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Truck Scales 101: How Do Truck Scales Work?

While traveling on the highway you will see semi-trucks taking the weigh station exit. This is where heavy commercial vehicles are weighed to maintain safety on the road. Many people and even some truck drivers don’t know how these truck scales work. The weighing experts at Walz have the answers to all your scale questions. Keep reading to learn more about the function of truck scales or shop our wide selection of products and services to keep you safe out on the road. 

Basic Function 

Truck scales can either weigh trucks by a lever and balance system or through load cell sensors. A balance system uses weight displacement to determine the weight of the truck. However, balance systems are being replaced by load cell systems which use strain gauges to electronically calculate the weight of the truck.


With a ramp-style truck scale, the scale is placed underneath a ramp and the trucks are weighed as they drive up and down it. A trench scale, on the other hand, is in a ditch beside the road and measures the trucks while they park and stay level with the road’s surface. 


Modern technology has allowed for trucks to be weighed without stopping with a weight-in-motion method where the truck is weighed as it drives across a sensor. Additionally, a one-stop method is where a truck parks on the scale and is weighed as a whole. Another method is the one-axle method which weighs each axle separately. 

Scale Types 

Scales can either be portable or stationary. Stationary scales are great for designated and regular stops. However, portable truck scales are great for things like logging camps and construction sites where the operation is continually moving. Wheel weighers and axle scales are a great way to weigh trucks on the go. 

Truck scales are an essential part of the trucking and shipping industry. They come in a variety of styles and configurations, so knowing how they work is important. To find the right scale to fit your needs for any industry, trust the scale experts at Walz. Contact us or shop our products and services today and keep your fleet trucking along!