How to Select Your Scale Foundation

At Superior Weighing and Processing, we understand the pivotal role a robust foundation plays in the accuracy and longevity of our commercial scales. A foundation that’s not up to par jeopardizes even the highest-quality scales. We carefully consider factors such as terrain gradient and soil stability before embarking on construction to avoid any settling issues that can throw a scale out of its meticulously calibrated state. The foundation must be meticulously crafted following the precise guidelines provided by us, ensuring that your scale remains firmly within the bounds of calibration accuracy. Depending on the concrete type, the curing period can differ, and we collaborate closely with clients to seamlessly integrate the foundation and ramp design into the overall installation and site layout. Our knowledgeable team is on hand to recommend experienced local contractors proficient in truck-scale foundations, ensuring your investment is supported from the ground up.

Foundation Choices: Balancing Cost, Space, and Maintenance

Choosing between aboveground and pit-type scale installations often boils down to available space and specific application requirements. Historically, before the shift to more modern methods, all truck scales were mechanically anchored in costly concrete pits. Nowadays, options are more versatile. While pit-type installations are compact and space-saving, they necessitate sump pumps, and drainage solutions, and carry a heightened risk of corrosion due to possible water accumulation. On the other hand, aboveground installations, facilitated by modern modular construction, are more straightforward, cost-effective, and less prone to moisture-related deterioration.

The Pit Approach: Comprehensive Considerations

When opting for a pit foundation, it’s essential to recognize the encompassing factors:

Cost: The additional excavation, reinforcement, and concrete work contribute to a higher setup expense.
Scale Maintenance and Repairs: Service can become tricky and potentially costlier due to the confined space, often requiring additional safety measures and specialized equipment.
Cleaning Routine: It is typically a manual and labor-intensive process.
Inspections: Inspectors must access the pit interior, complying with state and OSHA regulations for confined spaces.
Design Constraints: Depending on location, specific clearance beneath the scale may be required.
Approaches and Ramps: Pit installations typically need at least a 10-foot level approach with no ramps necessary, albeit requiring electrical systems for lighting and pumps if gravity drains aren’t present.

Going Aboveground: The Elevated Alternative

For those considering an aboveground installation, these are the key factors:

Cost: Typically lower than pits, given the reduced construction complexity.
Scale Maintenance and Repairs: Simpler and more economical, service can be performed directly from the scale deck.
Cleaning Routine: Easily accomplished with either water or compressed air from the side.
Inspections: Straightforward, conducted by walking the scale perimeter.
Design Constraints: State regulations may require specific clearances.
Approaches and Ramps: Usually require a 10-foot flat and level approach with 25-foot ramps, demanding more space for setup and operation.
Electrical Systems: No pit illumination or sump pump necessities.

Foundational Styles: Adapting to Climate and Geography

The Deep Pier Foundation: A Cold Climate Mainstay

For chillier regions, the deep pier foundation, which extends below the frost line, safeguards against the detrimental freeze-thaw cycle. It is vital to discuss with us if the deep pier foundation suits your needs and adheres to regional standards, as this design also demands a soil bearing pressure tolerance of 2,500-3,000 PSF.

The Shallow Pier Foundation: A Temperate Zone Solution

In milder climates where frost isn’t a concern, shallow pier foundations provide an effective and economical alternative. We recommend discussing with our experts to determine if a shallow pier foundation matches your application needs and complies with local regulations.

The Floating Slab Foundation: A Solid Middle Ground

Ideal for areas with suitable soil bearing pressure (minimum of 1,500 PSF), the floating slab foundation involves a continuous concrete pour, offering a cost-efficient choice that still spans the entire weighbridge length. We encourage clients to consult with us on whether this design is preferable for their specific operational environment and complies with the necessary standards.

The Pit Foundation: Custom Depths for Unique Needs

Ranging from two to six feet in depth, the pit foundation must be tailored to your precise requirements while meeting all pertinent regulations. We ensure your foundation is not only functional but fully compliant.

The Drainage Directive: Ensuring Scale Longevity

Managing water runoff is a vital aspect of preserving your scale. We ensure your installation site is designed to facilitate proper drainage, steering clear of water buildup that could harm scale components. For areas susceptible to heavy precipitation or snowmelt, additional planning for drainage is critical.

In conclusion, the bedrock of every weighing system we provide is a meticulously designed and executed foundation. Employing the right foundation for your scales is as crucial as the weighing mechanisms themselves. Superior Weighing and Processing stands ready to guide you through these critical decisions, ensuring your scale foundations are as strong and reliable as your trust in us.

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