August 10, 2018

Truck Scale Cost

What You Need to Know When Purchasing
a New Truck Scale:

Please take a look at this video from Mettler Toledo explaining what you should take into consideration when purchasing a new truck scale.

How Much Does A Truck Scale Cost?

The simplest answer: truck scale costs range anywhere from $35,000 all the way up to over $100,000If you’re only looking at the quoted price of the scale and installation, you are going to be paying well over that upfront cost over time. There are hidden factors to consider when purchasing a truck scale including inaccuracy, unplanned fixes, parts cost over time, and more. If you are only focusing on the initial cost of your scale, you may actually be hurting yourself over time. Questions you should be asking yourself: Should I go with analog or digital load cells? Is lightning protection worth looking into? Do I need Junction boxes? Steel or concrete decks? How much does a half day of downtime cost me? What are the tolerances my production can be off? All of these should be taken into consideration when looking into truck scale cost.

What Are the Hidden Maintenance Costs of a Truck Scale?

Most truck scale maintenance expenses fall into two categories, planned preventative maintenance and unplanned fixes. Selecting a scale with analog load cells can mean spending 21% or more compared to digital scales. Analog scale owners will also replace 5 times more load cells over the life of the scale, which could be 20 years or more! That’s a lot of parts cost over time. So while you may be getting slight savings on the initial purchase, you will end up paying more over the life of the scale.

Unplanned service calls are a cost that will skyrocket the cost of a scale over time. Analog scales use junction boxes to collect the load cell signal and route that to a terminal. Time and time again junction boxes get filled with water and debris that hinder the overall performance of the scale. Lightning, floods, and other environmental conditions also create opportunities for scales to be down that result in not only repair cost but production downtime.

What Are the Costs of Inaccuracies in a Truck Scale?

Inaccuracy should be the biggest factor when asking how much does a truck scale cost. This is the single greatest hidden cost that can cost you thousands of dollars a year. When determining the pricing of truck scale costs, accuracy is the best justifier for ROI that you can calculate. The easiest way is to take the price per weight, be it tons or pounds, and estimate how much is off in your tolerances will cost you. Below we’ve run some numbers for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly loss on standard commodities that our customers purchase.


Bulk CommoditiesPrice per TonPrice per PoundDaily LossWeekly LossMonthly LossYearly Loss
Waste (MSW)$50$0.025$200$1,000$4,400$52,800
Corn (56lb/bu)$150$0.075$600$3,000$13,200$158,400
Steel Scrap$300$0.15$1,200$6,000$26,400


Can your production stand to lose$26,400 a month? I think most customers handling steel scrap would say absolutely not. Determining inaccuracy factors are the easiest way to justify a more expensive scale purchase up front, and it’s easy to see. If you can spend $5,000 more now to save $316,800 every year why would you not? It’s been proven that digital load cells featuring active compensation are far more accurate than their analog counterparts.

 If you have more questions about hidden scale cost, how to calculate the long-term cost of a truck scale in your production environment or would like a budgetary quote on a truck scale please contact us! 

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Rusty's Weigh sells and services industrial scales throughout Texas and New Mexico. Discover our weighing solutions and services today.