effect of lightening thunder on truck scales

Lightning and How it Affects Your Truck Scale


Designed to withstand heavy-duty loads, truck scales are one of the most robust and reliable commercial weighing solutions available on the market. Engineered for efficient operations on a daily basis, truck scales are consistently subjected to a variety of demanding applications that range from construction materials to cattle feed. Constant stress is exerted to the scale due to rugged and challenging usage. Damage to your scale can also happen due to lightning strikes which are preventable by installing protective features on your scale. You can check for damage via routine preventive maintenance so you catch weighing issues early and your truck scale continues to perform within calibration requirements.

The Dangers of Lightning

Lightning strikes can cause costly damage or put your truck scale out of calibration. Truck scales at a higher elevation are even more susceptible. One lightning strike is capable of causing damage to the truck scale’s components, cables, load cell, and junction boxes. The damage may not be repairable in a timely manner, leaving your truck scale out of order.

Apart from the damage caused to the truck scale itself, lightning can also have other adverse effects like power surges, voltage sags and fried wiring which can wipe out your entire investment in a truck scale, inviting expensive downtime, repairs and replacements. Even though some truck scales offer lightning and transient protection, it is important to consider these few important factors prior to a truck scale installation.

  1. Warranty and Service Guarantee

    Some truck scale manufacturers offer warranties and repair service in case lightning strikes your truck scale. While warranties may not compensate for the loss of income and downtime, they will definitely help ease the hassles of repairs and replacements in case of damage.

  2. A Good Grounding System

    A reliable grounding system that comes with proper installation, cable routing, and accurate shield testing, safeguards your truck scale from potential malfunctions and damage.

  3. Transient Protection

    Advanced truck scales come with inbuilt transient protection which ensures that they operate at peak efficiency even with sudden voltage fluctuations.

  4. Load Cells with Lighting Protection

    Modern hydrostatic and hydraulic load cells are custom-designed to incorporate lighting protection features. Upgrading the load cell may invite an upfront cost but the long-term benefits far outweigh the expense.

Protecting Your Truck Scale from Transient Spikes and Lightning

Truck scales are an important asset to many companies so apart from periodic truck scale maintenance; it may be worthwhile to protect the scales from lightning and spikes. Many truck scale manufacturers provide lightning protection features that include:

  • Junction boxes fitted with DC transient protection boards
  • Single point grounding
  • Copper transient cables for load cells
  • Home run cables with DC transient protection
  • Bare ground conductor cable that runs from the scale’s frame to the AC power ground lug
  • Uninterrupted power supply
  • Surge protection
  • Lightning protection

To avert the risk of electrical damage to the components of a load cell, make sure your truck scale comes with these above-mentioned features. They can sometimes mean the difference between unexpected repairs and the scale remaining fully functional.

At Quality Scales Unlimited, we want your truck scales to stay accurate all year round and will be your partner throughout – from installation and maintenance to emergency repairs that will keep your equipment up and running.

If you are looking for a respected and reliable truck scale supplier offering comprehensive maintenance programs, get in touch with us at 800.722.5301.

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