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Get Ready For Lightning Season

Warmer weather signals the run up to lightning season, so now is the time to make sure your rail and truck scales are prepared. A single lightning strike, or one nearby, can short out the load cells, wires, junction boxes and accessories on your heavy capacity scale. And, let’s face it, with today’s increasingly unpredictable weather, it’s not IF there’s a lightning strike, it’s when. Since your scale is likely the heart of your operation, either inbound or outbound, it’s important to make sure you’re ready for the worst weather or you may face downtime or lost revenue if something happens. Remember, it only takes one strike to take down your entire scale system.

First and most importantly, it’s critical to make sure your scale is properly grounded. With a correctly placed and professionally installed grounding system, the current circumvents the electronics in the event of a surge and is harmlessly discharged into the ground. However, unless you happen to be installing a new scale this spring, it’s probably too late. And while grounding is important, it’s not failsafe.

Inbuilt Transient Protection
Several truck and rail scale manufacturers now offer scales and load cells specifically designed to prevent damage from a lightning strike or other electrical surge. These systems, with inbuilt transient protection, ensure that the excess current is diverted away from the sensitive electronics and wires in the event of a surge. Also, it’s possible to simply upgrade the load cells and wiring on the scale. This means you don’t have to replace your larger, costly, awkward hardware, saving time and expense. Cross customer Bison Co-op upgraded their scale ahead of harvest. See how it fared when it took a direct hit shortly afterwards.

When upgrading your system or purchasing a new one, pay close attention to the details of the warranty which comes with it. Some cover the load cells, some cover the entire system and all can vary in terms of length of coverage. Most require you to use an authorized distributor for scale installation and regular preventative maintenance or the warranty is not valid. Don’t worry, the scale experts at Cross Precision Measurement can help you specify a system which fits your application, the environment and your budget.

If The Worst Happens
Should your heavy capacity scale go down due to a lightning strike, Cross is here to help. We offer 24/7/365 call service. We immediately dispatch a team of expert technicians to assess the damage. As we usually stock the replacement parts, we can get the repairs done quickly and get your scale recalibrated so you’re back up and running as soon as possible.

Truck scales and rail scales are critical to the operation of your business. Because they’re outside in all kinds of weather, it’s important that they are ready for anything, including lightning. Contact Cross Precision Measurement to discuss your scale and what you can do to protect it.

See how our Precision Measurement team can help improve quality, increase efficiency, and reduce risk.

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In the meantime, enjoy these fun facts…

Did you know… Cross Company is an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Our ESOP started in 1979 and as of 2006, we are 100% employee-owned! Learn more about our ESOP and how that benefits both team members and our customers.
Did you know... the precision measurement group at Cross was founded in 1939 by our current CEO's grandfather, Jim King. That's a whole lot of calibration!
Did you know... A fingerprint weighs about 50 micrograms. We know, we weighed it! The residue left from a finger can actually make a difference in weight results which is why we wear gloves when we calibrate weights. For reference, a sheet of paper is about 4.5 grams, that’s 4.5 million micrograms.
Did you know… Cross Company has grown significantly since our start in 1954. Over the years we've acquired 26 companies! Today, our five groups have expertise in everything from industrial automation to precision measurement, and industry knowledge going all the way back to 1939.