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The Scrapyard Scale Debacle

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  1. #1
    TrailerScrap started this thread.
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    The Scrapyard Scale Debacle

    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).

    So, at this point I'm understanding how the scale works. Everytime something is weighed, it automatically deducts 10 percent of the weight. Is this because they are protecting themselves from dirty metals or waste? Is this just merely a mechanism to cheat scrappers? Is this one scale just consistently, accurately, and continually defected?

    After weigh the second load (copper) he noticed I had issues with the scale and asked me to step outside the shed. Well, too late, I already saw it. Has anyone else had this experience or is this just at this particular scrapyard? At the other scrapyard I frequent, they won't even let you see the scale reading, they physically make you walk inside a room behind the scale and look at the guy weighing the stuff through a window as the other guy records what he says for your payout ticket.

    This work is kind of labor intensive and being cheated is what should happen. I do this part time, but there are people who scrap to feed their families. If the have a 2,000 lb iron load and the rate if $200.00 per ton and the scale cheats them by 10%, then that payout just went from $200.00 to $180.00 and that can make the difference between paying a mortgage or not paying one.

    Sorry for the long message, please advise?

    TrailerScrap


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  3. #2
    gamedayron's Avatar
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    this is a good post and good point to raise. you should first have a convo with the manager of yard and if after that this still continues find a different yard and let all of your friends know about your experiance at that yard. once thier business goes down theyll change thier ways

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    I would sell to gypsies before I would sell to a yard that didn't let me watch the scale while my stuff was being weighed.

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    I tend to be cynical. That said, I go to a place where the read out is right in front of you. I've been burned too often to go where they won't show the weights. I also weigh my stuff and write it on the items (Alum rims 25 lbs) and then call the place for pricing. If they are cheating you on weight, find another place.

  8. #5
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    The scrap yard where I go, allows you to watch what is going on.

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    Any yard that TELLS you to stand outside while it's being weighed is sketchy at best.

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  11. #7
    TrailerScrap started this thread.
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    Thanks guys, I think all of it is a little shady...might have to forgo some extra scrap metal rates just to be at a yard that's honest. It's ok for me to loose $30.00 and not have to consider whether I'm being cheated.

  12. #8
    thortek's Avatar
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    They are probably paying 10% more for those items, and then deducting 10% of your weight to make up the difference.....
    “Most people miss opportunity because it wears overalls and looks like work .” ― Thomas A. Edison

    www.thortekrecycling.com

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    You should bring a small load to them next time. Weigh it yourself before you leave your place and compare the two weights.

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    I have a pretty good idea what I weigh, so I always check my weight on their scale.

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    Not sure how it works elsewhere, but in Canada it is a serious offence to mess with or use a scale with an out of date calibration. I always check for the sticker when dealing with a new to me yard.

  16. #12
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    Isn't there someone you can report this yard to?
    Burly Smash![/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    John Terrell (248) 224-2188
    Burly Guys Junk Removal LLC
    5499 Perry Drive Unit P Waterford, MI 48329
    http://www.burlyguys.com

  17. #13
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    Any yard that won't show their weights is SHADY. I wouldn't do business with them PERIOD!

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    Couldn't agree more hell at my yard end up weighing most of my buckets myself and they just look at the scale at double check the number. If I can't watch you weigh my brass copper and what not your not going to buy it
    Alvord iron and salvage
    3rd generation scrapper and dam proud of it

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    At our yard we let everyone watch the scales... accurate scales are vital to an operation. Afterall we are weighing our outbound product on those same scales when we go to sell. So it's in everyone's best interest for them to be accurate. Having said that, sometimes it takes a couple of seconds for the scale to settle if you drop a lot of weight on the scales with force. Does that make sense?

    My advice would be to do what others are saying, and find another yard to sell to. I know of a competitor around us that advertises a great price and then cheats on weight and/or will over-deduct lbs off your product for dirt or undesirables.

  20. #16
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    Trailerscrap, I don't know where you're from but every state has a Dept of Weights and Measures...just sayin.
    If it wasn't for the $ in $crap, it would just be.....

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  22. #17
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    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.

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  24. #18
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    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.

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  26. #19
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    I always weigh my scrap before going in. I have also heard many people say they demand to stand on the scale themselves. With that being said, I find it highly unlikely that any yard in this day and age is pulling something sneaky. I have never once had a weight different than what I expected when going in. If someone was trying to cook the scales, someone would catch on very quick and they would get shut down VERY quick.
    "64K should be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates 1981
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  28. #20
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    Absolutly!!! Missouri has a Weights and Messures dept. They should keep a copy of their calibration everyday for agents. Law here. I almost sued a yard in Sadalia Mo over the weight of some car batteries in the early 90s. They finally gave me all the money I had coming when W&M dept started checking up on them. Cheap skates.
    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.


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