Loading...

Truck Scale Deck Types: Steel vs Concrete

Learn more about the differences between steel and concrete deck truck scales.

What’s the difference between a steel deck and concrete deck truck scale and which one is best for my application?

Steel Deck Truck Scale

Steel Deck Truck Scales are built with all heavy duty structural steel. This will include steel I-beams running the length of each scale module. Each manufacturer has slightly different designs for their I-beams ranging from the size, number, and shape. Each manufacturer will claim their design is superior. In our experience they all perform about the same assuming you are buying from a top-tier scale supplier (B-Tek, Mettler Toledo, Emery Winslow, Rice Lake, Cardinal, Fairbanks). A steel deck typically involves less initial cost – there is no investment in concrete or the labor to pour it. A steel deck scale weighs less, which makes it easier to move or relocate if needed. It can be fully operational within a day at your site, reducing production downtime and operational impacts.

Pros:

  • Faster installation as no concrete cure time is required
  • Easier maintenance as the deck modules can be lifted
  • Reduced installation cost as fewer trips to complete job are required by scale dealer
  • Higher resale value
  • More custom profiles and sizes available (particularly extra low-profile)

Cons:

  • Scale surface can be slick when wet
  • Higher shipping cost since they are heavier

 

Concrete Deck Truck Scale

A concrete deck truck scale is very similar to a steel deck truck scale, but each scale module has an open top for concrete to be poured into each deck, bonding the support beams of each module. A concrete deck needs approximately 21 to 28 days to cure, it offers greater resistance to rust and corrosion from road salt and generally requires less maintenance than steel decks, helping to extend the life of the scale. A concrete surface also provides better traction with rain and snow. Because of their design, concrete decks distribute the load over a wider area than steel decks. Concrete deck scales were more common 10-15 years ago; however, they are still installed today.

Pros:

  • Better traction in wet or slippery environments
  • Reduced risk of rust or corrosion given there is less metal in the scale
  • More mass which means there is less friction and stress on internal parts
  • Hold up to acidic and chemical type environments well

Cons:

  • Longer installation time as it takes 3-4 weeks for the scale deck concrete to cure to the proper PSI strength
  • More difficult to move at a future date if you need to relocate the scale as each panel weighs ~25,000lbs vs ~8,000lbs for a steel deck
  • More difficult maintenance due to the weight of the scale which can lead to higher maintenance costs
Bob Scott

Contributor

Short intro about the author goes here.

View all posts