Feed mixer scales go through a lot every day... and over time they can become less than accurate. This can be a problem because your operation depends on the accuracy of the scale. So the question is, how do you make sure your scale is accurate?
The answer of course is the point of this article... calibration. Calibration is how you verify a weighing scale’s accuracy by testing against a known standard.
As we consult with farms all over the place, we’ve noticed that a lot of farms don’t calibrate their scales nearly enough. The problem is that when you feed cows with a scale that is out of whack… so is your cow’s diet. So, scale calibration can be looked at as another important step to the art of feeding.
With regards to how often to check your scale calibration… that depends on how the equipment is used and how much. However, it’s a good idea to do a monthly maintenance check – which among other things, may include a quick look at the accuracy of your scale indicator.
The easiest way to check your mixer’s load weight is on a certified truck scale. The video below talks about how to calibrate several Digi-Star scale indicators which typically have an accuracy of +/- 1%. This means if you are calibrated correctly, the difference between your full load in your mixer and the weight of the load on a truck scale should be 1% or less.
Check Your Feed Truck Scale Calibration
The steps to check the weight of your feed truckload against a certified truck scale are easy.
- First, you want to drive over the truck scale and get the weight of the feed mixer only (called a lightweight).
- Next, you want to zero out the scale indicator and fill up the mixer close to its full capacity.
- Then you will drive back over the truck scale and get the weight of your fully-loaded mixer (called a heavyweight).
- When you subtract the lightweight from the heavyweight, the weight you have left should closely match the weight on your truck’s scale indicator.
If the weight isn’t the same (or within 1%), then your mixer may be out of calibration.
The video below will show you the details to complete the calibration on several Digi-Star scale indicators including the:
- Digi-Star EZ Ⅱ series scales: like the Digi-Star 2400, 2500, 3400, 3500, and 3600 scales. (1:13)
- Digi-Star 10-Series scales: like the Digi-Star 2810, 3610, and 4610 scales. (4:08)