Rail scale maintenance tips you must know

three black handled pliers on brown surface

At a glance 

  1. Rail scales are an essential piece of equipment for any railroad. They help ensure that trains are weighed properly and that the railroads are not overcharged by shippers or customers.
  2. As with most machinery, weighbridge scales require regular service to work at optimum efficiency. Look no further than Trakblaze if you’re in the market for a rail scale and you want quality, reliability, and accurate weighing results. 

If you depend on rail transportation to move raw materials and finished products in your business, you have several rail scales installed at your facility to ensure that the weight of the railcars is accurately measured. Rail scales, when not maintained and calibrated, can cause delays in operations and result in incorrect billing and pricing for the goods being transported.

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of maintaining rail scales and provide tips for ensuring optimal performance. So, in case you depend on rail scales for your operations, it is crucial to understand the importance of proper maintenance and how to properly care for these essential pieces of equipment.

What Are Rail Scales and Where Are They Used?

Rail scales are essential tools for accurately measuring the weight of railcars and other vehicles on railway tracks. These specialized weighing devices are used in a variety of industries, including mining, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and government agencies. 

Rail scales can be either static or dynamic and are equipped with load cells that measure the weight of the railcar. These scales are calibrated to ensure accurate performance and are an essential tool to accurately track the movement of goods and materials by rail. Proper maintenance of rail scales is crucial to ensure their accuracy and reliability and to avoid potential delays and inefficiencies caused by inaccurate weight measurements or malfunctioning equipment. 

Rail Scale Maintenance Tips 

To maintain and recalibrate rail scales, here are some steps you may follow: 

  1. Lookout for wear and tear – Inspect the scale and its components for wear and damage regularly. This includes checking the load cells, cables, and mounting hardware for signs of damage or wear. Inspect all rail ties and fasteners at least once a year. Look for cracked or broken ties, loose spikes or bolts, or other signs of damage that could compromise safety. Contact a professional for repairs immediately before further damage occurs if you find any problems with the rail system. Lubricate parts regularly so they can run smoothly without sticking or binding up during operation.
  1. Keep the scale clean and free of debris. Cleaning is an important part of keeping the scales’ longevity intact. This helps ensure accurate weighing and prevent damage to the scale. Use a dust cover when not in use. This also keeps dust out of the weigh beam area and prevents damage from moisture or other liquids.
  1. Calibrate once a year – Regularly calibrate the scale to ensure it is performing accurately. This should be done at least once a year, or more frequently if the scale is used frequently or if there have been any changes to the scale or its environment. Make sure to comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations for calibration procedures. This may involve using specialized equipment and following specific procedures to ensure accurate calibration.
  1. Avoid extreme temperature – Protect the scale from extreme weather conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, heavy rain or snow, or high winds. Extreme temperatures can affect how accurately your scale records weights; thus, you may want to store it indoors during winter months and keep it covered when not in use during the summer months (when it may collect dust).
  1. Correct scale usage – While rail scales are incredibly useful machines, they’re also incredibly dangerous if used incorrectly. This highlights the importance of reading the manual when you first get your scale. The information it contains will likely prevent accidents or injuries. To ensure accurate weighing, follow proper load placement guidelines. This includes placing the load evenly on the scale and avoiding overloading the scale. You’ll also be able to use your scale to its full potential, which will not only help you to run a more efficient business but save money at the same time.

Put simply, with a thorough understanding of your equipment, weighbridge scales can be kept in tip-top shape by regular service intervals, proper lubrication, and maintenance personnel. When your mission-critical equipment like rail scales requires attention, allow the experts at Trakblaze to provide a free consultation.

If you rely on rail scales for your operations, it is vital to understand the importance of proper maintenance for weighbridges. You need the best rail scale for your weighing needs according to your business and industry requirements. Trakblaze makes sure that you get the right resolution and accuracy needed for efficient weighing, even under difficult conditions. So if you are considering purchasing or upgrading your weighbridge, do not exclude the importance of – accuracy, repeatability, design, and functionality. 

Check out our comprehensive range of custom-designed rail scales and weighbridge solutions.

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