Many people are able to weigh their pets on a normal bathroom scale at home. However, for farmers and other agriculturists, the playing field changes. The animals that are found on farms are much larger than the pets that are found at home. A special type of scale, called livestock scales, has been designed to make it easier to weigh farm animals. These scales allow farmers or agriculturists to load the animals onto the scale and receive a read out of the weight of the animal. Some issues that must be taken into consideration include the larger weight of the animals. The scale must be sturdy enough to support the weight of the animal. Also, animals can be skittish. There must be some way to easily move the animal onto the scale so that the weight can be determined.
How Do Livestock Scales Work?
Livestock scales are actually just a form of platform scales. As such, the scale includes a large platform that sits on the ground. The animal can be placed anywhere on the platform to determine the weight. However, the most accurate weight will be determined if the animal is placed as close to the center of the platform as possible. With a normal platform scale, it can be hard to get an animal to step up onto the scale. Livestock scales solve this problem by ensuring that the platform sits lower to the ground. This means that the animal can step onto the scale without having to make the large step up that might be required for normal platform scales. Livestock scales should be open on all sides to allow for easy loading of the animal onto the scales.
Durability of Large Animal Scales
Large animal scales should be very durable. The animals will be placing a large amount of weight on the scales. If the scales are not durable, this could cause the platform to be crushed. Even if the platform is not damaged, the excessive weight can easily damage the parts of the scale that provide the readings, if precautions are not taken. Some large animal scales may be made from sheet metal. This material is thin and not extremely strong. While it may allow the scale to be sold for less money, it may not be durable enough to withstand normal use. Look for scales that use stainless steel for the load cells to provide maximum protection from the large amounts of weight. The body of the scale may be made from aluminum to allow for a more lightweight scale, without sacrificing durability.
Accuracy of Livestock Scales
The best scales for weighing large animals should use high quality load cells for maximum accuracy. Livestock scales may be accurate to one-tenth of a pound, which would allow for weighing small animals on the same scale with no additional purchases. One problem that can be involved with scales that weigh animals is that the animals will not stand still. When the animal moves, it causes the scale to register different weights with each movement. Look for livestock scales that offer a feature to average the weight of the animal. This will allow for accuracy of measurements, even when the animal will not stop moving. The scale will capture all of the different numbers for weight, then average them together to determine an accurate weight for the moving animal. Some livestock scales are more accurate than others. Generally, an increase in cost is associated with any improvements in accuracy. Evaluate your own needs to determine how much accuracy is important for your situation.
Portability of Livestock Scales
Because of the nature of large animals, it may be difficult to get the livestock to move to a scale. Therefore, it might be necessary for the scale to be moved to the animals. The material a scale is made from will be one determining factor in how easily it can be moved. The only problem is that more lightweight materials are generally less durable and sturdy than heavier materials. Research to find the delicate balance between materials that will be lightweight enough for ease of mobility and still sturdy enough to support the heavy weights that will be placed on the scale. Some scales for large animals may have castors or other wheel mechanisms to help move the scale more easily. If ease of mobility is necessary for your situation, look for scales that are lightweight and still durable or that have mobility mechanisms installed.
Size and Capacity of Livestock Scales
The largest scales for large animals can accommodate up to 500 pounds on the platform. This should be more than enough for most large animals. Remember that the larger scales involve more materials and probably will be more expensive than the smaller scales. So, consider the needs for your situation. Look for a scale that is large enough to get the job done but not so excessively large as to waste money on a large scale that is not needed. Also, the larger scales will involve more weight for the scale itself. This may make it harder to move the scale around. This is another reason to choose a scale that is not unnecessarily large. Finally, remember that the scales that hold more weight will more than likely require more space. If space is an issue, check to be sure that the scale will fit within the amount of space will it will need to go.
NetWork Connectivity For Livestock Scales
Every livestock scale will display the weight on some sort of readout screen. This screen may be attached to the scale or it may receive data remotely and be in a completely different location. However, some scales will also have connections for USB or Ethernet cables. These scales may send data to a computer system. In these cases, the data can be easily imported into software and used instantly.
Affordability Of Livestock Scales
Extra bells and whistles that are added to scales will increase the cost of the scale. Some of the extras may actually be necessary for the use of the scale in a particular job or industry. In this case, it is worth paying extra for the extra functions. You can cut the costs of livestock scales by abiding by the following suggestions.
- Look for scales that are made from high quality materials and still remain affordable.
- Find a scale large enough to meet your needs. However, a scale that is too large for your needs will only waste money
- Make sure a scale has all the features that are necessary for the way it will be used. Don’t add extra features that you will not need. Those extra features will add unnecessarily to the cost
- Check for company guarantees. While this will not cut initial costs, it will bring peace of mind in case something is wrong with the scale.
Considerations Before Purchasing Large Animal Scales
Before making a large purchase, you will need to research and determine which scale will best fit your needs. Get in touch with Arlyn Scales today or visit the website at http://www.arlynscales.com to find out how they can help you select the best scale.