We were asked this week do you have any recommendations for good scrap yard platform scales for sale that I can take a look at?
Well, it got me to thinking and doing some reading. Recycling scrap metal generates significant economic value worldwide. Metal recycling operations are the first step in this important industry and it’s crucial to profitability to obtain accurate weight data here. Weighing incoming and outgoing scrap metal can’t slow down your business, either. Scales are vital to businesses dealing with scrap metal prices.
The forum summary below describes what happened to an individual who took his scrap to be weighed. What he is describing is more than likely some filtering that the digital indicator has built in but nevertheless it reminds us that when it comes to commercial scales, you need to make sure that you’re paying or being paid correctly.
It’s also a good reminder that in addition to the scale system, if you own a scrap yard it might be a good idea to have a big remote display so that the weights are easy to see. I’ve even seen a few metal recycling centers that have sophisticated video surveillance that also shows scale weight on the video display.
Below is the topic that I mentioned with a few key contributions.
Hi guys, it’s been a while… I took a load of scrap to the yard last Saturday and noticed something very peculiar. I put some cast aluminum on the scale and watched to see what it read. It read 20 lbs and then went immediately to 18 pounds (minus 10 percent). Then I put some #3 copper on the scale and it read 32 lbs and immediately went to 29 lbs (minus 10 percent again).
So, at this point I’m understanding how the scale works. Every time something is weighed, it automatically deducts 10 percent of the weight. Is this because they are protecting themselves from dirty metals or waste? Is this just merely a mechanism to cheat scrappers? Is this one scale just consistently, accurately, and continually defected?
After weigh the second load (copper) he noticed I had issues with the scale and asked me to step outside the shed. Well, too late, I already saw it. Has anyone else had this experience or is this just at this particular scrapyard? At the other scrapyard I frequent, they won’t even let you see the scale reading, they physically make you walk inside a room behind the scale and look at the guy weighing the stuff through a window as the other guy records what he says for your payout ticket.
This work is kind of labor intensive and being cheated is what should happen. I do this part time, but there are people who scrap to feed their families. If the have a 2,000 lb iron load and the rate if $200.00 per ton and the scale cheats them by 10%, then that payout just went from $200.00 to $180.00 and that can make the difference between paying a mortgage or not paying one.
At our yard we let everyone watch the scales… accurate scales are vital to an operation. After all we are weighing our outbound product on those same scales when we go to sell. So it’s in everyone’s best interest for them to be accurate. Having said that, sometimes it takes a couple of seconds for the scale to settle if you drop a lot of weight on the scales with force. Does that make sense?
My advice would be to do what others are saying, and find another yard to sell to. I know of a competitor around us that advertises a great price and then cheats on weight and/or will over-deduct lbs off your product for dirt or undesirables.
i assure you that you are not being cheated. i use scales at my real job all the time, there is a settling time that needs to be allowed, when you toss your scrap on the scale the force that hits the scale is more than the weight so it pushes the scale down for a small moment. the yard would have to pay big fines and possibly be shut down if they had the scales programmed to deduct weight, not sure about the metal industry, but in the food industry we have audits on all of our scales on a regular basis when they fail they are shutdown and repaired or disposed of. Full article at Scrap Metal Forum: http://www.scrapmetalforum.com/general-lets-talk-business/9235-scrapyard-scale-debacle.html
I also found the following top ten article below very interesting as well and provides some good points of view from the customer’s perspective.
Know whether or not your scrap dealer has certified scales. Scales are computers which can be programmed to read whatever an unscrupulous scrap dealer wants them to read. In the case of a floor scale usually with a 3′ or 4′ weigh plate designed for weighing parcels less than 5,000 lbs, a quick check is to stand on it. Does the read-out display your weight +/- 2lbs? In the case of a truck-scale, (literally 50′ long & designed to weigh a tractor trailer weighing as much as 100,000 lbs accurately), ask to see the inspection sticker from the Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services. You can use the same self-weigh test here, too. Does the truck scale display your weight within 20 lbs? Never use a scrap dealer who doesn’t allow you to see the scale read-out.
