Can Your Business Benefit from A Truck Scale? Answers to Your Top 10 Questions

semi driving on a truck scale

Truck scales are used by businesses large and small for weighing trucks and trailers. In addition to capturing bulk load weights, truck scales also help businesses stay in compliance with government regulated weight limitations. Would your business benefit from a truck scale? In this article, we’ll address your top 10 questions so you can make an informed decision.

1. What Are Truck Scales and What Do They Do?

Truck scales are an important part of the trucking industry. They are often used to measure the weight of cargo being transported in truckload size quantities for transactional purposes. More importantly, they help companies ensure that their trucks are not overloaded. Overloading a truck can cause serious damage to the vehicle and lead to hefty fines from the government.

2. What Types of Companies Use Truck Scales?

Truck scales are used by a variety of companies in the trucking industry. Some of the most common users of truck scales are trucking companies, freight brokers, shipping companies, manufacturers and government agencies.

3. How Do Truck Scales Work?

A truck scale usually consists of a load cell that measures the force exerted by the truck as it is weighed. This information is then used to calculate the weight of the truck and its cargo. Some truck scales also include a scanner that can measure the length, height, width, and axle weights of a truck which calculates the total weight of the truck and its cargo.

The truck’s weight is calculated by subtracting the tare weight from the gross vehicle weight. Tare weight is the weight of the empty truck.

Red and blue truck with text that reads "Gross vehicle weight (cvw) = empty truck + cargo"

Most truck scales have a capacity of 60-80 tons, though some can weigh vehicles up to 200 tons. Typically, larger trucks require a higher-capacity truck scale to get an accurate measurement of their weight.

4. What Are Some of the Benefits of Using Truck Scales?

There are many benefits of using truck scales, including but not limited to:

  • Ensuring accurate weight measurements and prevention of overloading. This not only keeps loads within regulatory compliance but also prevents the possibility of costly fines or accidents.
  • Improving fuel efficiency by reducing the weight of the truck.
  • Providing a documented record of each truck’s weight, which can be used for load planning and routing.
  • Measuring truck axle weights, which is important for load balancing and tire wear.
  • Optimizing your freight operations by identifying overweight trucks and eliminating unnecessary trips.

Overall, using truck scales can help save time and money, making them an essential tool for any business that relies on trucks for transportation.

5. What Types of Truck Scales Are There?

When choosing a truck scale, it’s important to consider the different types available. Each type has different advantages and uses. By doing your research, you can ensure that you choose the right type of truck scale for your needs and budget.

When choosing which type is right for your needs, you must consider factors like accuracy, size, and weight capacity. When considering the cost of a truck scale, don’t forget to factor in any additional costs for equipment or software that would be needed for operation. Below are some common types of truck scales to consider:

In-motion Truck Scales

In-motion truck scales are the most common type. They’re typically installed at weigh stations or ports, and they allow trucks to be weighed without having to stop. In-motion truck scales are fast and efficient, but they’re also more expensive than other types of truck scales.

Static Truck Scales

Unlike in-motion truck scales, static truck scales must be installed at a location where trucks can stop. They are less expensive than in-motion truck scales, but they can take longer to use and may not be suitable for heavy-duty trucks.

Portable Truck Scales

Portable truck scales are often used by companies that need to weigh their trucks when they’re away from home or at a weigh station.

Overhead Bridge Truck Scales

Overhead bridge truck scales are typically larger than other types of truck scales and are used at ports or shipping yards.

Pro tip #1 Consult with an experienced truck scale company

6. Steel Deck or Concrete Deck—Which is Right for Me?

There are two types of truck scales: concrete deck truck scales and steel deck truck scales. Concrete deck truck scales are cheaper, and typically more accurate, but they’re also more fragile. They can be used on any type of surface, including gravel and dirt. However, they’re not as durable as steel deck truck scales and can be damaged by heavy traffic.

Steel deck truck scales are more expensive, but they’re much stronger and can hold up more weight. Though they aren’t as accurate as a concrete deck, steel deck truck scales are ideal for businesses that have a lot of traffic and need a scale that can handle heavy weights.

If you’re not sure which type of truck scale is right for your business, it’s best to consult with a truck scale expert.

