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Nov 29, 2013

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

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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Apr 28, 2013

Truck Scales and T-Strip Moisture Prevention

Rubber T-strip can be very helpful in keeping moisture and debris out of your scale pit.

But what is it keeping in your pit? The answer is moisture!

truck scale

In-ground Truck Scale

In the spring and summer months, it is very important to keep the side gap of your scale open to allow ventilation of the pit so moisture can be removed.

If you have ever been in a sealed scale pit with water on the floor on a warm day, and believe me we have, it looks like a tropical rain forest down there.

As neat as that sounds, it is not a good thing for the metal and electronics in your scale.

Other questions on truck scale maintenance? Contact our service team!

Water is literally dripping off of the underside of the scale as it tries to evaporate to the warmer temperature outside.

With the t-strip in, evaporating water has nowhere to go and condenses resulting in moisture in the pit.

On a 70 foot truck scale there is nearly 6 square feet of ventilation with the side strips removed!

That is a lot of air exchanged to dry out your scale!

You can still leave the end pieces in to keep traffic mud out.

truck scale

Above-Ground Truck Scale

By simply doing a few simple maintenance procedures, keeping your sump pump operational for when heavy rains add water to your pit, and cleaning the pit on a bi-annual basis will add years of service to your scale.

Also, don’t forget to pump all of the water out in the fall before it freezes!

A drained pit will help the pit dry out quicker when the nice spring weather comes around again.

Then you will have more time to worry about more important things.

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