Forklift Scale Systems Provide Annual Saving in Excess of $1,000,000

Forklift Scale Systems Provide Annual Saving in Excess of $1,000,000

With a diverse customer base spanning ten states, Lakeville Motor Express – headquartered in Roseville, Minnesota, USA – is an LTL carrier that offers a full range of services, including pool distribution, brokerage and logistics. To optimize profits and protect shippers, Lakeville Motor Express has used Avery Weigh-Tronix forklift scales for over a decade to weigh and bill freight, which the company picks up from various facilities and transfers to customers. The forklift scales are used to verify that the customer pays for exactly the amount of freight transported instead of estimating the weight of each load.

“The shipper can do their best to estimate the weight of the freight we’re picking up, but it’s hard – they could guess 1,000 lbs. when it actually weighs 1,300 lbs,” said Pete Roberts at Lakeville Motor Express.

Proven value

Lakeville Motor Express began using Avery Weigh-Tronix forklift scales because they were already mounted on some forklifts the company obtained through auction. Roberts said the company soon saw the value of adding weighing to their operations.

“The scales were durable and accurate – and they provided us with a good return on investment,” Roberts said. “We’ve kept running totals of the differences in actual costs versus estimations over the course of a year, and with Avery Weigh-Tronix’s weighing system we’ve saved in excess of a million dollars.”

Fleet expands to over 100

“We started with three scales and now use about 100 in our operations,” Roberts added. To further expedite and simplify the weighing process, Lakeville Motor Express employs the new FLSC Forklift Scale for Class II forklifts, which provides rugged, reliable en route weighing.

“Our old system of using a floor scale took significantly more time, since the process included bringing the freight to the scale, stopping and setting it on the scale, weighing the freight and picking it up again,” Roberts said. “Plus, with our old forklift scales we had to hand-write the weights – but Avery Weigh-Tronix’s new forklift scale and FLI 425 in-cab instrument allow us to keep a running total of all weights electronically.”

The scale carriage contains two metal plates combined with Weigh Bar® electronic weight sensors. This design has no flexures, hydraulics or springs, allowing it to deliver highly accurate, legal-for-trade weighments of up to 5,000 lbs. even while the forklift mast is tilted.

“Obtaining precise legal-for-trade weights for all our loads – which range from 500 to 1,500 lbs. – is extremely important, and we often need to weigh things a slightly lowered or raised angle, so this is a helpful feature,” Roberts said.

Clear View Window

The FLSC also offers the largest “Clear View” vision window in the industry, allowing the operator to monitor fork tips at all times – which Roberts said provides much better visibility for the company’s dock man. After the FLSC electronically measures the load and conveys the collected data to an embedded summing box, the information is transmitted to the FLI 425 in-cab instrument.

The FLI 425’s 7” TFT color LDC display delivers exceptional visibility in a wide range of environments. Lakeville Motor Express found that the instrument also expedites operator training by featuring four hard keys for common tasks: Power, F1, Store and Zero.

“The FLI 425 is simpler to operate, and the four hard keys cover most applications,” Roberts said. “While we don’t currently use all the additional data fields, the capabilities will be available for future use if the application requires.”

Lakeville Motor Express also utilizes a bar code scanner connected to the FLI 425, which allows operators to quickly scan packages and input all necessary product and company information in seconds. With this arrangement, Roberts said the company’s dock man doesn’t have to punch in each bill number individually – saving them a tremendous amount of time.

Wireless data collection

Since Lakeville Motor Express selected an FLI 425 with optional Wi-Fi capability, the instrument collects all weight information and diagnostics and transfers it immediately to Lakeville Motor Express’ server via wireless signal. This feature facilitates real-time data updates for enhanced efficiency and inventory management.

“Wireless really makes the whole process seamless – from the time the instrument scans the bill number to when all the information is transmitted to our computer,” Roberts said. “The FLSC and FLI 425 melded extremely well into our operations—and it’s a simpler weighing system overall.”

The combination of efficient, accurate weighing and simple operation has paid off for Lakeville Motor Express – delivering responsive, repeatable performance while withstanding the jolts and heavy, frequent loads common in fast-paced warehouse environments.

“Avery Weigh-Tronix forklift scales take lots of abuse and keep on working,” Roberts said. “And they’ve allowed us to gain revenue, as well as protect our customers.”