What Are The Differences Between Pit And Pit-less Truck Scales?

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Nov 29, 2013

If you are looking for a truck scale, there are a couple things to think about before purchasing a scale.

The pit scale is set in a pit that would be 5’ or more deep, depending on what is added (such as a grain dump, etc.) and the state regulations. The pitless scale is set on piers that are put in to work as a foundation from frost movement or on a thicker single slab also known as a floating slab.

fig1 pitless truck scale

The pit scale has mainly been installed on the older scales because of the lever system that needed the extra pit area for it to work.  With the newer electronic weigh bars or load cells, there is no longer a need for the lever system.

The new pit scales that are installed today should all have good drainage or a tile and/or sump added in the pit, which wasn’t always the case. The pit of the pit scales may need to be cleaned depending on dust, dirt, or the small debris that gets through the space around the scale edges.

truck scale

If you happen to live in a part of the country that has inclement weather, such as snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, a pitless scale is going to require much more maintenance with ice and snow build up between the scale and foundation.  These maintenance issues on pitless scales may cause inaccurate weighments or even make it unusable.  The pit scale may require maintenance, which would be minimal, because most of the components will be protected under ground.

truck scale

Pit scales may be more expensive but may also be considered long term in comparison to the pitless scale.  The pitless scales may be considered more of a short term installation, due to the fact that they are less costly on pit and foundation costs.  Pit scales may cost somewhat more with the extra concrete, but if you add rails and any other safety equipment to the pitless scales, it adds up quickly.

The pitless scales will have 4” to 8” clearance from concrete to the base of the scale with a concrete approach on each end that can vary in size, depending on state installation requirements.  The pit scales are also regulated by the same rules and regulations as far as length of approaches, but it is at ground level, which may add to your usable area, and, in the case of snow, it will be much easier to clean.    A pitless scale will be considerably harder to work around, especially with ice and snow removal.

truck scale

So, when you look for a truck scale keep in mind things such as placement of the scale for ease of traffic, good drainage, ground condition for a good foundation, and the type of precipitation you will have at your location for maintenance concerns.

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