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Can Lightning Damage a Truck Scale?

Summer brings lots of fun, but as the temperature increases, so does the risk of thunderstorms and lightning. This may leave many truck scale owners wondering “Can lightning damage a truck scale?”. The answer is a resounding yes. Lightning can cause irreparable damage to a truck scale.

Lightning

If lightning strikes a truck scale, a few problems can occur. For example, if a power surge occurs, the sudden, sharp increase in electricity could damage the circuit board, wires, load cells, and scale indicator. A damaged circuit board will render your scale inoperable. Damaged load cells could require replacement, and damaged wires are a risk to the safety of both your scale and your staff. Lightning can also cause a voltage sag. How could too little electricity damage your truck scale? It could strain the scale components, which could damage them over time. All of this damage could lead to considerable repair costs & downtime, depending on the extent and the availability of both a service provider & replacement parts.

While we can’t control nature, and no fix is 100% guaranteed, there are some precautions scale owners should take that help to greatly reduce the risk of lightning damage to a truck scale.

How to Protect Your Truck Scale from Lightning

Built In Lightning Protection

First and foremost, consider lightning protection when purchasing a new truck scale. Look at the scale’s warranty and any included components that are designed specifically to protect against lightning. It’s also important to ensure that your junction box has lightning protection, and that you install surge protectors.

Proper Installation of Grounding Equipment

Second, have your truck scale installed by a professional. Grounding equipment could include grounding rods or straps, and it is imperative that these are installed properly. Improperly installed grounding equipment could cause more damage than the lightning.

Proper Maintenance to Enhance Lightning Protection

Not only should your scale be properly installed with grounding equipment, but it’s also important to keep grounding points clear of build up & debris to help ensure this equipment functions properly.

Corrosion also affects conductivity. Ground points that have corroded are less effective in protecting against lightning strikes. (See our post Winter Maintenance for your scales & measurement equipment for more maintenance tips. )

Stock Spare Parts to Minimize Downtime

Lastly, it’s important to stock any necessary spare parts in case lightning strikes your truck scale. Having spare parts on hand will help minimize downtime by eliminating shipping time or availability issues. If your truck scale is a crucial factor in your day-to-day operations, having spare parts on hand is a necessity. (See our post Stock Spare Parts to Minimize Unplanned Downtime for more tips.)

In conclusion, yes, lightning can damage a truck scale. Lightning damage can even render a truck scale useless. It’s important to protect your scale against lightning to avoid unplanned downtime in the event of a lightning strike. Michelli Weighing & Measurement offers preventative maintenance plans to help ensure your scales and equipment are in great working order. Part of that maintenance is ensuring that your equipment is properly grounded. Contact us to speak with a product specialist about lightning protection and let us help you protect your equipment.

No Time for Preventative Maintenance?

Let us help. Michelli Weighing & Measurement offers preventative maintenance plans to help ensure your equipment remains in great working order. You set the frequency and lock in service rates. Contact your nearest location today to learn more.