships improve. When a company has one vendor, the people at that company becomes to intimately know you and your business. The familiarity allows the manager to anticipate needs, find customer solutions for individual customers, and track orders from start to finish. Building rapport with a single vendor encourages the formation of a truly functional working relationship that minimizes compatibilities issues.

• Improved plan synchronization, information exchange, and supplier responsiveness. The heightened relationship, as mentioned above, has rippling benefits.

• Decreased effort to manage supplier performance and relationships on your part because you are tracking only one supplier, opposed to multiple.

• If complications of any type should arise, it is simple to find the source. With numerous vendors, problems could be the fault of anyone, but with one supplier the party at responsible is easy to identify and a correction can be made quickly and efficiently.

Save time in the procurement phase i.e. the time spent comparing vendors to find the best. If your company already has found a good relationship with a vendor, it’s easier to continue with them for additional products/services.

The vendor should take on more responsibility. At GRM, we find that making life easier for you is our mission. With features like complete asset management and 24/7/365 emergency service, we take pride in taking the load off your shoulders time and time again.

It’s just easier– one phone number, one contact, one invoice, one unbeatable relationship.

The road to becoming a single source vendor is not an easy one, but we feel we are up to the task! If you feel there are any areas of measurement you would like to see added to our scope, leave a comment below or call us at 800.348.5701 and we will be sure to address them!