Purchasing a new truck scale is a big decision, for it is a long-lasting purchase. If well maintained, it can last for 20+ years. It is a large capital investment. More often than not, the decision to purchase is focused on the cost of a new scale and/or on the weighbridge construction. But focusing on just the purchase price or the weight of the steel can be costly to your future maintenance budget. Understanding where your maintenance dollars will be spent can help you focus on what features and specifications will bring the most significant savings down the road.
This short excerpt from the METTLER TOLEDO Truck Scale Buying Guide shows you a breakout of where your purchase dollars go on a typical truck scale purchase. It also shows you where you are going to spend your maintenance dollars.
Truck Scale Project Costs
As you familiarize yourself with the various components of a new truck scale installation, you can start to see how they comprise the total cost of the project. Ask potential suppliers for an itemized quotation. Here, we show an example of the typical costs involved with a full-sized truck scale installation:
Cost of Ownership
When comparing different scales, an informed buyer can look at more than just the purchase price. Calculating the total cost of ownership over the life of the scale involves factoring in downtime, repair and service costs. Scale downtime has both qualitative and quantitative values. Typically the decision to get a truck scale is based on economics and the value of the products in those trucks. The reasons for having a truck scale come down to the determination of net value:
- Know the value of the transaction or the value of the cargo of your incoming or outgoing shipments.
- Verify the value of incoming shipments. It‘s good business to double check the accuracy of the shipper‘s scales. This is also your best opportunity to identify losses, leaks, or outright fraud.
- Control inventory. Your truck scale is the first point of inventory control and an indispensable resource for subsequent bulk measurements for purchasing, materials balancing, and auditing.
- Load the maximum quantity. You need a truck scale to make sure you‘re shipping the maximum possible load without exceeding highway weight limits. If your scale is down, your site loses its ability to perform these functions. That has different meaning for each site, but take the time to consider the value of downtime for your business. It may be more substantial than you think.
Ongoing Ownership Costs
Ownership costs can be related to a situation in which a component has failed, or where the scale requires readjustment or recertification. Some components are more likely to cause those issues than others in conventional scale systems.
Though many companies focus their sales presentation on the weighbridge, it is typically a low-maintenance item when compared with other parts of the scale. Many truck scale buyers wish to focus sales discussions more on the load cell systems once they learn that older load cell systems have been the main source of ongoing maintenance and repair costs and downtime. Therefore, choosing the right load cell system has the greatest potential to save the owner money over the life of the scale.
Download the METTLER TOLEDO Truck Scale Buying Guide to learn more about other factors you should consider when purchasing a truck scale.