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The Benefits of Pallet Truck Weighing Scales

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Ask anyone working in a warehouse or factory and they’ll preach the benefits of pallet truck scales, of which there are many.

Often referred to as a pump truck, pallet jack or forklift scales, this particular range of equipment simplifies the transport and storage of heavy materials, not to mention the weighing of those same items.

A fixture of the agriculture, industrial, retail and even veterinary sectors, they remain the best method of check weighing boxes, containers and palleted goods alike.

In this article we’ll explain in greater detail how they work before touching upon the clear advantages they could bring you and your business.


Operating Pallet Truck Scales

Pallet scales are designed to hold bulky items and automatically weigh anything placed onto the pallet itself.

For increased accuracy, it’s advisable to position them on a flat surface before selecting a preferred application – be that check weighing, dynamic weighing or another pre-programmed option.

Before anything is placed onto the forklift beams themselves it’s important to tare or zero the LCD display. This serves to reset any previous work.

Thereafter items can be carefully stacked. A built-in scale will measure the weight and share this on the screen. The more you add, the greater the weight displayed but ensure the load is stabilised for reliable readings.

Unlike many scales, the final load can be moved as one when deploying pallet truck weighing models, allowing for easy loading or stocking on receipt of delivery.

This variety of scale brings with it some obvious advantages.

NDP Pallet Truck Weighing Scale
NDP Pallet Truck Weighing Scale
£824.00 - £934.00
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1. Durability

Firstly, they are refreshingly robust.

Indeed, Pallet truck weighing scales are built to last. Largely damage resistant, the mild steel forks and heavy-duty load cells found in most designs allow for years of weighing. What would otherwise be considered oversized loads can be managed by these scales, some of which can accommodate up to 2000kg.

While annual calibration is important, your pallet truck weighing scales should endure for years.

2. Efficient

Perhaps the biggest benefit of pallet truck scales is their mobility. Great time can be saved weighing something and moving it in a single sequence, something accompanying wheels allow for. This is not possible with static platform scales, which, though highly accurate, lengthen the time taken to oversee stock checks and the like.

In combining a typical forklift action with a heavy-duty weighing scale, the pallet option creates a perfect hybrid. Also, with battery life reaching up to 70 hours, they are highly efficient.

3. Reduced Costs

By the same token, pallet truck weighing scales reduce the need for manpower. Indeed, a single person can operate these scales – following a tutorial – freeing up others to complete tasks elsewhere in the warehouse or business at large. Fewer staff means less expenditure for business owners, who welcome the cost-savings.

4. Accuracy

It’s important to note that, while accurate, not all pallet truck scales are trade approved. If you’re looking to sell goods based on weight, it’s essential you purchase those meeting this criteria. Failing that, platform scales are a safe alternative.

Generally speaking, however, most pallet truck scales are accurate to within 1kg. A handful, including the Marsden PT-500, are within 500g. This puts them among the most reliable scales on the market and brings reassurance to those depending on them.

 5. Easy to Operate

We’ve already highlighted how pallet truck scales lessen the need for a team of people to handle stock checks. This is due in part to just how easy the machinery is to operate.

A large handle and zero pivot rotation capability allow for maneuverability in even the tightest spaces, while large backlit LCD displays provide consistent readings. No special license is required to ‘drive’ this vehicle, nor extensive training, meaning anyone working in a warehouse can perfect the art quickly and safely.

Heavy Duty NDPYP Pallet Truck Weigher with Printer
Heavy Duty NDPYP Pallet Truck Weigher with Printer
Starting from £985

6. Hard Copies

A number of modern pallet truck scales now come complete with fitted printers, allowing operators to create hard copies of any weighing results. This is ideal for those looking to document the procedure for company records.

Marsden have again proven trailblazers in this respect, with both their PT-200 and PT-600 models containing this key functionality.

7. Overloading

Finally, pallet truck scales help in the fight against vehicle overloading. It’s not uncommon for delivery drivers to pick up goods that tip their van over the recommended limit, thus endangering themselves and other road users.

This is a punishable offense that can incur fines of between £100 and £300, as well as a court summons. Pallet truck scales of course allow for the weighing of goods before they are loaded into a vehicle, meaning the final load is always known before a driver sets off. There is very little excuse for exceeding clear limits when they are deployed.

