How to buy the right industrial scales for your needs

By: Grant King, IndustrySearch Writer
07 April, 2016

‘How heavy is it?’ In its most basic form, that’s the question answered by an industrial scale.

But the benefits of such an answer go a lot further: an accurate weight, especially for seriously heavy items, can avert a safety issue if a load is found to be beyond the specs of a forklift. On the profit end of the scale, accurate weights lead to accurate returns for products sold by the kilogram. So here's a breakdown to help you weigh up your options.

Platform and floor scales allow heavy loads to be weighed without the need to lift them far off the ground, a useful benefit in itself. These scales do, however, mean heavy and potentially dangerous goods have to be carted across your warehouse before they can be weighed. Which also means a forklift potentially ill-equipped to carry them has to do just that. If you strongly suspect a pallet load is too heavy for your hoist, don't try. Find another way to weigh it first. 

A forklift scale is, as the name suggests, a scale directly attached to the forklift cleat with weight data sent straight to the driver via Bluetooth. No driving heavy loads from dock to scales; the driver knows the weight the moment the goods are lifted and can make an instant decision as to whether his forklift has the capacity to carry it safely.

Crane Scales are a good option if you weigh a lot of unstable or long and unwieldy goods. With a crane scale you simply hook the goods wherever they need to be hooked and raise them a little off the ground. 

Bench Scales are at the small end of the scale scheme of things and come in a wide variety of low weight configurations. Counting scales, a common garden variety of bench scale, are generally considered to the most accurate if precise measurements are called for. Bench scales are generally suited for detailed laboratory measurements or the slightly less detailed requirements of retail and warehousing. 

Finally mobile scales are at the portable, low end of the scale if you need to weigh a lot of smaller items on the spot. Available in all manner of shapes and sizes, a mobile scale may be all you need if you're only dealing with light items scattered about in multiple locations.