Proactive Maintenance for Extended Truck Scale Life
A successful truck scale project requires you to think ahead. Once your new scale has been installed and certified, how will you take care of it to guarantee optimal performance? During the initial installation, while your scale is still new, is the opportune time to discuss developing a maintenance plan with your scale supplier. Planning ahead by scheduling preventative maintenance will increase longevity of the scale and decrease possible down time. Implementing a service and repair plan for unexpected and expected maintenance will save you time and money. It pays to think ahead!
Responsibilities of the Scale Owner:
- Cleanliness- To accurately weigh, the scale needs to be kept clean and free of debris.
- Traffic Control- Entry and exit truck traffic driving should be at a controlled speed.
- Awareness- Scale owners should understand their scale functions and understand parts need to be routinely checked.
Scheduled Tests and Maintenance:
Legal-for-trade truck scales require two types of reoccurring scheduled activities:
- Weights and Measure Checks/Calibrations/Recertifications- In most locations, the scale supplier is authorized to validate the scale accuracy and calibration when the scale is first installed. Generally after 60 days, the local weights and measures authority will test and verify the scale’s accuracy by performing specific tests. These tests are usually predetermined and once a year.
- Manufacturers Recommend Preventative Maintenance- To avoid unexpected downtime, it is advisable that you discuss preventative maintenance options with your scale company.
Testing the Scale:
A company will test the scale by using certified test weights. Weights will be administered in specific weight intervals and in various locations on the scale deck. The technician will monitor the weight, verify accuracy, and provide a report describing the level of accuracy and any other findings.
What happens if the scale does not pass the weights and measures accuracy test?
If a scale’s error is beyond legal tolerance, the W&M agency may issue a yellow tag. If given a yellow tag, the scale can still be used but must be recalibrated within 60 days. If issued a red tag, that scale cannot be used until it has been recalibrated.
Inspection and Preventative Maintenance Procedures:
Along with the accuracy of a scale, preventative maintenance is important in maintaining reliability and longevity. Scale owners should schedule inspections and preventative maintenance to extend the scale’s life, prevent downtime and costly repairs.
Unexpectedly having a scale go down can be costly and frustrating. Ideally you would like a service provider who can get your scale up and running within a single visit.
Questions to ask your potential service supplier:
- What inventory is kept in stock? If parts have to be ordered how long will that take?
- How many miles away is their location to your scale?
- When a scale is down what tests are performed? How long do they usually take to conduct?
- When replacing parts how long does it generally take?
- Is the provider available 24 hours a day?
- What equipment do they have?
- Can some tests be performed remotely?
A manufacturer’s warranty should be included with your scale purchase. Warranties are not about a big number of years. Rather, they are about the details of what is and is not covered.
What is covered by the warranty-
- Types of failures and components covered
- Costs for technician labor travel time
- Parts needed for replacements
How long is the warranty- Some manufacturers tend to prorate their coverage as the scale ages. After the scale has aged, a warranty may only cover a percentage of repairs.
How responsive is the manufacturer to warranty coverage- If a service or repair is covered, how quickly will someone be dispatched to evaluate the scale? It may be up to you to determine how responsive you think a company will be when replacing parts or services covered under their warranty.
As your local truck scale provider, TOLEDO CAROLINA offers a guaranteed four hour response time to minimize downtime, and twelve highly skilled technicians to assist in developing and implementing a preventative maintenance program that will fit your needs. To discuss our tiered proactive solutions, contact us by calling 1-800-649-7503.