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TECHNOLOGY TIPS: Benefits of Unattended Weighing Systems

There are a number of operational advantages to employing unattended truck scale remote terminals. Unattended weighing systems save time and money on operational expenses.  Eliminating the need for a scale operator reduces labor costs. Further gains are achieved in operational efficiency and security due to the manner in which an unattended weighing system receives driver and vehicle specific information. Each application has unique requirements, so the selection of weighing features is very important when identifying the characteristics of an unattended weighing system.


  • AccessibilityTruck scales are typically the access point or “cash register” for many agricultural, solid waste, and aggregate facilities. High traffic flows mean the remote weighing terminal must be capable of communicating with all connected devices quickly and efficiently. Unattended weighing systems are capable of sending commands to large-readout remote displays with integrated traffic lights and message boards providing signals assisting drivers in the weighing process. These unattended systems can also relay transaction information and data to vehicle record keeping database software ensuring accuracy is consistently maintained.
  • Accountability – In transporting goods, time saved means money saved. Using a proximity badge reader, unattended weighing operations can save both time and money. Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips with associated readers streamline shipping and receiving by automating the entire check-in and check-out process. The instant identification of the truck, driver, account, and even the commodity being hauled allows direct access to the database via the vehicle recording software. Not only is less time spent in the station, but security is increased since the system provides a safeguard against unidentified operators.
  • Usability – Unattended weighing systems are equipped with digital weight indicators that provide not only an interface for the operator, but can also transmit weight data to the vehicle recording software. Most unattended truck scale terminals include a full alpha-numeric keypad on the weight display to allow the driver to type in transaction information. The driver is prompted through the entire weighing process for the information that the weighing operation requires. The addition of a high-speed thermal tape printer insures that an unattended system will never be in need of an ink change while allowing drivers to keep receipts of the transaction for their records.
  • Adaptability – Vehicle recording software used in unattended applications employ a user-defined database. This database is easily configured and provides a fast, accurate collection of all transactions and billings including vehicles, accounts, orders and even materials. A wide range of reports provide valuable period histories, material totals, customer information, and much more.
  • Reliability – The true strength of an outdoor unattended weighing system lies in its ability to perform accurately and reliably while also withstanding the elements. Available in either a wall-mount or free-standing pole-mount, remote terminals are housed in rugged sealed, weather-proof enclosures designed for the harshest of environments.
  • Protection – A built-in rain hood and fluorescent lamp provides even more protection and utility to an unattended weighing terminal. The rain hood keeps rain downpours from striking the indicator screen and keypad, while the lamp provides extra visibility when lighting conditions are less than optimum.
  • Endurance – To keep electronic equipment functioning normally under the stresses of cold environments, unattended weighing systems may also be equipped with an internal heater and thermostat.

Typical Operation Sequence of an Unattended Weighing System:


  1. The loaded vehicle is driven onto the truck scale. The driver accesses the terminal by using either the system’s badge reader via RFID chip or enters their truck ID or customer contract information using the weight indicator’s keypad.
  2. The vehicle’s gross weight is automatically recorded in the system and a remote display message board signals the driver to proceed with moving the truck from the scale for unloading of the material.
  3. After unloading the material, the vehicle passes through the weighing system a second time to determine the empty or tare weight of the vehicle. At this point, a ticket is printed at the remote terminal recording the gross, tare, and net weight of the identified vehicle, load and account. This same data may also be transmitted simultaneously to the vehicle recording software for accounting purposes.


  1. Shipment of a load out is handled in a similar manner. The driver pulls the vehicle onto the truck scale and enters their information into the remote terminal using either the proximity badge reader with an RFID chip or by entering their identification information using the weight indicator’s keypad.
  2. The empty vehicle weight or tare weight is recorded by the system. The remote display message board then instructs the driver to pull the vehicle forward leaving the scale.
  3. The empty vehicle is directed to a loading station where material is loaded.
  4. After loading, the vehicle returns to the scale where the gross or loaded weight is recorded.  The system checks to see how close the loaded weight is to the intended value. A ticket is printed, and once again, all of the information is transmitted simultaneously to the vehicle recording software for entry into the accounting system.

For more product information:
Cardinal RE Unattended Weighing Systems

Cardinal Scale Mfg. Co. • Ph. (800) 441-4237 • • 203 East Daugherty St., Webb City, MO 64870

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