Accuracy of Reich caravan scales

Submitted: Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 19:03
ThreadID: 136357 Views:15182 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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I recently purchased the Reich 1,000kg scales. I put my van over a public weighbridge and then immediately over the Reich scales. I have also made a timber holding frame with small ramps on each side to get the wheels up to the level of the instrument (as recommended in the literature).
The Reich scales showed my van to be 370kg heavier than the weighbridge (11.1% error). The tow ball weight was even worse - actual 280kg, Reich showed 352kg - a 25.7% error!
I'm sending the scales back and will accept a replacement unless others our there have also found them to be wildly inaccurate, in which case, I'll be seeking a refund.
A friend of mine also has a set of these scales and when I put my van over them some weeks ago, I thought the reading was a little high - I put it down to operator error on an uneven surface.
Has anyone got any information on this topic?
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 22:01

Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 22:01

What I know about Reich caravan scales would comfortably fit in the top left hand corner of a 5c postage stamp.

However, I have weighed many hundreds of head of cattle, and to check the scales you need a weight of known mass. We used to use, say 4-5 bags of cement, to check accuracy, but this example might not suit you. Perhaps a 20L container of water, or if you're a fit person, a number of dumb bell weights, preferably the more the better.

The weight differences you quoted certainly are a bit over the top.


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Reply By: Member - J&A&KK - Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 06:52

Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 06:52

I have no experience with Reich caravan scales.

Bob Y’s comments on checking the scales with known weights, water being a good one provided you can measure the volume accurately, would be worthwhile.

According to Reich NL the scales accuracy is 3% which is significantly different from what you have experienced.

Have you tried weighing the same wheel multiple times and comparing the results. That may give you some idea as to the scales measurement repeatability.

I looked at the Towsafe scales a while back but baulked at the price. I decided a weigh bridge ticket at around $45 was more useful. The following link shows the Towsafe scales also appear to read on the high side.

Cheers John
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 08:06

Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 08:06
I have used the scales and found them to be very inconsistent. Weighing 5 mins later gives a different result. I played around with a jerry can of water and I am convinced they are not very accurate at all.
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Follow Up By: Geoff49 - Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 09:50

Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 09:50
Alan, thanks for that. I think I want a refund. It's a shame I spent half a day making up a nice timber frame to position them and to give a flat surface on a not so flat road.
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Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 11:05

Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 11:05
Scales that are specified for trade purposes must be approved by the National Measuring Institute, and be;

1. An approved type, that is suitable for its intended purpose
2. Verified before use by a licensed technician or inspector
3. Used in the correct manner (e.g. level and indicating zero before use)
4. Kept clean and in good working order
5. Verified after each repair or adjustment.

These scales are also checked at random by NMI trade measurement inspectors for accuracy - especially after any consumer complaints to them as regards accuracy of measurement of weight for a particular sale.

All other scales sold for consumer use are merely guesswork - and with the huge influx of Chinese scales of widely varying quality and accuracy, largely aimed at the consumer market, you are highly likely to end up with scales of extremely dubious value.

If you require accuracy in weighing, just for a total weight, stop at a country grain receival facility when things are quiet, and ask if you can put your rig over their weighbridge.

Most of these sites are obliging and don't mind you doing this. In fact, a few years ago, CBH in W.A. used to conveniently leave their grain receival facility scales switched on, 24 hours a day!

What was even better, you could drive into the facility any time day or night, and view the scales through the weighbridge window!

You didn't even need anyone in the weighbridge office! I did that many a time in the 80's and 90's when hauling overloaded trailers, just to see by how much I was overloaded! LOL

I'm not sure how much stricter the procedures for access to grain receival weighbridges are today - but no doubt in this era of terrorists in every dark corner, you probably need security clearance to access a grain receival point weighbidge, today!

If you really want to purchase good quality, accurate scales, then you need to purchase commercial grade scales, from businesses who specialise in load cells, and front-end-loader and forklift weighing systems, etc.


For myself - I bought a used pallet trolley scale at auction for $90. It didn't work, and the charger was missing - although it all appeared to be in pretty good shape.
I got it home and took the cover off the battery mechanism and found the small 7.2V SLA battery was deceased!

I acquired a new battery from Jaycar, bought a 240v-to-7.2V charger with the right charge connector direct from China - and hey, presto, I now have a quite accurate mobile set of scales, that weighs up to 2 tonnes! (and yes, I've checked them against a known weight of steel).

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 617334

Follow Up By: Geoff49 - Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 11:21

Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 11:21
Thanks Ron
I'm going to give up on the cheap consumer scales and use a weighbridge instead. There is one about 20km from home and the operator only charges $10 if you don't want official paperwork.
FollowupID: 888917

Reply By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Friday, Mar 09, 2018 at 05:11

Friday, Mar 09, 2018 at 05:11
Your local landscape supplier may be willing to let you use there weighbridge for zip. Ours is happy to if you are a regular customer.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Mar 09, 2018 at 11:21

Friday, Mar 09, 2018 at 11:21
I seem to be having more luck than you, Geoff.

My 1500kg Reich and a conventional ballweight scale are within 5kg at 190kg, about 2.6% - but which one of those was wrong?

I just took my van to a weighbridge. Axle load there was 2120. My Reich said 2051, a 69kg error or about 3.2%.

EDIT: I also weighed my vehicle at the weighbridge then came home and weighed it again on the Reich. The Reich was within a few kgs of the weighbridge on each axle and the total.

Hopefully a replacement will solve the problem for you.


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