7. What Factors Should Be Considered When Purchasing a Truck Scale?

There are several factors you need to consider before making a purchase. You must evaluate your site and what type of truck scale is appropriate for your needs. Here are a few things you need to evaluate:

Survey the Site Location

  • Project Approval: Local construction codes, zoning permits, and electrical codes are all requirements that need to be understood early in the process.
  • Installation: Review the area where you want the truck scale to be installed. For example, the presence of powerlines above or underground water, sewer, or gas services below the foundation can affect the installation process greatly. Powerlines, for example, can’t be in the way of cranes, forklifts or front loaders that are needed for installation and utilities below the foundation can increase excavation costs substantially.
  • Environmental Conditions: What environment will the scale be in? The truck scale will need to withstand environmental conditions such as rain and snow depending on where it’s being installed. Understand these factors going in to anticipate needed maintenance requirements.
  • Location Area: The size of the truck scale needs to fit within the location area so that it’s easily accessible to trucks and other vehicles. Likewise, there needs to be room for the vehicle to maneuver within the space with the ability to enter and exit in a straight line. 
  • Drivers and Pedestrian Safety: The scale will need to be positioned in a space where congestion of vehicles will be avoided and pedestrians will not be present. Furthermore, if truck drivers will be required to exit the vehicle for weighing, you must be sure they have a safe way to exit and re-enter the platform. Another consideration is the use of a driver operated kiosk system which allows weighing transactions without the driver ever having to leave the vehicle without an operator having to be present. 
Lightbulb icon with pro tip #2 about driving longest known vehicle through the area where the truck scale will be
Pro Tip #2 Test the truck scale location

Length and Width Requirements

  • Scale Capacity: The truck scale must have the appropriate weight limit and a length to accommodate all vehicles that will be accessing it. It’s important to note that increasing the width of a scale at a later date can be a huge undertaking and will likely result in replacing the entire system, whereas additions to the length are typically a much simpler process.
Lightbulb icon with pro tip #3 about not limiting thinking to the current truck scale needs but also looking at the future.
Pro Tip #3 Think about the future needs of the truck scale

Protecting Your Investment

  • Budget: Ultimately, you need to find a truck scale that fits within your budget, so you can ensure that it is a good investment for your business.
  • Ongoing Maintenance: There are a lot of steps involved in maintaining and servicing a truck scale. Investing in a service and maintenance plan with a truck scale company is the best way to maximize your investment.

When choosing a truck scale, it is important to consider the factors listed above to make an informed decision on finding the right scale that meets your needs.

8. How Do I Properly Maintain A Truck Scale?

Maintaining your truck scale is critical for ensuring accurate readings. There are several steps that you can take to keep your truck scale in working order to reduce the likelihood of inaccurate readings or costly accidents.


One of the most important things to consider when maintaining your truck scale is calibration. Calibrating your truck scale regularly will ensure that it is accurate and reliable. 

Truck scales need to be calibrated regularly to ensure accuracy. Generally, truck scales should be calibrated every six months to a year, although this may vary depending on the type of scale, the type of cargo being weighed, and any government regulation required by your industry. If you’re transporting heavy loads, your truck scale may need to be calibrated more frequently, as this can put extra strain on the scales.

Red and blue truck with calendar icon ttext that reads "recalibrate truck scales every 6 months to a year"

To ensure the accuracy and reliability of truck scales, it is important to work with a reputable manufacturer or dealer who offers high-quality scales that are properly calibrated. 

Lightbulb icon with pro tip #4 about making sure the truck scale is properly calibrated
Pro Tip #4 Calibrate your truck scale

Cleaning & Servicing

Your truck scale must be kept clean and free from debris with use of appropriate cleaning products. It must be serviced regularly for it to work properly. Additionally, any problems with the bearings or other moving parts should be addressed immediately, as they can affect the accuracy of your measurements.

By taking the time to maintain your truck scale properly, you can ensure that it will provide accurate readings for years to come.

9. Who Can Perform Service On A Truck Scale?

It is a good idea to consider hiring a Certified Scale Company to perform service and maintenance. These companies can provide you with expert advice and assistance, and perform regular maintenance and calibration tasks to keep your truck scale in top condition so it continues to operate at peak performance.

Semi Shipping Cargo On Its Trailer

10. I Need A Truck Scale—Where Do I Start?

Truck scales are an important part of the trucking industry, and a major investment for a business. Whether you choose to buy a new scale or have an older one serviced or upgraded, taking the time to invest in reliable truck scales can help you maintain a safe, efficient operation and stay in compliance with government regulations. 

There are many considerations to keep in mind when making this important decision. By doing your research and knowing what to look for in a quality truck scale, you can ensure that you get the right product for your needs.

Seeking professional advice is a great way to ensure that you’re considering all factors involved and ultimately getting the right system for your needs. At American Scale, we offer a wide variety of truck scales and other weighing equipment, as well as maintenance and calibration services. We can provide consultation throughout the entire process to ensure success in your operation.