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3 Key Considerations When Installing New Scales / Scale House


25 Nov 2016

3 Key Considerations When Installing New Scales / Scale House

Technology Weighing, grading and material trading

With the right planning, a scale house operation can speed vehicle throughput, eliminate customer downtime and be a showpiece for your facility.

Are you considering installing new scales or a scale house at your site? Scales and scale houses are the gateway to your disposal facility.  Most importantly, they also act as the site cash register documenting customer transactions and charges. Keeping your scale facility productive and streamlined sets the tone for the efficiency of the site. Proper planning will allow maximum customer vehicle traffic throughput, while keeping staffing at appropriate levels. Factors that may influence an investigation of a new scale facility are: increased public access, increased permit volume, and an aging infrastructure or driver-assisted program. There are three considerations that affect the throughput of your scale facility—proper spare conduit installation, staggering your scales and evaluating the need for traffic lights and bypass lanes.


Three key considerations:

By keeping these three key considerations in mind before you begin, you can ensure that there are redundancies in place to eliminate downtime, maximize staff production, and streamline the traffic flow to and around the scales—saving you both time and money.

1. Proper Spare Conduit Installation

Always install spare conduit near the beginning and the end of the scale even if you may not need it now.  This will allow for the expansion of additional lights, gates, and driver assisted terminals in the future.  Taking this approach before concrete or asphalt is installed will save you a fortune down the road as you attempt to automate your scales.

2. Stagger Your Scales

If possible, stagger your scales so they are not identically parallel to each other.  This allows for better vehicle and human traffic to and from the scale house and also reduces noise that interferes with your daily scaling operations.

3. Evaluate Need for Traffic Lights and bypass Lanes

Evaluate the real need for traffic lights and bypass lanes at your scales.  You may find that the drivers never pay any attention to the traffic lights, but having bypass lanes that can control access may be a desirable solution.

The Right Planning

The scale house operation is the gateway to your facility.  It is also the cash register!  With a little common sense planning, the scale house operation can speed vehicle throughput, eliminate customer downtime and be a showpiece for your facility.

Thom Cockerill is Vice President of Operations for AMCS North America. He has 25 years of experience in scale house operations from all aspects, including IT, construction planning, software design and deployment. Thom can be reached at


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