You can find out more about vehicle overloading here.

Pallet trucks transformed warehouses worldwide when introduced in the late 1930s.  Pallet truck scales had an equally transformative effect, simplifying the weighing and distribution of goods and reducing the resources required to oversee those same processes. No longer a nice to have for small and big businesses, they have become an essential piece of equipment you can ill afford to do without.

View our selection of pallet truck weighing scales here.

MDPT-500 Heavy Duty Pallet Truck with Built-in Scale
MDPT-500 Heavy Duty Pallet Truck with Built-in Scale

What Is A Weighing Scales Calibration and Service?

If you own a car, you’ll know that a lot can go wrong with it in a year. An annual MOT seems like the least you can do to pick up on, and fix, any lurking problems which are likely to cause inconvenience or even harm.  

It’s not a lot different with industrial weighing scales.

Over the course of a year, they can be subjected to quite a lot of wear and tear as a result of heavy day-to-day usage, as well as a gradual deterioration over time.   

Therefore, it stands to reason that an annual calibration and service should be undertaken to ensure that the scales in question are still able to weigh things accurately, reliably, and repeatedly.


Why do Weighing Scales Need to be so Reliable?

Industrial weighing scales must be within the manufacturer’s specification to be used reliably within their respective industry. Calibration and Service are necessary to know that the scales are completely reliable and able to provide an accurate weight.

Weighing scales used in industries such as waste recycling, scrap metal, and in professional medical settings must be EC Verified as being within legal tolerances; the consequences could be severe if they are not.

If a vehicle is overloaded it could cause harm not only to people but to the roads and the environment, so axle pads must be relied upon to provide an accurate weight. If a professional medical weighing scale is not providing accurate weight information for a patient the consequences could be severe; for example, an incorrect dosage of medication may be administered.

Therefore, industrial and medical weighing scales must be tested for accuracy annually (as a professionally recommended minimum) to ensure they are compliant and reliable.


What is Involved in a Calibration?

Calibration should only be carried out by a professional and qualified person.

The calibration work carried out sees the service engineer using specialist test weights which themselves are tested to M1 and F1 standards and traceable to a UKAS Approved Laboratory.

During a standard calibration, a service engineer will conduct a series of tests to ensure your weighing equipment is producing accurate measurements. If it’s incorrect then an adjustment will be needed which should also be carried out by the service engineer. Once the scales have been calibrated they will be correctly labelled as accurate to use for another year.

It should be noted that Class Approved, EC Verified scales will also need re-qualification by a local trading standards officer (TSO), approved verification officer (AVO) or the manufacturer themselves if calibration adjustment (or replacement of any major components) is undertaken. This is a mandatory requirement by law. Your calibration and service provider may not always be able to offer this service so it may mean additional costs are involved and should be considered. It is common practice that Class Approved, EC Verified scales are certified “as found” only with no adjustment providing they are within legal tolerances and manufacturer's specifications.

What is Involved in a Service?

Servicing should only be carried out by a professional and qualified person.

Service work should not be confused with Calibration. Servicing is carried out as planned preventative maintenance (PPM) to ensure the scale remains in an optimum working condition. Servicing usually comprises (but is not exhaustive) of a visual inspection to assess the general condition of the scale, keyboard functionality, display tests, physical inspection of external cables and connectors, basic cleaning under and around the weighing area to remove any obstruction and detritus. It should be noted that servicing does not equate to cleaning which should be covered by the customer or end-user in-house.

The basic rule of thumb is calibration to maintain accuracy and servicing is to maintain operation and production.

Service Packages to Meet Your Needs

At MK Scales, we offer various types of service packages to meet your exact requirements, ranging from a simple accuracy test right the way up to annual packages that include calibration certificates. We also offer service, repairs, and calibration on-site in our own purpose-built workshop based in Kettering. 

If you are responsible for ensuring your company’s weighing scales are calibrated and serviced annually and it’s vital that they are always operational, contact MK Scales to discuss the best weighing scale service package for you.

Contact our experienced team to discuss your needs and secure a quote today, or see our Service and Calibration area.