Guide to Buying Livestock Scales
A set of Tru-Test livestock scales is an investment, and you want to be sure to to purchase the components to fit your needs and budget. Here are a few helpful ways to determine which indicator, load bars, and possibly a platform will work best for you.
Question 1 - How will you be weighing your cattle?
Will you be weighing cattle in a permanent installation, such as a squeeze chute, or is a portable a better solution? The weigh scale indicator connects to the load bars, and the model of load bars needed will depend on permanent vs portable installation and length of load bars needed.
- Permanent installation such as a under squeeze chute: The Heavy Duty (HD) is ideal for use with squeeze chutes. The load bars/cells are installed under the chute, and they need to be mounted in concrete to ensure safety and reliability. (The chute does not have to be on concrete).
- Portable installation in an alley: The Multipurpose (MP) load bars are designed for use with platforms in alleyways. This is a popular option because the scale system can be setup right before the entrance into the squeeze chute, or anywhere in the alleyway where the animal will be stopping. In addition, you can move this setup around/to another location, etc, as it does not need concrete - it is just on the ground.
Portable install with platform in an alley
Permanent install bolted into concrete
Question 2 - If portable weighing, what are your size requirements for your platform?
The Tru-Test Alleyway platforms are made of aluminum, and have a flat wide base with no sides or sharp edges. The platform includes a rubber mat for better traction and noise reduction.
Question 3 - What do you need from your scale indicator?
This is the device you will use for viewing and capturing the animal's weight. A few points to consider:
- Scale indicator memory - Store an animal's weight along with their visual tag and/or electronic id number to save time writing down weights as cattle are weighed. After weighing your cattle, you can connect your indicator to a computer and download the weights into a spreadsheet or your herd management software. The EziWeigh7i, ID5000, and XR5000 models have memory capabilities. The EziWeigh5i just displays the weight on the indicator.
- Working with records on the computer: In most cases where a ranch wants to integrate their weight collection with a cattle software program, such as CattleMax, it's recommend to use the EziWeigh7i to collect the weight at the chute. The indicator can later on be connected to a computer to download weights into a spreadsheet to use or download into your CattleMax records. The ID5000 and XR5000 models support real-time connections to the computer, but actual interface options with herd software programs may be limited.
- Electronic ID (EID) reader interface: Connect an EID reader to your scale indicator for easy recording of electronic ids as animals are weighed - no need to manually enter visual tags or electronic id tags. The EziWeigh7i, ID5000, and XR5000 models support electronic id reader connections.
- Advanced data storage capabilities - Record additional data beyond animal identification and weight, including such fields as pregnancy status, body condition score, or other notes. This feature is useful when your scale indicator is your primary animal management solution instead of your computer. The XR5000 model includes advanced storage capabilities.
- Wireless Bluetooth interface - Wirelessly connect to your computer for real-time weighing through Bluetooth instead of relying on a serial port / RS232 cable. Note that the connection between the scale indicator and load bars still requires cables. The EziWeigh7i, ID5000 Bluetooth and XR5000 Bluetooth model include Bluetooth ability.
Still Have Questions? Speak with an Expert!
Rest assured that if you have any questions about choosing the right scale solution, integrating with electronic id, or connecting with cattle software, that we are here to help. Send us an email or give us a call and we'd be glad to help!