Choosing the right floor scale can save you money and headaches. Buying a cheap inferior built scale will eventually cost you more money due to inaccurate readings. Add to that bad customer service, and you could end up being stuck with a non-working scale. On the contrary, it is not always wise to go with higher priced scales. If scale functions aren’t used, a company isn’t benefiting from the feature and might as well not have it on any scales they own. What is important is to have the correct tools to do a job efficiently and effectively. This guide includes a check list to help you choose the right floor scale for your business.
1. Do you need a Legal For Trade scale? (NTEP approved)
This should be the first thing you need to check. If you are running a recycling center or any sell or buy by weight business, you need a Legal For Trade scale. If you use a non-NTEP scale in a Legal For Trade application, your scale may be confiscated by the local Weigh & Measurement officer. If you are not sure please consult with our specialist at 855-697-2253. NTEP is a national certification for the products in legal application. If the scale is NTEP approved, it is legal for trade. If you are in TX, RI, ND or VT, you don’t have to use an NTEP scale, however your scale will still be checked by your local Weigh and Measurement. If your scale doesn’t meet the standard, a red tag will be placed on your scale. You won’t be able to use your scale until it passes the re-check.
If you have a few more dollars to spend, it is always a good choice to buy an NTEP scale – even if it is not required by law in your application. An NTEP scale model has been tested by NCWM through their official labs before the certification is issued. NTEP floor scales have to use NTEP load cells and an NTEP indicator. Both components must come with temperature compensation. That’s why NTEP scales are usually more expensive. A well- built non-NTEP scale will also provide great performance in accuracy while NTEP ones can give you a little more confidence. The decision is yours.
2. How to choose a good floor scale?
Before answering this question, let me show you how scales work: a floor scale has four load cells (sensors) mounted on a scale base, connected with the indicator (readout display) through a cable. The indicator gives 5 volt power through the cable to the load cells. The load cells give the feedback (resistance) to the indicator through different wires in the cable. When the scale is loaded, the resistance changes and the indicator will translate this change into weighing readouts (AD conversion). Obviously the load cell quality is very important. Cheap scales using inferior load cells are never accurate. Although it is nearly impossible for you to check the quality of the load cells from a picture or online descriptions, we still can figure it out by some clues.
A good floor scale should use standard 3mv/V sensitivity load cells. It is “sharper” than 2mv/V ones. 2mv/V is cheaper in cost and it may work. However, 2mv/V load cells respond slower than the 3mv/V ones. They are not suitable for high working pace applications. Another issue is: it is very hard to find those non-standard 2mv/V load cells in any dealer shop. If one of your load cells breaks, you will probably end up with replacing all four load cells because 2mv/V and 3mv/V are not compatible with each other. All Elite Scales floor scales use 3mv/V load cells.
The scale base has to be sturdy enough to hold the full capacity. That’s why a lot of people ask how heavy is the scale itself. It is true, a heavy deck is good for the performance of a scale, but the structure of the scale is important too, to avoid “side loads”. The load cells can work well only if the load is from one direction. If the structure is not good, it will pass the force to the side of the load cell, which will cause serious inaccuracy.
The indicator of the scale has three functions: power source, AD conversion and display. A good quality indicator must be used to ensure the good performance of a scale. A bigger display enables you to see the readouts from a distance. A built-in battery can power up the scale when the location doesn’t have a power source. If you use the scale indoors, a bright LED display will be more visible. If you use the scale in sunny locations, then the LCD will be much more readable.
3. If you are not sure what size of the scale do you need, please check the following video:
4. How to choose a good scale seller?
Sadly many sellers try to sell scales the same way as selling paper clips. Some of them just copy and paste descriptions from manufacturer’s website and ask them to drop ship. They don’t know how to use a scale. They haven’t even seen the scales themselves. Try to stay away from those sellers because they won’t be able to help. Buying from them is risky. We think a good scale seller should:
a. Help customers choose the right scale for the application needed
b. Have their own inventory and check the scales before shipping
c. Help the customers with all kinds of questions – including troubleshooting
d. Has contracted local dealers to repair the scales on site
e. Allow customers to return the scales if remote troubleshooting is not successful
f. Improve quality and service every day
Quality products, great deals, excellent support - that is the DNA of Scale Depot. If you know what you need, the one-page checkout only takes a minute to order. If you are not sure what to buy, our scale professionals are here listening your needs and offering the best deals.