Lightning and Transient Protection for your Truck Scale

August 1, 2017

"My truck scale has just been hit by lightning." It's a call we get frequently this time of year. Truck scales are obviously very vulnerable to lightning strikes with their steel bodies and electrical components exposed to storm conditions. Truck scales are big investments and one lightning strike can destroy your load cells, indicator, remote display, printer, etc. resulting in costly repairs if not properly grounded.


There is hope, however, to protect your truck scale from lightning strikes and other power issues. If you have a newer truck scale, you probably already have transient protection on your scale (that still needs to be inspected at least twice a year). Some older scales are not equipped with this protection and it will need to be installed. Scale South is here to help. We offer transient protection packages to give you peace of mind the next time a power surge threatens your equipment.



We offer the complete package from Rice Lake Weighing Systems to help safeguard your equipment from disastrous situations. This package consists of the following features:


  • DC transient protection boards in junction boxes

  • Copper transient bypass cables for load cells

  • DC transient protection in home run cable to the indicator

  • Single-point grounding

  • Bare ground conductor cable buried in the ground from the scale frame to the AC power ground lug

  • Uninterrupted power supply/surge protector in the AC line before reaching the indicator

  • Lightning and transient protection warranty


Diagram of a properly grounded truck scale system:

While lightning is one of the most fatal and dangerous electrical attacks your system can face, there are other situations this protection can help with:



A surge is a prolonged increase in the voltage applied to a circuit that lasts at least one half cycle or more. 



A voltage sag is the opposite of a surge. It is significant reduction in voltage that lasts for one half cycle or more. Although it might be assumed that low voltage would not have an adverse effect, the lower voltage can also put a strain on electronic equipment.



Transients are much shorter in duration and more varied in nature. Rather than a simple over or under voltage, transients can also carry different voltage potentials within them and are the most common cause of electronic equipment power-related maladies.


Faulty Wiring

Some power problems masquerade as one of the above categories, but are rooted in faulty wiring.


Scale South is trained, licensed and experienced in the proper installation and grounding of truck scales. It is important to follow manufacturer's recommendations when installing the scale—single-point grounding all the way back to the service ground. That includes any peripheral equipment coming in (printers, PCs, remote displays, etc).


If you are unsure if your truck scale is properly grounded or you would like for us to come inspect your equipment, please feel free to give us a call. 


Call toll free: 1-800-858-1151



Why you should safeguard your equipment from

lightning and surges:

  • Prevent down time of your scale due to storm damage

  • Protect your valuable equipment from surges

  • Prevent costly repairs

  • Improve safety of your weighing system

  • Prevent data loss from damaged equipment

  • Not all insurance covers lightning damage

  • Improperly grounded scales may void any warranties you have

Interesting facts about lightning:

  • Lightning is extremely hot— five times hotter than the sun’s surface.

  • Lightning strikes somewhere on Earth every second.

  • Lightning travels at 90,000 miles per second in air.

  • A direct lightning strike with no path to follow will use any available path, such as electrical wiring not designed to handle lightning.

  • The average American has about a 1 in 5,000 chance of being struck by lightning during a lifetime.


Call toll free: 1-800-858-1151



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