Trucks, Trains and More: Pit Scales: At Work
It’s fairly easy to underestimate the power of the scales, especially when you look at what they once were, two measuring plates on a fulcrum. Accurate to a degree, but not really capable of weighing anything on a larger scale. As the sands of time sweep over ancient antiquities, technology has changed the scales into something much grander. Perhaps one of the most impressive displays of this advancement is the pit scale.
Pit scales are exactly that…a scale, built into a deep pit, putting the weight plate of a scale at ground level. Scales such as this are typically found at truck weigh stations, but aren’t limited to that. Pit scales are also used in a wide variety of applications, from manufacturing plants as well as the train station.
How Pit Scales Work
A pit scale is very similar to digital scales, such as the one in your bathroom. Compression load cells are mounted beneath the platform and measure the weight of an object that comes to rest on it. What’s unique about a pit scale is the size of them. Truck weigh station scales are large enough to accommodate an entire tractor trailer and are capable of measuring several hundred tons. Train weigh stations are even more sophisticated, incorporating the rails themselves into the scale so the train merely has to pass over that part of the track to be weighed.
It’s not just the size of the pit scale that makes them both impressive and useful, but also the way their built. The advantage to having a pit scale is that they are built almost entirely underground. Due to their low profile, a pit scale can free up a lot of surface space, which not only helps to protect the sensitive equipment below, but keeps the area above ground relatively free and clear, which can be a tremendous boon to truck drivers.
We don’t often think about it, but weight is a very important measurement in our world. Take the tractor trailers, for example, without them, our country would inevitably come to a halt. Depending on what they’re hauling, it can make for quite a heavy load, couple that with the weight limit on bridges and it becomes quite clear why knowing just how much weight you have in tow is important.
For that reason, not only are the scales important, but keeping them maintained and calibrated as well. Garber Metrology has been doing just that for close to 40 years. With a dedication to their science, Garber has been helping to keep balance in the world. Whether you need to measure out tons or ounces, Garber can help keep you calibrated and up to speed with the weight of the world.