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Complete guide: How to Chose your Crane and Hanging Scales?

Picture of a hanging scale aka crane scale

Hanging scales, also known as crane scales, work differently than pan or platform scales. Instead of placing an item in the weighing area, the load is attached to a crane’s scale hook. This makes hanging scales a more versatile tool for weighing large or irregularly shaped loads. Here’s a guide to help you find the best hanging scale for your business.

Why using hanging scales?

Hanging scales are much more versatile than platform or floor scales. Here are some of the benefits they offer:

  • You can easily weigh awkward items. Some items are shaped in a way that makes weighing them on a traditional platform scale impractical or unsafe. Trying to weigh these items on a regular scale could result in injury or equipment damage.

  • You can protect equipment and people. Transporting a load that’s too heavy for your crane can result in damage. However, bringing a load to a weighing station isn’t always possible, especially on a construction site. Consequently, this exposes your staff to the risk of getting seriously injured.

  • You can save floor space. Floor scales take up a lot of space. With a hanging scale, you can weigh goods in place, eliminating the need to budget floor space for a scale.

  • You can save time. Your staff doesn’t have to carry every item they need to weigh to the scale. This cuts down on traffic, making the workplace safer and more efficient.

  • You can get precise measurements. Some types of hanging scales provide hyper-precise measurements, making them an excellent investment for operations that require precision. This includes parts manufacturing and any product sold by weight.

Types of hanging scales

Hanging scales differ depending on their material, weighing mechanism, display type and features. For instance, analogue and digital scales use different weighing mechanisms. Since digital scales are typically more precise and allow for more options, like check weighing and parts counting, they’re much more common in industrial and commercial applications. However, an analogue hanging scale is a great lower-cost choice for operations that don’t require as much precision.


The variety of hanging scales is wide. Here’s a brief outline of the most common types.

  • Monorail hoist scales provide a versatile solution that offers a high weight capacity for more extensive industrial operations.

  • Jib crane scales are suitable in smaller spaces like machine shops or shipping centres, where smaller components are weighed individually.

  • Bridge crane scales provide high load capacity with a wide range of motion to allow faster weighing.

  • Rail-mounted or rubber-tire gantry scales are preferred by factories, mines and other high-capacity industries.

  • Semi-gantry scales are similar to the rail-mounted gantry but are supported by an elevated or rail-mounted truck at one end.


When talking to a scale supplier, you should be clear on your functionality needs. Here are a few points to consider.

  1. Load monitoring. Accurate load weights are essential for regulatory compliance purposes and to ensure safety conditions are met. In addition, maintaining load weights will safeguard your valuable equipment against damage and premature wear and tear. When deciding on the appropriate scale, you must know the weight capacity you’ll need and any specific scale graduation requirements.

  2. Process control. Consider the scale’s ease of use and how simple features like larger-sized buttons can reduce downtime caused by workers needing to remove work gloves to operate the scale. Display visibility is another opportunity to increase efficiency, particularly in the case of digital screens that must be read in bright sunlight.

  3. Energy efficiency. Considerations around energy consumption are an environmental responsibility and a matter of process efficiency. When deciding on a scale, look at its battery life to determine how frequently you’ll have to deal with downtime related to recharging or changing batteries. Some units have automatic shutoff functions to help conserve energy when the scale isn’t in use.

  4. Data integration. Many scales can accommodate digital integrations allowing for real-time communication of information across business systems while limiting the risk of human error. Systems that enable real-time remote monitoring of weight readouts can streamline data transfer and enable faster decision-making.

Safety guide: what to be aware of when using a crane scale

Crane scales can significantly increase job site safety. However, they still present risks that can result in injury or death. Follow these safety tips when working with and around a crane scale:

  • Always be alert and keep an eye on suspended loads

  • Never pass or work under suspended loads

  • Ensure all loads are balanced

  • Always lift loads slowly

  • Avoid torsion, vibrations, and shock loads

  • Always check safety brackets

  • Check hooks, cables, ropes, carbines, and rings for excessive wear and replace them when necessary

Inspection and maintenance

Regular inspections and maintenance are essential to keeping your crane scale safe and operational. Every time you use the scale, check the hooks, shackles, and lifting eyes for wear and cracks. You should also tighten the shackle pin and nut.

It’s a good idea to have a designated internal person inspect the entire apparatus for wear and damage every three months. Once a year, schedule an inspection with a certified professional to calibrate your scales, check the hardware for excessive wear, and make any necessary repairs.

Digital hanging scale rental and sales in Alberta

Accurate/Western Scale provides a full range of scales, including various digital hanging scales. We also offer maintenance and repair services, and can certify your weight scale as legal for trade. If you’re in the Calgary area or elsewhere in Alberta, contact us today to learn more about our products and services or request a free quote.

Accurate/Western Scale Co. Ltd.

Tel: 403-250-3232

Toll-free: 1-866-250-3232

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