When installing a new truck scale be sure that the concrete contractor provides a proper foundation per the factory drawing so that it is installed correctly the first time. Have a skilled team of Factory Trained Technicians install the equipment and perform final calibrations with a heavy capacity test unit to meet the local Weights & Measures Specifications.
The maintenance checks will help identify potential issues before becoming major problems, and also adjust the calibration of the truck scale to ensure proper weighments. You will want to have semi-annual or even quarterly testing depending on the volume of traffic going across the scale. This way you can check all components exposed to the weather each season and act accordingly.
Depending on your business needs you may want to schedule the maintenance checks just before your busy season or before the winter months. Clean out any possible debris such as dirt, leaves, and material build-up. Though it may seem simple and common sense this maintenance is often overlooked and can cause drastic changes in your results. This way you will be prepared for whatever business Mother Nature throws at you.
Looking into past calibration reports may also help you predict repeat issues. If certain parts have rusted or worn over winter, there is a good chance they will need to be repaired or replaced. If you have debris under the scale during the summer, you should check the underside of the scale again. If there are repetitive binding issues you can also figure out ways to prevent further malfunctions, which may save you money and stress in the long run.
The first thing you should always check is the foundation of the scale. During your visual inspection look at both the piers and washout slab for any cracking or changes in the elevation. Many times, you will see where frost heaving has occurred over the winter causing these cracks. If major elevation issues have occurred, then a closer look into the depth of the piers and overall foundation needs to be performed.
Once you have looked at the foundation, look at the surface area of the scale deck. The deck may show some signs of wear, but any large cracking or flaking of the concrete will have to be addressed before it becomes a major structural issue with the platform. Just remember that taking a few minutes to perform a visual inspection may save you hours of downtime and dollars later.
If repair is necessary, be sure to hire a reputable company that will repair and recalibrate your truck scale quickly and easily. Garber Metrology offers repair and troubleshooting solutions. All technicians are factory trained to find the issue and solve it efficiently. Our Test Trucks and Vans carry replacement parts, and additional or specialized parts that can be ordered as needed.
We will cover more of these issues in our next blog post.