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What’s A Truck Scale Retrofit?

Learn more about truck scale retrofits and the considerations.

Let’s say you already own a truck scale.  However, that truck scale is 20+ years old and beginning to have maintenance issues.  Your scale service company is probably starting to come on-site more often as unscheduled maintenance starts to pile up.  Now, you could most definitely remove the old scale and purchase a brand-new scale to replace it.  Often times this is the best solution.  Nevertheless, you may want to at least consider a truck scale retrofit.  So what does a retrofit include and what are some considerations to keep in mind?

What's included in a truck scale retrofit?

Steel and concrete hold up for longer than electronic scale components. So, you may have functioning weighbridges with years of life left, but the scale electronics are deteriorating and obsolete.  The retrofit will normally include replacing the following: load cells, homerun cable, base plates, and indicator.  It’s like having a good used car with a solid chassis / body where you replace the engine, transmission, wiring, etc.  Retrofits also allow you to upgrade your electronics, meaning you could shift from analog to digital load cells and get the benefits they offer.

What other items shoul I consider:

1) Scale Deck Issues:

Although the scale deck may look like it is in good shape, older weigh modules can begin to deflect under load.  The deflection amount is hard to see with your eyes but even with all new retrofit parts installed your scale will not weigh correctly if it is deflecting.  This is where working with your scale service company is vital.  Otherwise you will end up with retrofit truck scale that doesn’t weigh correctly.

 

2) Foundation issues:

A retrofit will not fix issues with your foundation.  The foundation must be structurally sound.  If portions are cracking or beginning to sink into the sub-grade, then a retrofit is not a good solution.  Foundation issues will cause any truck scale to have weighing performance problems.

 

3) Warranties:

Retrofit kits will often time come with certain warranties; however, they are generally shorter in length and have tighter restrictions then a new truck scale.  Warranties are important to consider given all the electronic components. 

 

4) Cost:

Completing a retrofit kit is often times more expensive then most folks think.  The parts included in the retro kit are the most expensive components of any truck scale so replacing them is not cheap.  Also, the labor costs from your scale service company can be high.  This is due the number of man hours required to remove all the old components, install all the new components, and calibrate the scale. 

 

If you are just starting your retrofit decision-making process, you need to have your existing truck scale inspected by a professional.  This will determine whether a truck scale retrofit is even possible and if it makes financial sense.

Bob Scott

Contributor

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