Truck scale

Truck scale

Truck scales are large, floor mounted weighing systems that can weigh entire vehicles and their contents. As the American name implies, they frequently weigh entire trucks. In the United Kingdom, they are called weighbridges. They can be surface mounted with a ramp leading up a short distance and the weighing equipment underneath or they can be pit mounted with the weighing equipment and platform in a pit to that the weighing surface is level with the road. They are typically built from steel or concrete and by nature are extremely robust.

It is a very heavy duty weighing scale which can weigh the vehicle both empty and when loaded and thus calculate the load carried by the vehicle. In earlier versions the bridge is installed over a rectangular pit that contains levers that ultimately connect to a balance mechanism. The most complex portion of this type is the arrangement of levers underneath the weigh bridge since the response of the scale must be independent of the distribution of the load. Modern devices use multiple strain gauges that connect to electronic equipment to totalize the sensor inputs. In either type of semi-permanent scale the weight readings are typically recorded in a nearby hut or office.

For many uses (such as at police over the road truck weigh stations or temporary road intercepts) weigh bridges have been largely supplanted by simple and thin electronic weigh cells, over which a vehicle is slowly driven. A computer records the output of the cell and accumulates the total vehicle weight. By weighing the force of each axle it can be assured that the vehicle is within statutory limits, which typically will impose a total vehicle weight, a maximum weight within an axle span limit and an individual axle limit. The former two limits ensure the safety of bridges while the latter protects the road surface.

They are used in industries that manufacture or move bulk items, such as in mines or quarries, recycling and bulk liquid and powder movement. Since the weight of the vehicle carrying the goods is known (and can be ascertained quickly if it is not known by the simple expedient of weighing the empty vehicle) they are a quick and easy way to measure the flow of bulk goods in and out of different locations.


Truck Scales can be used for two main purposes:
* "Selling or charging by weight over the bridge" (Trade Approved)
* "Check Weighing both axle weights and gross vehicle weights"

Axle Weigher

The larger Full-size trade approved Truck Scale shown in the picture is used for selling and charging by weight.

A "Single Axle Truck Scale" or "Axle Weigher System" can be used to check individual axle weights and gross vehicle weights to determine whether the vehicle is safe to travel on the public highway without being stopped and fined by the authorities for being overloaded.

Similar to the Full-size Truck Scale these systems can be pit mounted with the weighing surface flush to the level of the roadway or surface mounted.

Computer link

Many weighbridges are now linked to a personal computer which runs truck scale software capable of printing tickets and providing powerful reporting features.

ee also

* On-board scales
* Weigh lock, a portion of a canal used to weigh barges
* Truck Scale Software

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