Once you understand truck scale basics, including foundation and deck types, it’s important to understand the specific elements that increase truck scale durability. Elements such as load cell housing, steel content, and deck type all influence the truck scale’s lifespan. Understanding the pros and cons of every design feature can help you make an informed decision about your system.
STRENGTHENING STRESS POINTS
Some of the highest stress points on a truck scale are the ends of the weighbridge surrounding load cell pockets. As vehicles enter and exit a truck scale, the isolated force on the module ends can cause stress fractures in the deck, compromising the scale’s integrity and accuracy. Some truck scales feature load cell pockets bolted on the modules, which can bend away from the module causing irreparable damage to the system. Other truck scale models have integrated load cell pockets. Integrated load cell pockets fit securely between longitudinal I-beams that extend the full length of the module, providing greater support at high-stress points on the weighbridge.
A popular design for weighbridges is to use top and bottom deck plates with fewer longitudinal support beams to provide truck scale durability at a lower initial cost. The downside of this design is moisture build-up between the deck plates due to temperature changes. This leads to rust, weakening the structural integrity of the truck scale and leading to component failure. Other truck scale models use more longitudinal support, eliminating the need for a bottom deck plate. While this additional steel content can lead to higher purchase price, it allows for an open-bottom so condensation under the module is able to drip to the foundation and evaporate, preventing rust.
There are many different styles of longitudinal support for truck scale modules. Some modules have bent sheet metal or C-channel supports; others use I-beams though there is also a variation in the size of the I-beams. Models using larger I-beams placed closer together ensure vehicle wheels are supported no matter the alignment on the weighbridge, putting less stress on individual components. This can help prevent the modules from bowing or dimpling, increasing the scale lifespan.
The neutral axis in a concrete deck truck scale is the point where expected compression from vehicle weight shifts to damaging tension. Some manufacturers will create a 10- or 12-inch concrete deck that will crack prematurely as the concrete below the neutral axis expands to release tension. Other manufacturers design concrete deck scales to keep the concrete above the neutral axis. A steel I-beam substructure can support the concrete and allow tension to release without damaging the concrete deck, creating a stronger concrete deck truck scale.
SURVIVOR® truck scales that Weigh-Tec supplies, are designed to provide greater support to high-stress areas of truck scale modules. SURVIVORs are made with more longitudinal steel I-beams for greater support, increasing the lifespan to 25 years or more. Bolt-on guiderails on also help protect the scale frame from damage if vehicles come in contact with the rails. Learn about our truck scale projects here: https://www.weightec.com/truck-scales/
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