Pallet Jack Scale or Floor Scale—Which is Best for Your Business?

If you’re in the market for a new scale, you may be wondering whether a pallet jack scale or a floor scale is the better option. 

Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your specific needs before making a decision. This article will break down the negatives and positives of each type so that you can make an informed decision. 

What is a Pallet Jack Scale?

A pallet jack scale, sometimes called a pallet truck scale, is a type of digital weight indicator powered by a battery that is used to weigh pallets and other objects. This scale is on wheels and works best for smaller warehouses weighing pallets of 5,000 lbs or less.

What is a Floor Scale?

A floor scale is also used to weigh pallets and other goods that are being shipped. Rather than a battery, a floor scale uses a load cell for power and typically works best for larger warehouses that weigh various sizes of pallets.

Here are Some Key Differences Between Pallet Jack Scales and Floor Scales:

Pallet Jack Scales

An interior of a warehouse with shelves and pallet jack scale with boxes on it.

Pro’s

  • Small & Portable – Pallet jack scales are typically smaller and more portable than floor scales. Since they are on wheels, they can be rolled around the warehouse floor to keep the transport process moving. The best part—you can easily tuck it away the end of the work day rather than having a scale that takes up valuable floor space.
  • No Installation – A pallet jack scale does’t require anchoring to the ground like a floor scale does.
  • User Friendly – They are easy to use. Of course all necessary safety training is required to use the scale, but its operation can be easily learned by your staff in no time.
  • Safer then Alternatives – Pallet jack scales are considered safer to use than other systems such as using a forklift to put a pallet on a floor scale, which has required certifications to operate.

Con’s

  • Less Accurate – Since a pallet jack scale lifts from the center, the measurement is not as accurate as floor scales.
  • Charged Battery Required – Pallet jack scales are battery powered so these must be charged daily. If the battery isn’t charged when it’s time to use the scale, this will cause lag time and slow down in the processes. To avoid this, it’s recommended that you establish a standard that ensures the battery is being charged overnight so it’s always ready to use the next day.
  • More Maintenance Over Time – With the benefit of portability comes the disadvantage of additional maintenance. Because this scale can be rolled around, this means the parts (such as the wheels) will endure more wear and tear over time. The good news is, you can rely on a scale provider that offers scale servicing and calibration to let you know when it’s time to replace parts.
  • Higher Price Tag – A pallet jack scale may give you a little more sticker shock than other types of scales depending on the durability needed for your warehouse weighing.
  • Pallet Size Limitations – Pallet jack scales can typically be used for weighing smaller pallets up to 5′ x 5′. On the flip side, a floor scale can weigh almost any size pallet.

Floor Scales

A Btek floor scale on the floor of a warehouse

Pro’s

  • More Accurate – Floor scales are generally more accurate than pallet jack scales, since they have a larger surface area and weigh from all four corners. They are also less likely to be affected by minor shifts in weight distribution.
  • More Durable – Floor scales are more durable than pallet jack scales. They are designed to withstand the harsh conditions of warehouse use.
  • Less Maintenance – They will require less maintenance since they stay in the same spot and have a durable steel plate that provides protection from accidental drops or hard hits from the pallets.
  • Powered by Load Cell – An electronic floor scale uses load cells for accurate weighing which are well protected by the steel plate. They don’t require daily charging like the battery in a pallet jack scale.
  • Cost Effective – Floor scales are typically a lower cost compared to pallet jack scales. Don’t buy into cheap floor scales you see for sale. You need to select a durable scale that isn’t cheaply made. Going through a reputable scale company is your best bet to avoid a product that will not stand the test of time.
  • Weigh Various Pallet Sizes – Floor scales can be used to weigh pallets of various sizes, while a pallet jack scale is typically designed for use with pallets that are smaller size.

Con’s

  • Heavy and Bulky – If you have a small warehouse a floor scale might not be the best fit for you. They require a forklift to move as they typically weigh anywhere from 100lbs to as much as 800lbs depending on the scale. They take up a lot of floor space whereas a pallet jack scale can be moved around and be placed off to the side when not in use.
  • Additional Equipment Required – To use a floor scale you must have a forklift to lift the pallets onto the scale. If you don’t have a forklift, a ramp will be required to get the pallets onto the scale, adding safety risks and more warehouse floor space taken. You will also need a forklift to move the scale. It’s best to establish a dedicated spot for a floor scale and not move it after it is placed.
  • Less Efficient – Having to transport the pallet to the scale with use of forklift or a moving and ramp system certainly adds time to the process. With a pallet jack scale you can roll around easily from pallet to pallet.

So Which is Best for Your Business?

Both types of scales allow business owners to quickly and efficiently handle materials and accurately weigh them for documenting and shipping.

Now that you know the key differences between pallet jack scales and floor scales, you can decide which is the best option for your business.

If you need a scale that is accurate, durable, and can be used for pallets of various sizes, a floor scale is probably the better choice. However, if you need a scale for smaller pallet sizes that is portable, easy to use, and doesn’t take up a lot of space, then a pallet jack scale may be the better option.

Whichever type of scale you choose, make sure it meets your specific needs so you can get the most out of your purchase.

How Do I Get A Scale to Weigh My Pallets?

wooden crate pallet container for transportation, wooden crates shelf pallet of construction items

Choosing the right industrial scale for your business is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. Having the right scale for your needs will improve your warehouse processes. Moving and weighing items more quickly and efficiently results in increased productivity and profitability. 


The experts at American Scale can help you select the right scale for your needs and can perform any scale service and calibration needed to protect your investment for the long haul. Contact us today to discuss your needs and we’ll get you on the right path to streamlining your pallet transport process.