How to Buy a Truck Scale

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Truck scales go through a lot. These scales are often in relentless environments and exposed to the elements in ways other scales simply are not.  You need to be confident and know your scale will last before you invest thousands of dollars into this piece of equipment. So what should you look for when purchasing a truck scale so that you can be confident it will last? The three most popular topics customers as us about when deciding how to buy a truck scale are the scale longevity, warranty, and your return on Investment.  

Scale Longevity:

Buying a scale that is engineered and tested in real-world conditions is the best route for ensuring your scale is always up and running. Look for a manufacturer who conducts weigh bridge tests that reflect real-world scenarios, such as lifecycle testing instead of what is called a concentrated load capacity [CLC] testing (see video below.) Also look for how many trucks the scale can handle per year and that the axle load safety factors exceed the maximum allowable on the highway for your state. The load cells are also an integral component of your truck scale. Ensure your load cells are protected against lightning strikes by requesting the test from a third party, independent laboratory from the manufacturer.


The warranty of a truck scale is a promise between the manufacturer and you to take care of any manufacturing issues with your scale. When comparing warranties, you always should look out for hidden fees and exceptions to coverages. Many companies will cover the truck scale itself, but will still charge you for parts needed for repair, labor to replace broken parts, time to get to your location, and the mileage. With those costs possibly adding up to a manufacturing error, does the warranty really save you money?  Find a manufacturer with a transparent, simple warranty who will cover 100% of parts cost, labor cost, travel time, and mileage cost.

Return On Your Investment:

Many manufacturers give you a great deal on day 0 cost, but will that scale last as long as a well-engineered scale? What kind of load cells do they use? Will that scale be as accurate or be protected against the environment? Scale accuracy and dependability are the pillars of ensuring you are getting a positive return on your truck scale. Traditional analog load cells are low cost to the manufacturer but are a very high cost to maintain over the life of the scale. These load cells are also not as accurate or protected as digital load cells. Look at the below chart to see how much money inaccuracy can cost you:

Bulk Commodities Price per Ton Price per Pound Daily Loss Weekly Loss Monthly Loss Yearly Loss

Waste (MSW)







Corn (56 lb/bu)







Steel Scrap







Carlton Scale proudly partners with a manufacturer who listens to their customers. METTLER TOLEDO truck scales are intended to last and we maintain them so they can. Find out for yourself with a free consultation for your truck scale. 


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