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Glossary


Fundamentals

This section will introduce you to all the scale governing agencies, as well as the people you will be dealing with on day-to-day basis when getting your truck scale operation up and running. These will be the individuals that help you get on your way to weighing. This section will also answer the question of why you may have the need for a truck scale, and the requirements and responsibilities of owning a truck scale.

REGULATORY AGENCIES

Multiple agencies from the federal to local level will have a hand in your scales operation, calibration and certification. These agencies will ensure that your truck scale foundation is constructed per regulations and that your scale is installed properly as well as weighing accurately. If your scale does not meet the pre-mentioned criteria then it could be shut down.

Federal Governing Bodies

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) each year publishes a reference book titled Weighing Equipment Specifications, Technology, and Technical Requirements, commonly called Handbook 44 (H-44). This publication governs the weighing sector industry as well as detailing requirements for the scale owner and operator. You can obtain your own copy of Handbook-44 in PDF or DOC format on the web at: ts.nist.gov. H-44 dictates all Federal specifications for the installation and operation of truck scales, railroad track scales and other industrial scales used for trade purposes. It also covers User Requirements, which are standards that the user must follow. Scales that are approved to be used as a 'legal for trade' scale, have been National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) approved. An NTEP approved scale has passed a certification process that is dictated in H-44 and that was administered by NIST (www.nist.gov). Most states have adopted the federal standards set for a 'legal for trade' scale; however some states have their own standards and certification process. Ensure that you buy an NTEP approved scale for your application. It is best to check with your local Weights and Measures Officials or a reputable Scale Company in your area regarding any special state or local requirements.


Handbook 44

National Institute of
Standards & Technology

State Governing Bodies (making a new friend)

All states have a Weights and Measures (W&M) department. Personnel from this department are dedicated to verifying that scale devices are properly installed and maintained in order to provide accurate weights used in commerce. Additionally these inspectors will perform testing and verifications as part of this process. Weights and Measures Officials have the authority to reject or condemn (some times known as "red tag") a scale of scale device. Improper use of a scale device can also result in a condemned scale or scale device. When you are considering a new scale for your operation, ensure that you get the state W&M inspector involved from the start. The inspector can be your best friend; however they do have the authority to 'red tag' your scale, or in simplified terms 'shut your weighing operation down'.


Weights and Measures
Contacts by State


Local Governing Bodies (making more friends)

In some situations, you may even have a local jurisdiction, such as a city, county, parish or township, which has their own W&M department. Also, find out if you have some other regulatory bodies that may have interest in your scale operations. These bodies may include Departments of Agriculture or transportation, Federal Grain Inspection Service FEGIS, US Customs, State and local building code authorities, OSHA or the Mining Safety and Health Association MSHA.

DIFFERENT ENTITIES THAT WILL BE WORKING FOR YOU

From the time you make the first phone call regarding your new scale, until the time you weigh your first item on your scale, you will have encountered various people that are responsible for different aspects of your scale.

Scale Consultant (Salesman)

Your scale consultant will initially learn the ins and outs of your weighing process. Once they understand your needs, your scale consultant will recommend to you the type of equipment that best suits your application. You should also get at least 3 other recommendations from other scale consultants. Be wary of scale salespersons that quote you the cheapest scale simply to obtain your business. Choosing this option will cost you dearly in the end.

Contractor

There are a few options when considering a contractor for the construction part of you scale. The options are listed below with the pros and cons of each.

1- Some scale companies have crews that build scale foundations and install the scales as well.

PROS CONS
Experienced in scale foundation construction May cost more
Scale company is responsible for entire scale project  


2- Other scale companies use independent contractors to build the scale foundation.

PROS CONS
Scale company is responsible for entire scale project May cost more
Experienced in scale foundation construction  


3- Another option is for you to hire your own contractor.

PROS
CONS
May cost less Typically not experienced in scale foundation construction
Scale company is NOT responsible for entire scale project and if something goes wrong with foundation, possible additional cost could be incurred  


Engineer (consultant)

At times your scale project may be part of a larger project. In these cases, you may want to consider hiring an independent consulting engineer. This individual would be responsible for overseeing the entire job. The engineer would create specifications for all aspects of your scale operations. The equipment suppliers would have to meet these specifications to ensure a satisfactory solution to your needs and requirements. The engineer would also create plans that would integrate all the proposed equipment into a comprehensive site plan or drawing.
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