As summer quickly approaches, it’s a perfect time of the year to conduct Truck Scale and Rail Scale inspections. Keeping a weekly/monthly log of this inspection and sharing with our service technician during PM calibration service could prevent major repairs down the road. Here are some recommendations to consider:
- Deck Clearance – One of the most common problems with In-Ground scales is the deck making contact with the pit wall. Conduct a visual inspection of the gap between the deck and pit walls. As temperatures climb in Arizona, scale platforms expand and contract. This can cause interference. The interference will affect the scale performance causing improper readings. Using a crowbar between the deck and pit, check for deck movement. If the deck does not move, give us a call so we can remedy the situation.
- Condition of the Concrete Deck –Take a walk around the edge of the scale. As you are looking for interference between the deck and pit wall, check the integrity of the Deck Coping. If the coping is starting to separate from the deck or pit, it could be an early sign of degradation. Using a steel rod, piece of rebar or crowbar tap on the coping. If you hear a hollow sound, mark the area and bring it to our attention. The condition of the concrete deck is equally just as important. Worn and cracked concrete decks quickly develop holes. Holes lead to a complete failure if not attended too (as seen in the attached picture). If you suspect an area of the deck to be degrading, please contact us immediately and we will give the scale a full evaluation.
- Debris in the Pit – before the heat comes consider cleaning out the pit. The following are items to look for:
- Safety Notice – Scale pits are usually highly neglected and are typically inhabited with a variety of critters including: snakes, bugs, spiders, skunks, squirrels and rodents. Prior to entering a pit thoroughly view inside the pit thru the open manhole. Some pits are very restricted due to “Confined Space” so follow proper precautions. If unsure, contact our company and we will arrange for the inspection/cleaning. In extreme cases a “Vactor Truck” service may be required to clean the pit.
- Check the underside of the deck for crumbling concrete, deterioration of the deck pan and interference between the pit / deck
- Check for corrosion of the components and steel weighbridge. Although in the Desert Southwest we have little rust issues steel still corrodes over time. Notate the corroded areas and watch for weak points that may need patching.
- Clear debris away from moving parts and electronics
- Consider if the pit is full of water to install a sump pump so when heavy rains come it will keep the pit dry.
- Consider having T-Belting installed around the deck of your pit scale to minimize debris from falling into the pit. T-Belting is sold by the foot and can be easily installed. Most times we have an ample quantity in stock.
- Scale Foundation – Inspect the condition of the pit walls and approaches. Common issues that occur are the approach pit coping coming loose. Repairs can easily be made so please contact us today.
- Mechanical Scales – If you have a pit mounted scale that is older and has a mechanical lever system, it’s not too late to have a Jack and Grease Inspection Service done on your scale. Jack and Grease service should be done every 1-2 years to assure the mechanical suspension is properly greased, cleaned and that all mating parts are in good working condition. Routine Jack and Grease Inspections will avoid costly overhauls down the road. Contact us for our soonest available appointment.
Above-Ground Scale Inspections
- Bumper Bolts – Checking the end bumper bolts (which limits the movement of the scale) becomes very important when temperatures crest 90+ degrees. Most scales grow in length when the heat comes and this can cause binds. Checking the bumper bolts in the heat of the day for proper end clearance is key. We recommend ¼” to ½” clearance between the bolt and the approach. If unsure, please call our office or ask our service technician to show you how to adjust the proper clearance.
- Debris around and under the scale – Although most above ground scales are easier to clean, debris still can build up and cause the scale to bind. Keeping the area clean and free of debris will prevent major cleaning down the road.
- Conduits and Junction boxes – Check the junction boxes on the side of the scale for any damage. If damage is visible, please contact us to schedule an onsite evaluation.
- Scale Foundation – Although most above ground scale foundations are very easy to see its best to walk around the scale and verify all footings and approaches are in good condition. If the foundation is degraded, please contact us for options.