Weights & Measures
|Commercial scales are inspected by WSDA Weights & Measures|
WSDA’s inspectors are trained to handle a wide range of weighing and measuring devices and have to think broader to assure a level playing field in Washington commerce. We are the agency that tests everything from sensitive scales weighing gold to railroad track car scales used to determine how much money changes hands.
Both buyers and sellers benefit when accurate devices are used to determine charges.
Last week, some of our inspectors used one of our heavy-capacity scale test trucks near Ellensburg to test vehicle scales operated by hay dealers in Kittitas County. The scales are used to weigh hay the dealers are buying from local growers, as well as ocean shipping containers going to overseas customers. Inspectors tested nine scales and found three that needed adjustment and repair. The businesses repaired scales the next day and WSDA’s inspectors issued an approval seal.
Hay and other commodities
Vehicle scales with capacities ranging up to 180,000 pounds are used to weigh trucks hauling tons of hay, sand and gravel, grain and other commodities. The inspectors use a 50,500-pound test truck for part of the test and also a 21,300-pound test cart to check each section of the scale.
|Weight cart used to test scale performance|
Accurate scales are important for hay dealers and help them earn the trust and confidence of growers and customers. Weighing errors add up quickly as premium quality export hay sells for as much as $350 per ton. Washington’s hay is among the best in the world and is one of the state’s top agricultural commodities valued at $700 million annually in recent years. In 2015, more than $460 million in forage products were exported to foreign countries.
WSDA adopts national standards
WSDA uses national accuracy and technical regulations published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Our inspectors complete specialized training and are required to pass national certification exams.
If you have a concern about a gas pump, scale or other weighing device, please email WSDA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360 902-1857.