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Portable Cattle Scales
"We have three different farms with cattle at each so we either needed scales at each location or a portable scale. We were unhappy with what we saw on the market so together with my son George and hired man Jack Wilkins we designed this portable weigh trailer," says Ken Alton, Lucknow, Ontario.
The weigh trailer is a self-contained portable scale that pulls easily down the road between farms, according to Alton. "We back the unit up to a loading chute and block the wheels. We can then easily weigh cattle that come in off transport trucks or weigh cattle we're shipping to market. It enables us to accurately check shrink weights on new cattle and dressing percentage when shipping to market. It also enables us to check weight gains at different farms by running small groups of cattle up the loading chute onto the portable scales then into the barn. We've weighed as many as 100 800-lb. cattle in one hour with just three men."
To build the scale, Alton says you need a wagon with a rocking bolster to self-center the weigh box on unlevel ground. "You then need to build a double frame, one to mount directly on the wagon and the other attached to the weigh box. The two frames are attached by load cells. Wires from the load cells run to a control box at the front of the wagon."
Alton's weigh box is 8 ft. wide, 16 ft. long and 5 ft. high. The sides were fashioned from plastic-coated plywood. There's a sliding door in front which opens and shuts with ropes. The back door swings and latches. A ladder and load chute fold up along one side where the electronic read-out is also located.
Total cost of materials was about $6,500 Canadian (approximately $4,500 U.S.), which includes wagon and weighing equipment.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Alton, Ken Ruth Farms, Rt. 7, Lucknow, Ontario, Canada N0G 2H0.

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #3