At our scrap yard weight is everything. The customers get paid for the weight of the scrap they bring in. For example, a family comes in with several bags of crushed aluminum cans. They can walk out with enough money to pay for a day at the zoo. Other metals may bring in more money. Now imagine professionals who make their living scrapping metals. Our scales must be highly accurate under all conditions. We are regularly tested, and we use load cell simulator devices to test the scales throughout the day.
We have to be inspected annually by the Weights and Measures Department for the county we do business in. They come out with precise weights that have been certified. They place them on our scales and make sure the displays agree with the loads they put on the scales. We have some certified weights for calibrating scales. Our gold scale weighs in fractions of a gram, and we have tiny certified weights for it. Our truck scales use the load cell simulator and sometimes a large block that weighs one ton. We place it using a forklift.
The big truck scales weigh the truck with its load, then we reweigh the truck when the scrap is dumped. We subtract the weight of the truck, known as the tare or container weight, and then pay for the remaining scrap weight balance. A big truck can weigh over 30,000 pounds, or 15 tons. We have smaller scales that customers use to place metal on they unload from pickup trucks, vans, their cars and other vehicles. A guy on a motorcycle brings in small amounts of precious metals. A guy in a pickup brings in carbide from sharpening drill bits. Probably many people just throw out hundreds of dollars of scrap metal per year. The next time you want a new electronic gadget or a wardrobe upgrade, consider all those pop cans you threw out last year.