How to Weigh a Pallet
When you're weighing pallets, it's essential you use suitable weighing scales. But to ensure your pallets are weighed safely and accurately, you also need to make sure you're weighing them correctly. In this blog we take a look at the three most common pallet scales and how to use pallet scales correctly to get the best results.
What is a pallet truck scale?
A pallet truck scale is a piece of weighing equipment that has a manoeuvrable pump truck connected to a heavy-duty scale which is often used in moving items on a pallet within a warehouse. A pallet truck scale is a safe and efficient way of moving products around as they can be pushed underneath the pallet before being weighed and placed into its desired location. This means great convenience that speeds up repetitive pallet tasks.
How to weigh a pallet on a pallet truck scale
Throughout this blog we will explain basic weighing functions, so refer to your scale’s user manual for more advanced options. Firstly, you need to ensure that the pallet is secure, and the item is in the centre of the pallet to avoid any tipping - and to guarantee its accuracy. Where you are using your pallet scale is also very important as having obstructions in the way or weighing on a slope or on uneven ground can be dangerous.
Next you will need to turn your pallet truck scale on. Ideally you will know the tare weight of the pallet – the weight of the pallet without the goods. If so, enter this. Alternatively, weigh an empty identical pallet and press the tare button. The display will show a minus number.
Now, here’s how to manoeuvre the pallet truck scale into position. Push the beams underneath the pallet, ensuring that they are in the centre and use the handle mechanism to slowly pump the pallet slightly off the ground. Read the displayed weight - this is the total of your subject on the pallet, without the pallet weight included. Finally drop the pallet down to the ground or move it to the desired location. When moving a pallet truck scale whilst carrying items avoid sudden or fast movements.
What is a platform scale?
A platform scale is a robust, heavy duty industrial scale used within factories and warehouses. It’s often accompanied by a ramp so that pallets can be moved onto the scale with a pallet truck. When pallets are moved using a fork truck, ramps are not required.
Platform scales are great for weighing pallets and heavy objects as they are large in size and have some of the highest capacities available for a weighing scale. Depending on the model of platform scale you choose, they may also more accurate than a pallet truck scale.
How to weigh a pallet on a platform scale
Setting up a platform scale is similar to a pallet truck scale but as they are used differently there are additional things to consider. Uneven ground and obstacles in your way can easily become a hazard especially when using a forklift truck to place a pallet onto the platform scale. In addition, platform scales come with a detachable weighing indicator that can be go on a stand or be fixed onto a wall.
As with the pallet truck scale, platform scales will typically have a tare function which will allow you to weigh your goods without the weight of the pallet included. Simply add the empty pallet – or an identical empty pallet – to the scale and press the tare button.
Next the goods and the pallet need to be carefully placed onto the platform scale, ensuring that it is in the centre and none of the pallet is hanging over the edge of the scale. The indicator will show the weight of the pallet and goods on the scale; or, if you used the tare function, the goods only.
What are weigh beams?
Pallet beams are versatile pieces of weighing equipment with a unique design of two separate weighing beams. The benefit of weigh beams is that they can be placed the required distance apart to weigh a pallet, are easily transportable (with integrated handles and wheels on each beam) and due to their compact size can easily be stored away when not in use.
How to weigh a pallet on weigh beams
As with a platform scale, weigh beams can be used with a fork truck or a pallet truck. Once again, ensure the scale is used on a flat surface. The main difference with setting up weigh beams is that they can be set up to weigh larger items in size – the only restriction being their capacity. Simply place them on the ground the correct distance apart, plug in the indicator and connect to power source (or rely on the rechargeable battery!) and you’re good to go.
Other than this, the weighing process is exactly the same as a platform scale – use the forklift truck to safely move the pallet onto the beams or move a pallet truck and pallet between the beams and release the handle and check the indicator for the weight reading. If your weigh beams have a tare function, you can remove the weight of the pallet in exactly the same way we described for the platform scales and pallet truck scales.
If you require further help with using industrial pallet scales, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
You can see our full range of scales for industrial use here.