Everything You Need To Know About Railroad Scales

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Everything You Need To Know About Railroad Scales

One of the most crucial components of every rail operation is rail weighing. It is an element that aids in expenditure control and compliance in nearly every aspect of train transport — from tracking product shipping and deliveries to avoiding overloading penalties. Therefore, the dependability and accuracy of the methods and technologies utilized throughout the weighing process are critical to obtaining reliable results. And one way to achieve this is through railroad scales.

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about railroad scales, including their importance, procedure, and various types.

What Is a Railroad Scale?

A railroad scale is a weighing technology that uses strain gage systems. It is also used to ensure that the railroad car is not overloaded, which could damage the rail tracks and pose a security risk to the public. In addition, it prevents undocumented cargo and minimizes theft before and after transit.

Several sectors have recently recognized the significance of a railroad scale and have expanded its application for various purposes. For example, the construction and agricultural industries have benefited from rail-scale technology through shipments of industrial parts and food crops recycling.

Importance of Using Railroad Scales

Railroad scales are considered the ultimate technology for accuracy, resulting in cost-effective weighing for transportation and shipping. Here are some of the reasons why these scales are used in a wide range of industries:

To invoice customers for the exact amount of products and goods transported, transaction purposes, and verifying that customers are not overcharged or undercharged.

  • To prevent overloading occurrences that could impact infrastructure and avoid eccentric loading that could cause delays and cancellations.
  • To ensure that potentially damaging shipment leaks are spotted upon entry at the transfer station to avoid hazardous situations.
  • To facilitate chemical components because most existing systems do not possess cavities or structures that lock up air heavier than explosive gasses.
  • To align material flow specifications and manage loads during automated bulk loading to gain maximum capacity without overloading.
  • To calculate the weight to collect the freight revenue from shippers.

How Railroad Scales Work

The scales are installed on the train tracks. First, the total weight of the cargo within the railroad car is calculated by measuring the vehicle’s mass and then applying the tare weight or the weight of an empty car. Then, you can compare it to other data obtained to ensure that the cargo and everything else is in order.

Most Common Types of Railroad Scale Products

The following are different types of rail scales, with each requiring varying site preparation, scale foundation, and track work to ensure a successful installation:

Pit Design Scale

Railcar scales in pit design are constructed into a trench so that the plate or load cell is at floor level. They operate very similarly to a standard human weighing scale. They also have more complicated mechanisms because railcars must pass over the scale to have their weights measured.

Railboss® Railroad Track Scale

The Railboss® Rail Scale from Rice Lake Weighing Systems is a low-cost and simple-to-install piece of equipment for weighing stationary rail cars. It is operated by Rice Lake’s 920i and Railboss software and comes in eight-section full-draft or four-section double-draft configurations. Furthermore, MS quick-disconnect cable connectors are used on these scales to lessen unprecedented repairs and maintenance.

Here are the scales’ specifications:

Standard Features

  • MS quick-disconnect cable connectors
  • 80,000 lb. axle capacity
  • 320,000 lb. full-scale capacity
  • 40,000 lb. rail section capacity
  • 115 RE or 132 RE rail sections
  • Five ft. 10 in rail sections, pre-drilled for joint bars

Full-Draft Package Features

  • (8) 5 ft 10 in rail sections
  • 30 ft of connecting cable
  • Pre-drilled joint bars with connection hardware
  • (2) Rice Lake junction boxes with transient protection
  • 30 ft of homerun cable

Double-Draft Package Features

  • (4) 5 ft 10 in rail sections
  • 30 ft of connecting cable
  • Pre-drilled joint bars with connection hardware
  • (1) Rice Lake junction boxes with transient protection
  • 30 ft of homerun cable

Survivor® PL Low Profile Rail Scales

Another great product by Rice Lake Weighing Systems is the Survivor® PL, a low-profile rail scale design that eliminates the need for a pit to save time and costs on construction and pit maintenance. This rail scale type is deemed to be the highest-performing and the longest-lasting in the industry. The Survivor® PL is manufactured with more steel content than competitive models making it the most durable.

Here are the scale’s other features:

  • 100,000 lb capacity compression load cells
  • Standard platforms sizes: 12 ft 6 in, 15 ft, 18 ft and 25 ft
  • 7 ft 8 in platform width
  • 18.5 in profile from top of pier to base of rail
  • 24.5 in profile from top of pier to top of rail
  • Surge protection kit
  • Built-in conduit runs
  • 1/4 in bolted checkered steel top plate
  • Designed for 115 lb or 132 lb rail (other sizes available)
  • Configurations: Single, single/single, single/double, double and double/double

Survivor® RT Rail and Truck Combination Scale

Heavyweight loads need heavy-duty track scales, and this is what Survivor® RT railroad track scale does. This Rice Lake product has a high-quality weighbridge design that creates a rugged, high-precision, heavy-duty weighing system. This pit-type, rail/truck combination scale is perfect for weighing a variety of car sizes, rail cars, and trucks. Survivor® RT is also ideal for bulk cement, aggregate, grain, scrap metal, and chemical applications.

Here are the scale’s specifications:

  • 200,00 lb capacity compression load cells
  • Standard platform sizes: 60 ft, 66 ft, 70 ft, 72 ft, 80 ft, 90 ft, and 100 ft
  • 4 ft 9 in profile
  • Factory welded modules
  • Steel or concrete deck
  • Lightning and surge suppression kit
  • In-bridge conduit runs
  • 7 in reinforced concrete deck design
  • (1) 24 in square manhole ring and cover
  • Fully assembled factory-welded modules

Carolina Scales for High-Quality Industrial Weighing Equipment

At Carolina Sales, we integrate our industry product knowledge with exceptional customer service to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. We are experts in the sale and service of weighing equipment, such as material batching and blending systems, PLCs, and weighing control systems. We also offer full calibration services and one of the most extensive rental scale selections available.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and capabilities or request more information to start your next project with us!

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