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Make It Yourself Tire Cattle Scale
"Response to FARM SHOW's article on our Wheelie Weigh scale has been unbelievable," says Farel Bradbury, the British inventor of a unique tire scale made out of old tires filled with water and hooked up to a pressure gauge. The idea was featured in FARM SHOW's Vol. 8, No. 1, 1984 issue.
At the time of FARM SHOW's initial report, Bradbury had put together a book detailing plans for the scale, which can be built for less than $50 to accurately weigh loads up to 22 tons. Now, because of demand, Bradbury Controls, Ltd., has begun to handle all components needed to build a tire scale and even offers a complete scale kit using new tires and components.
Bradbury says he was unprepared for the response to the original report. "We heard from FARM SHOW readers all over the U.S. and Canada, as well as from Scandinavia and other parts of Europe. We even set up a dealer in Australia. Although we ran out of our first book of instructions for do-it-yourselfers, we now have a new book, with complete details and costs of components, available for $8.40."
The idea is to fill a tire with water, remove the air valve, and hook it to a hose that runs to a pressure gauge that converts the pressure to weight. A "load ring" that fits over the contact area of the tire, mounts on top of the tire. The load ring can be made out of wood, plastic, or any other stout material. Any tire can be used. If an older, bias ply tire is used, an inner tube should be placed inside.
Any standard air pressure gauge can be used. "Once you get it hooked up, you simply put check weights on the scale and calibrate it," says Bradbury, noting that his company sells scales that are already calibrated and easy to read. A 15 psi gauge, for use with a standard 15-in. car tire, will measure from 20 lbs. to 2 tons. The gauge comes in 4, 6, and 8-in. dia. sizes that sell for $28, $43 and $70, respectively, plus $15 shipping. A heavier duty 46 psi gauge is also available that'll weigh weights up to 5 tons. It sells for the same price as the 15 psi gauge. The drawback of the 40 psi gauge is that it is not as accurate at lower weights.
Bradbury also sells a complete tire scale kit. A new 15-in. radial tire, with a load ring and 6-in. gauge, sells for $160 plus $75 shipping to the U.S. All you have to do to complete it is toput water in the tire and fill the load ring with concrete. All components are available separately for any size ranging from bicycle to tractor tires.
"We encourage people to build their own. No matter how you do it, this scale costs only a fraction of what commercial scales sell for," Bradbury told FARM SHOW.
As an example of how Wheelie Weighs can be used, Bradbury says the company has just finished an installation on a large poultry farm. Four tire scales were imbedded in concrete under each corner of a feedhopper. The scale, which can accurately weigh loads up to 14 tons, cost just $2,000, including concrete and labor. Bradbury says he has orders for 200 more such installations.
The do-it-yourself book sells for $8.40 converted to U.S. dollars. The company requires payment in British funds, or you can send a ten dollar bill in cash.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bradbury Controls, Ltd., P.O. Box 4, Ross-On-Wye, HR9 6EB England (ph 0600-890599).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #3