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The Scrapyard Scale Debacle - Page 2

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  1. #21
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    I agree with that!
    Quote Originally Posted by YardApe View Post
    Ive been buying scrap a long time and its always best to know what your material weighs.Also ,every state has dept of weights and measures or some equivalent agency. Any scale used for buying/selling anything must be checked , in my state at least once a year and they will place a stamp or some other varification on or near the scale.If you feel you are being cheated call the agency in your state and report it.In my experience they can be very aggressive.In fairness to the yard in question , I have used scales that behave like the one you mentioned but after many years in this business my best advice is always weight your material first and always be suspicious.




  2. #22
    eesakiwi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailerScrap View Post
    Hi guys, it's been a while...I took a load of scrap to the yard last Saturday and noticed something very perculiar. I put some cast aluminum on the scale and watched to see what it read. It read 20 lbs and then went immediately to 18 pounds (minus 10 percent). Then I put some #3 copper on the scale and it read 32 lbs and immediately went to 29 lbs (minus 10 percent again).
    TrailerScrap

    This is exactly what was happening at my scrappers.

    After it happened a few too many times, I started to recall what was happening around me at that point, were the other people were & what they were doing.
    I noticed the owner seemed to be watching me & the scales, from behind me & another guy was on the otherside of the wall where the outside scales were.
    Another time I noticed someone was in between them & out of the side of my eyes I could see him moving his hands, indicating something to someone behind the wall.

    At the time I arrive there (drive up & park) a few of the workers come over & it sorta seems like theres 3 people (too many?) picking up my sacks to bring them to the scales.
    This mixes them up & theres no reason why I can't do it myself & I have to get the sacks in order of metal again & tell the guy whos writing down the weights on the notepad.

    Otherwise, say 3 sacks of Ali get weighed up in 3 lots, rather than all at the same time. If each sacks comes up 500grams over I loose at least 1Kg that way.

    In the end I weighed up a single sack @ 11Kg Plus a generous extra 500gms before leaving home.
    And it came up 11^12-11v10v10v9v8-8-8. 8Kgs on the scale.
    Eight Kg! thats 3 Kg under. I say & he asks about my scales, says "spring scales are really bad as the spring stretches etc".
    I know that, I calibrate with ever weighup & after weighing heavy weights too.

    Same thing with the guy on the other side of the wall, the 'indicating' was a bit obvious & it was without the usual people around at the time (one sack).
    Where it may have come up as 10Kg & been under, it came up under by quite a bit & the way it came up under was weird, it sat on 10, then dropped 2 to 8Kg. Serious drop of 2Kg after it had rested on 10.

    What I have supposed now is....
    Theres a **** electromagnet under the scales & the control is on the other side of the wall, it could be as simple as 1 or 2 switches that don't look out of place in a workshop.
    But when one or more of those switches is flicked on, it energizes a electromagnet under the scales & that pulls the scales down by several Kg.
    Hence the 'directing' he's telling the guy to take a few Kg off & maybe more.

    Since its not actually doing anything to the readout or the scales its not noticeable when they certify it.
    It could be buried under the concrete for all I know...

    Since I stopped going there, and now go to a big firm of scrapmetal dealers, my weights are always under, always, even when I cut it fine at 100 grams over.
    Last time I had weighed 4 & it came up 5.... $7 difference...

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by thortek View Post
    They are probably paying 10% more for those items, and then deducting 10% of your weight to make up the difference.....
    Not likely

  5. #24
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    turn them in and set up a sting they are thieves just like the rats that broke in here only on a lot bigger scale. weights and measures are a searious offence.

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  7. #25
    TrailerScrap started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyDollars View Post
    Trailerscrap, I don't know where you're from but every state has a Dept of Weights and Measures...just sayin.
    I'm in Souther Illinois close to St. Louis, MO...roger on the weights and measures...it's interesting since they never know who may walk in their yard. I happen to work for the Federal Government in an organization that can make life fairly miserable for that scrap yard, but alas, I will just go to another one.

  8. #26
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    Cool. I lived in Greenville, Il. for 9 years. Beautiful country and nice people down there.
    If it wasn't for the $ in $crap, it would just be.....

  9. #27
    TrailerScrap started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by corycouch View Post
    i assure you that you are not being cheated. i use scales at my real job all the time, there is a settling time that needs to be allowed, when you toss your scrap on the scale the force that hits the scale is more than the weight so it pushes the scale down for a small moment. the yard would have to pay big fines and possibly be shut down if they had the scales programed to deduct weight, not sure about the metal industry, but in the food industry we have audits on all of our scales on a regular basis when they fail they are shutdown and repaired or disposed of. now as of being asked to leave the room, thats a place of employment, in all actuallity requirements at the min are steel toes, glasses and ear plugs, to be honest you probably were not suppose to be there anyway.
    OK, let me respond directly to you...First, I was wearing steel toed boots, gloves, and I wear glasses naturally. The room I spoke of is a trailer that you have to walk in to bring your non-ferrous metals, you can't drive into the room, you have to carry your stuff into it. Now, as far as the scale is concerned, I am an engineer and understand the laws of physics, inertia, momentum, and gravity extremely well...differeing weight would create a different "scale measurement" reaction evertime something of a different weight is measured. I had several non-ferrous metal filled containers wieghed that day and carefully watched exactly 10% get deducted from initial weight to final weight.

    No, I am a former trucker (military), I was a railroad manager, construction project manager, and I do body work. I'm pretty sure I know how scales work (even atomic ones which most people have never seen). OK, I think that's enough, I'll move one. Thanks for you comment.

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  11. #28
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    Not all yards are honest.

    Having your scales checked once a year does seem to be hard to get around!
    Not to mention the tricks of the trade.

    If you can't see the scale there is a reason other then safety.
    When the white man discovered this country Indians were running it
    no taxes, no debt, women did all the work.
    White man thought he could improve on a system like this. - Old Cherokee saying

    I did not surrender, they took my horse and made him surrender. - Lone Watie

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  13. #29
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    We have been checked by the state and were happy, we were weighing 3/4 pound heavy! Appriciate the heck out of those guys saved me a ton of money over a month but on that scale had the diffrence been 1.2lb diffrence either way I could have been fined even if I was weighting heavy. A call should resolve this problem.

  14. #30
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    Sadly yes scales can be messed with and some scrap yards are shady and down right thief's. In the Jnited States Scales are checked once every 3 months by State Police or similar in those states that dont have State Police. Here's the best thing you can do to protect yourself, buy a dependable scale my opinion is buy a scale for bass fishing or any hand fishing. They will weigh up to 50 pound and extremely accurate. I weigh 20 pounds at a time than add to a bucket or tub I've pre-weighed everytime. This will help you spot when something is off and sometimes it's not the fought of the scrap yard. These scales being used will fail on reporting the accurate weight without warning. But I also believe it should be law each day scrap yards need to test the scales every morning with weights just for that, like 50, 100, 250. This way scrap yards that are legitimate will find out right away or within 24 hours of something going wrong with the scale. This helps protects everyone, the buyer and sellers. I'm unsure of the federal laws for a scale tampered with but it is serious. If you cant see your weight at a scrap yard you sh will uldnt deal with them, 99% chance they're shady as hell. I would rather drive a hour or more for a legit yard

  15. #31
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    Lol @ my post above & my theory of a electromagnet under the scale.

    Since then i have figured it out & i expect what was happening was this.
    The scales about a foot high & about 4 inches from the building. What would have been happening was that there was somebody in the building with a crowbar sticking out of it & under the edge of the scale.
    That person was lifting the scale, at the direction of the owner ( since the person couldn't see the digital readout) & the owner was using crane hand signals for 'up, down & stop'.

    I haven't used them since then & what they gained in the short term, cost them thou$ands in the long term.

  16. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoScrapper View Post
    Any yard that TELLS you to stand outside while it's being weighed is sketchy at best.
    I would never deal with a yard that does not let you see the reading on the scale. More than likely they cheat on their customers.
    Every yard I have been to so far lets you see the scale reading while they weigh your metals.

    I deal with two different yards on a regular basis, at the beginning I always used to weigh all my materials before taking it in. After several times I saw that my weights matched theirs closely, so now I'm pretty sure they are both honest.

  17. #33
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    One way that i figured out was to know your own weight, even going as far as weighing yourself on, say postal scales, or the ones they have at Chemists before setting out to the scrapyard.

    The scrapyard above that i went to didnt like anybody standing on the scales.

    ( Oh & those scales were just outside of the building, they have a 'entry' gateway & you drive in and do a big 'U' around the building & then drive out the exit. Halfway around the U at the far inside face of the building is a big roller door & the scales are sitting outside that, with the digital readout see able from outside of the building.


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