Stock take -that time of year every employee dreads!  That day out of the year when you need to stop doing your normal work activities and instead count hundreds or thousands of tiny parts for the annual stock take or inventory check.

Imagine then, having a cost-effective tool that will do the counting for you in a fraction of the time it takes to manually count?  Think of the time and money saved!  This is where the counting scale would come in handy.

What is a counting scale?

Quite simply, a counting scale is a scale that counts for you.  Traditionally it has a three display on the front which shows 3 different variables all at the same time, along with a numeric keypad. This would normally be a Gross or Nett weight, an individual part weight or a product count number.

There are exceptions to this.  Some scales have only one display, but they have a counting feature. With this type of scale you would normally switch displays between weight or product count and select from a pre-determined item count.

How do I use a counting scale?

In most scenarios you would follow a simple procedure:-

  • Ensure the scale is turned on and settled at zero
  • Place an empty container onto the scale and press the Tare button
  • Put a small quantity of parts into the container (eg. 10 items)
  • Type in on the numeric keypad the quantity you just added to the container
  • Press the Sample button

At this point the scale will automatically divide the Nett weight number by the quantity you just entered onto the numeric keypad and calculate the average weight of each item, as well as put the item count into the quantity display.

To test, add another item into the container and you will see the quantity number increase on the display, the same as taking a part away will show it decreasing.  At this point you can add all of your remaining parts into the container to see exactly how many parts there are.

As you can see, this short process saves time and therefore money, cutting down the manual counting process and reducing the human error element.

If this sounds like something that your business requires. Please call us today for more information on 01327 368020. Sale and Hire options available.

Service and Calibration Contracts are a great way to ensure your scales and weighing equipment are continually maintained and ready to be used throughout the year.  If your company depends on its weighing equipment and you haven’t already got a service contract, here is some information which may be of interest to you.

Scales that are regularly maintained quite simply work better and last longer.  After all, what use is a scale if the results are inaccurate?

Our engineers ensure your weighing equipment is continually working correctly and to within its own parameters.  We here at Total Weighing Solutions offer our customers both 6-monthly and annual service and calibration contracts where required.  This is a must have if your scales are mission critical.

For a fixed price, our engineers will attend site and perform a range of duties to ensure your scales are ready to be used whenever needed.

Some of the duties completed will be:-

  • Visual Inspection – One of the first things, we here at TWS, check for is for any physical defects.  Is the scale connected properly and free of any damage which would stop the scale from performing correctly and from being safe?  Even more so if the scale works overhead (for instance a crane scale), a physical inspection for defects is a must.  The last thing any company wants to deal with is a load being dropped onto someone from a great height. Did you know we are one of the few scale companies in the UK able to provide LOLER certificates for lifting equipment?
  • Consistent Results – An important requirement for any scale is it’s linearity and repeatability.  A good scale should go to the same reading each time the same load is applied.  If you take away half the load, then the reading should also go down by half.  The same applies for doubling the load.  This should be the same throughout the range of the scale and often proves the scale is working well. Anything other than this and the scale may require some work which we will advise on when found.
  • Accuracy of Results – The next thing to check is are the results accurate.  When you apply certified test weights to the scale, does the weight indicator show the same as that applied?  All scales, no matter what class of accuracy, will have a tolerance to work to.  This is normally a percentage of the full scale, or capacity, value. Our engineers carry with them a vast library of calibration instructions for many different manufacturers, so should the scale not fall within it’s own parameters, we can re-calibrate it and bring it back into tolerance.
  • Calibration Certificate – Once all tests have been performed and accuracy is assured, a calibration certificate is issued detailing the tests performed and the results.

When you have a service contract with TWS, we guarantee to you that we will perform all of the above tasks at your site at your convenience.  Anything that falls outside of these duties, for instance parts that are required to repair a scale, we offer at a 10% discount to our loyal customers.

If you would like a quotation for your scale service or calibration requirements, please do not hesitate to phone us at 01327 368020 or by emailing .

Weighing Scales have come a long way in the last decade or so.  Gone are the days where a weighing scale simply told you the weight of something, now they are commonly linked in to shipping systems, packaging solutions and even the medical records database.  This guide will break down the questions you need to ask to give you the right scale first time.

1. What’s your application?

The first and foremost question you need to ask, what will I be doing with this scale?  Are you weighing people, boxes, pallets, vehicles or something else?  The answer to this question will put you in the right category.  For instance, if you are weighing people then you will want Medical Scales, if it’s boxes or pallets then you will be looking for Industrial Scales and so on.

Choose the right category and you will then have a clearer picture of what’s available to you.

2. How do you want to use the scale?

Once you have chosen the right category (Step 1), you will then want to choose how you wish to use the scale.  As an example, you want to weigh pallets in a busy despatch area.  Having selected Industrial Scales you will then want to select a sub-category of platform scales or pallet weighing.  In a medical application where you wanted to weigh babies in a maternity ward, you would choose Medical Scales followed by Baby Scales.

3. Pick the right Capacity scale

Make sure when picking your scale that you choose the right capacity for your application.  Always over estimate, never under estimate.

You’re going to be weighing something around 200Kg?  Pick a scale with 300Kg capacity.  This will give you that extra comfort to know you are not stressing your scale unnecessarily.  Although scales are often protected from overloading, and are load tested to excess of their rated capacity, it will help you in the long run to make sure you are well within the scales capacities.  Along with this you are future proofing your application.  OK, so you may be weighing up to 200Kg now, but maybe that will be 250Kg next year.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Some caution though, don’t overdo your estimation.  Remember, the higher the capacity you go the larger the weighing increments.  See the next step…

4. What Increments do you require?

Right, so you now know what capacity you need, but the increments are also important.  Generally, the higher the capacity the more coarse the increments are.

The increments are the steps that your scale takes, from zero up to capacity.  This is often the second number quoted after capacity.  For instance, 30Kg x 10g would be a 30Kg capacity scale that goes up in 10g steps, or 0.01Kg to visualize it better.  1500Kg x 0.5Kg would mean the scale goes up in 0.5Kg steps all the way up to 1500Kg.

To confuse matters, some scales have dual (or even triple) capacity and increments.  This will often read as two capacities and two increments.  As an example, 1500/3000Kg x 0.5/1Kg would give you a dual capacity where the scale goes up to 1500Kg in 0.5Kg steps, and once it’s reached 1500Kg it then goes up to the next capacity of 3000 Kg in 1Kg steps.

This works well for most people as it practically gives you two scales for the price of one.

5. Choose the right Platform Size

An important choice to make is the platform or base size.  You wouldn’t want to be weighing a pallet on a 400mm square platform after all.

This is often the easiest choice to make, but also easy to get wrong.  It normally isn’t a problem to weigh an oversized object on a smaller platform, but the weight needs to be completely applied to the scale, it can’t be supported by anything else or you won’t get an accurate reading.

6. Are you Selling or Buying by Weight?

If you are either selling or buying by weight, or in a medical profession where you are prescribing medicine, you will need to have Class III Trade Approved Scales.  Also known as CE-M approved, Trading Standards Approved or Stamped Scales.

Read our previous article entitled What are Class III Approved Scales and do I need them? to find out if this applies to you.

7. What do you want to do with the weight information?

As previously mentioned, scales have moved on in the last decade or so to interfacing with other systems to provide a much more uniform collection of data.  Weight information is important to most applications and in most cases, critical.  With the majority of our scales, we are able to offer different connectivity options.  Want your axle pads to communicate with your tablet PC via Bluetooth?  Not a problem.  Want your pallet scales to connect to your Wi-Fi network to transmit to a PC on the other side of the building, or even a different country?  Again, not a problem.

This is our speciality.  Please do get in touch if you have requirements for interfacing your scales with different systems.

8. If you are unsure, Ask

As with most scale companies, Total Weighing Solutions are happy to help you find the right scale for you.  If the multitude of choices confuses you then we would always welcome your call or email to ask for advice.  Our representatives are always willing and able to help you, simply call us on 01327 368020 or email us at


Overloaded Van

It is commonly understood that in this present time commercial vehicles are continually being pulled over to have their weight limits checked by either traffic police or the DVSA.  The benefits of being on the right side of the law can easily be seen with hefty fines payable if caught overloaded, or worse still if your overloaded vehicle is seen to be the cause of a crash.

We aim to provide this guide to assist you with staying on the right side of the law at all times.

The effects of overloading your vehicle

Other than the obvious fines (and prosecution) you are liable for, the danger to your vehicle, driver, passengers and other road users should always be considered.

  • Insurance cover is void – If your vehicle is overloaded this is deemed as illegal.  Should you be involved in an accident your insurance company can and will void your policy.
  • Braking distances increased – It’s easy to see that with an increased load, your stopping distances won’t be the same as unladen which increases your chance of a collision.
  • Vehicle wear and tear – Driving overloaded will significantly reduce your vehicles life span and increase the costs of repairs and maintenance.
  • Difficult to steer correctly – An excessive load can become unstable and cause unpredictable behaviour to the steering therefore making incidents more likely to happen.
  • Higher fuel consumption – The heavier the load, the higher your fuel consumption.

