Pallet scales: Why portability can improve your efficiency

Pallet scales are essential for just about any industry. Palletised goods need to be weighed to ensure vehicles are not overloaded, to ensure value for money, and to be compliant with laws and legislation.

As weighing pallets is such an important task for so many businesses, it’s important that there are as many flexible options as possible. Here’s why choosing a portable scale for weighing pallets could help your business improve efficiency.



What is a pallet scale?

Pallet scales are any weighing scales designed for weighing palletised goods. They’re most commonly used in warehouses and factories, and will typically have a high capacity. Around 600kg is usually the lowest-capacity pallet scale you’ll find.

What are the portable scales available?

The most popular weighing scale for weighing pallets is the platform scale. This is because platform scales are robust and built to last. They come in many sizes and capacities, and are also available in mild steel or, for extra durability, stainless steel.

Marsden’s platform scales can be found in a range of industries as diverse as waste and recycling, food factories and car components. However, platform scales lack the portability of many other available pallet scales:

Weigh beam scales. Weigh beam scales are possibly the most convenient pallet scales available. They consist of two portable beams, each with a handle and wheels, that are laid on the floor the correct distance apart. When not in use, they can simply be stored away.

U frame scales. A U frame scale offers the same kind of flexibility as weigh beam scales, but the two beams are fixed to a crossbar. This means that they will always be the correct distance apart for pallet weighing.

Pallet truck scales. Simply, a pallet truck with a built-in weighing scale. Hugely popular due to their portability, pallet truck scales mean you can weigh and move a pallet in one process. Pallet truck scales do not always offer the same accuracy as weigh beams or U frames, but they can double as a basic pallet truck when you’re not weighing.

How can portable pallet scales improve efficiency?

1. Take your scale to the pallet.

Taking a pallet to the scale may be the standard way of weighing pallets. But sometimes it’ll make more sense to take the scale to the pallet, or pallets.

If you’ve a lorry-load of palletised goods to weigh, for example, the pallet scale may not be conveniently located. Rather than tripping every pallet over to the scale to get its weight bring the scale to the pallets. This could save valuable time during the loading process.

This works especially well if you typically use a pallet truck for loading a lorry. Just swap it for a pallet truck scale!

2. Save space when you’re not weighing.

For smaller businesses, allowing space for a weighing scale on your premises is not always easy.

Some businesses will opt for a pit-mounted weighing scale. These offer higher capacities and the scale can be left in situ after weighing your pallets and not get in the way. However, that requires much more investment than portable options.

Weigh beam scales are the most useful here: The two beams can be stored away and take up very little space, meaning you can maximise the use of your space when you’re not weighing

Plus, pallet truck scales allow you to weigh pallets in tight spaces, thanks to their manoeuvrability.

3. Spend less time weighing.

Portable pallet scales can help you spend less time weighing too, as we hinted at above.

A standard platform scale will usually require a forklift truck to load a pallet onto it for weighing, but weigh beams and U frames are designed to work with pallet trucks. Plus, of course, pallet truck scales allow you to move a pallet and weigh it simultaneously.

4. Weigh at other locations.

Portable scales allow you to go wherever the pallet is - in fact, that could mean another site - be that your own or a customer’s.

In 2016, when the SOLAS container weighing regulations came into force, weigh beams were a popular choice because they allowed logistics companies to carry a scale in a lorry, and weigh palletised goods at their customers’ premises prior to heading to port.

Weigh beams are very easy to transport in the cab or the trailer of a lorry - choose this weigh beam scale which is, incidentally, Trade Approved to comply with the legislation) and you can take power from the lorry’s cigarette lighter/12V output.

5. And… Spend less on weighing equipment.

Less money spent is always welcome - and often, portable pallet scales will require less investment than platform scales or pit mounted scales.

In some instances, legislation or law will require you to use Trade Approved weighing scales (most typically, when buying or selling based on weight) - and Trade Approved scales tend to cost slightly more than their non-approved equivalents. By choosing Trade Approved weigh beams or U frames instead of a platform scale you may find you save money.

Further Reading

To find out more, or for guidance when choosing the right pallet scales for your needs, message the Marsden team here.

Small business? Find out why pallet truck scales are ideal for you.

Watch the video in this blog post to find out which is faster - a pallet truck scale or a platform scale.

And this blog post explains why you need to weigh pallets.

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