Know Your Weight in Pounds. Scrap dealers like to deal in what is referred to as a “Gross Ton” (which is 2,240 pounds), because they will round down to the nearest ton. For example, if you have 6,695 pounds of steel, many scrap dealers divide 6,675 lbs by 2,240 to get 2.98 gross tons & will round down to 2GT (two gross tons). This shaves off a full third of your weight & therefore a full 33% of your money!
NTEP certified legal for trade scrap yard platform scales are perfect for accurate weighing of loaded pallets, drums, barrels and other large items. With a wide assortment of models ranging in size from 2 foot by 2 foot up to 7 foot wide versions, odds are you can find the exact scale to fit your weighing needs. And with capacities of 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000 or 30,000 pounds, our selection of scrap yard platform scales for sale that will handle your even your largest amounts with accuracy within one tenth of one percent.
Briefly, I did want to mention one thing that can sometimes trip customers up, the readability.
A floor scale with 5000 lb capacity typically can only display weights in 1 lb increments. That’s because its NTEP certificate is only good for 5000 divisions. So 5000/1 = 5000 divisions. So a similar type of scale that has a 10,000 lb capacity would only show weight increments in 2 lb increments. 10,000 / 2 = 5000 divisions. This is also true for larger items like truck scales, which typically have readability of 20 lbs. 100,000 / 20 = 5000 divisions.
The high quality electronic scales feature a diamond tread surface to prevent slipping. While most recycling centers and scrapyards use standard painted steel floor scales, if necessary we do offer some floor scales for recycling centers which are manufactured using stainless steel, which are corrosion resistant and ideal for washdown environments.
Our floor scales are NTEP approved legal for trade to ensure they meet all government standards and requirements for weighing devices used in commercial (buying/selling) trade. Your scale arrives factory calibrated, which basically means the digital readout has been connected and adjusted to work with that particular scale platform and is ready to weigh. Set up for these scales is pretty simple but can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Normally the digital indicator will ship to you via UPS and the scale will ship on a pallet via a freight carrier. Once you get the two items, just remove the junction box cover plate to access the connecting cable. Carefully run the cable from under the j-box compartment and connect it to the digital weight indicator. Place the industrial scale platform on a level weighing surface. Adjust the foot in each corner of the weighing scale platform to make sure the scale is level.
Next you would plug the power cord into the indicator and into 110VAC power outlet and you’re ready to start weighing. To weigh, turn the scale on and place an item on the scale. To change from pounds to kilograms, press the “lb./kg.” button. This is sometimes listed as “units” button. Optional ramps are also available to provide easy access and loading from hand trucks and pallet trucks. These floor scales are low profile and ideal for scrap yards, recycling centers and much more. Shipping is usually pretty quick – normally somewhere around 1 to 2 business days and shipping for our Low Profile Floor Scales and accessories is usually free for business addresses in the continental United States.
So after all this writing, you’re probably wondering what are some good scales for scrap yards?
Well several factors need to be determined in order to choose the correct scale. Is the scale going to be outdoors? If so then you need a scale with stainless steel digital weighing indicator, LCD display, battery power etc… The scale platform ideally would have stainless steel load cells and junction box. If the scale is going to be covered or indoors, then you can choose other less expensive choices.
In my experiences, I have seen a couple of different philosophies when it comes to purchasing scales for a scrap yard business. Example number one buys the Roughdeck which is more expensive but generally works for many years of service. Sure this customer may have to replace a component here or there but generally the scale works pretty well. Or, we see example number two who buys the cheapest NTEP legal for trade scale he can find, typically on ebay (by the way often the auction seller knows very little about scales, but we’ll discuss that on a different day). This customer usually ends up having more break downs and parts failures. So he may technically save money, but when you factor in the downtime and inconvenience, in many cases, it makes more sense to purchase the higher quality Rice Lake recycling scales for sale. The same is true for those who are looking for used scrap metal scales to purchase. Often, many of those have been overloaded for years and are prone to failure.
Finally, scales for recycling is a grueling market segment, so we recommend that you take a look at the Rice Lake Roughdeck lineup of platform scales. There is a reason this equipment costs more! This pallet scale is designed to last you for many years of service and many customers can vouch for that as well.