How to find out your vehicles weight limits

Look for either the manufacturers or Department for Transport plate which can be located either under the bonnet, on your trailers chassis or in the cab.  This will have a GVW (gross vehicle weight) stamp on it and/or maximum permitted axle weight.

The Gross Vehicle Weight is your maximum permissible operating weight limit.  This includes the vehicles chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, driver, passengers and cargo but excludes trailer weight which comes under GTW (Gross Train Weight).

Under the Weight limit but still breaking the law

It is possible that you can be under the vehicles GVW figure and still be classed as overloaded.  How so?  By exceeding the permitted axle weight limit.

To avoid this you should ensure your load is distributed evenly across more than one axle.

Lorry being weighed with Axle Pad Scale

How to avoid overloading

Don’t trust weights given on invoices or picking notes.   The only way to make sure is to weigh the vehicle yourself.

Fleet operators will usually have either a weighbridgedynamic axle weigh scales or portable axle weigh pads available to use.  Make use of these facilities and take a printout with you to give as proof should you be pulled over.

Should this not be available to you, your local trading standards team will be able to advise you where your nearest public weighbridge is.


Further information can be gained by visiting the DVSA website at

For more information on our own range of vehicle weighing solutions, visit or call 01327 368020[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]CE-M Approved LogoBuying weighing scales online can be a difficult thing to do, least of all when there are legalities to consider.  In this article I will try to bust some of the myths surrounding trade approved scales and hopefully provide some insight into whether you need it for your business or organisation.

What is NAWI?

Firstly, we should start with the basics.  The NAWI directive is what tells us what should and shouldn’t be approved.  NAWI stands for Non Automatic Weighing Instrument and essentially means a weighing scale that has human interaction at some point along its process.

The NAWI directive tells us that certain weighing scales do not require an approval.  This would cover items for use at home, for instance a kitchen scale or a bathroom scale.  Even scales used in Gyms do not need to be approved.  Whether the gym chooses to use trade approved scales is entirely up to them, but trading standards would not have any control over this.

On an industrial level, scales that are used for internal processes are also not required to be approved.  If, however, you are charging or buying by weight and you are declaring a weight for this purpose then your scales need to be checked and verified by a qualified person, organisation or company, in other words Trade Approved.

Different Classes

There are 4 separate classes that govern this directive.  Classes I & II would normally be used for a very high accuracy scale, as an example this could be used for weighing precious metals at a jewellers.

Class III is what most approvals fall under in the U.K. and would be used for the following applications:-

  •          retail and industrial weighing machines
  •          supermarket checkout weighing systems
  •          weighbridges
  •          laboratory and pharmaceutical balances and medical weighing machines

Class IIII is generally used in medical environments where a patient’s weight needs to be checked or monitored, but at no stage can medication be prescribed based on weight given by a Class IIII approved scale, this would need to be done on a class III machine.

In short, if you are prescribing by weight, selling by weight or even buying by weight then your scales should be class III approved at the very least.  If, however, you are shipping parcels on a courier, doing a stock take or even weighing your pet dog then your scales do not need to be approved.

Are Approved Scales More Accurate?

Not necessarily.  A scale being approved means that it has been checked and verified to fall within a certain set of parameters.  These parameters are very strict so in theory you are buying an item where quality is a necessity. A non approved scale might be just as accurate, but unless it has been through those same strict tests, sealed and verified then it cannot be used for trading from.

Labelling and Marks

Green M CE marking

Approved scales will generally have a green M on them and a CE mark.  This does not make them approved, though, and simply means they could be should all criteria be met.  To be approved your scale will also require the relevant paperwork as well as a tamperproof seal on the instrument to stop the calibration being affected without a re-verification being completed along with other identifying labels and marks.

Don’t be Fooled!

Do not get taken in by cheaper scales for sale on the internet.  Recently we have seen a rise on retail scales appearing for around £40 to £50 on various sites.  These are not approved and therefore you cannot legally trade by the weight given on them.  Should trading standards pay you a visit they will either fine you or shut you down for using illegal scales.  It is a false economy to think that anything less than the correct tool for the job will do.


When in doubt, seek advice.  Your local Trading Standards office will always offer assistance and information for free as will we.  If you have any questions at all then please ask.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]