Forklift Truck Scales Raise Throughput at Recycling Center by 30%

Forklift Truck Scales Raise Throughput at Recycling Center by 30%

Cougle’s Recycling is a full-service recycling center for paper, corrugated paper, plastic, glass and non-ferrous metals. From its base in Hamburg, Pennsylvania (U.S.) it serves thousands of customers from small stores to complete communities.

The company ranks client satisfaction highly and invests heavily in new technology to help improve customer service. So, when Cougle’s identified that its weighing operation was slowing down production efficiency and affecting data accuracy, it was quick to consider alternative options. Its goal was a system solution that could handle constant use and integrate with new data management software.

Company Chief Operating Officer, Matthew Cougle contacted his local Avery Weigh-Tronix distributor, Precision Solutions for help. The answer to the problem was simple. Precision Solutions retrofitted Avery Weigh-Tronix Forklift Truck Scales to seven of the company’s lift trucks and after just two months, productivity had increased significantly.

30% increase in productivity

Mr. Cougle expects a total productivity increase of over thirty percent in the following months. Cougle’s weighs and grades materials as they arrive at the facility and after they are compacted into bales. Before the installation, drivers were weighing the load on one of two floor scales, requiring the driver to leave the lift truck to record the weight. Operators would then send the handwritten paper work to the office for processing of the transport and billing documents.

This was adding too many steps in a process under pressure to perform quickly and efficiently. Lift trucks had to wait their turn at the scales, causing congestion and at times, making the area unsafe for employees working nearby. Recording the data manually could also lead to errors, ultimately affecting the material grade and its value.

Seamless data management

The new scales have enabled Cougle’s to integrate weighing and data management seamlessly into the operation. The scale unit is installed onto each truck’s fork carriage so that drivers can lift, weigh, move and record the load in just one operation, and without leaving the cab. Precision Solutions also supplied onboard wireless PCs that transmit the weight data to a central computer for analysis.

Mr. Cougle said, “In real terms, the thirty percent increase in throughput means that we can now unload more vehicles, in less time, leaving our operators free for other tasks. We have created a safer environment for our drivers and most importantly, have eliminated the time spent waiting to weigh.”

Durable and accurate – even in tough conditions

The scales are very durable and designed to remain accurate in tough conditions. Matthew Cougle continued, “Ours is a low profit-margin business, so we must deal in high volumes of product. Clear benefits to us were the ruggedness of the system, that it could handle constant daily use and withstand the test of time.”

Kirk Walters from Precision Solutions adds, “Cougle’s is constantly looking at ways to improve its processes. The driving force behind this project was to increase productivity and we were delighted to help the company achieve this target.”


  • A mobile weighing system– speeds cycle times for better  efficiency.
  • Eliminates bottlenecks at the floor scales – helping to improve safety by reducing congestion.
  • Paper may be different densities – the new system provides legal-for-trade accuracy, allowing Cougle’s to grade the material appropriately and to secure its full value.
  • Automated system – avoids operator errors and streamlines information exchange.
  • Trade approval guarantees data integrity– Cougle’s can bill its customers accurately and legally.