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OT? Weigh a crate with bathroom scales..

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  • OT? Weigh a crate with bathroom scales..

    I am exporting an old motorcyle and need a weight to determine the freight to charge the buyer..



    weigh crate by MrJohnHill, on Flickr

    It is very simple really...

    Chock up one end of the crate..

    Put a lever under the other end taking note of the length of the lever and the position of the fulcrum.

    Put one foot on bathroom scale, other foot clear of the floor. Adjust position so that scales read your weight.

    Press down with other foot on the end of the lever until the crate lifts.

    Make sure hands are not touching anything and you are balanced on the scale and the end of the lever.

    Read scale and note this.

    Relax and lower crate to the floor.

    Subtract scale reading which will give you the weight you were applying to the lever.

    Calculate weight of that end of the crate.

    Repeat for the other end and add together.

    According to my exercise my crate weighs 320Kgs which is very close to my estimate.

  • #2
    Sounds like a clever method and nothing wrong with it in theory. One thing to watch out for is the crate should not be tilted at any noticeable angle when either end is checked or the opposite end may get more than it's share of the total. The angle of the crate should be the same when checking both sides. I would modify one step of your procedure as follows:

    Press down with other foot on the end of the lever until the crate lifts AND BECOMES LEVEL.

    Also, the foot and the crate both need to rest on a single point on the lever. Otherwise, it is not possible to know the actual length of the two lever arms (crate and foot sides). A small piece of round stock welded or otherwise fastened across the ends of the lever would accomplish this.

    I have one of those new, digital bathroom scales and it is quite accurate. But it does not read below about 15 or 20 pounds. When I need to weigh smaller packages I first weigh myself (twice for accuracy) and then myself holding the package (again, twice for accuracy). The difference is the package weight, +/- 0.4 lbs. (least count on the scale is 0.2 lbs). This usually checks quite closely with the PO or UPS scales.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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    • #3
      Why not use a certified commercial weigh bridge?

      First weigh your trailer empty and then with the crate on it.

      You will get two certificates of weight which should be accedptable to all/most freighters.

      I would bet that you shipper checks it against his scales anyway.

      Any error in your bath-room digital scales will be multiplied by the mechanical advantage of the bar you use with it.
      Last edited by oldtiffie; 09-12-2012, 02:18 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by oldtiffie View Post
        Why not use a certified commercial weigh bridge?

        First weigh your trailer empty and then with the crate on it.

        You will get two certificates of weight which should be accedptable to all/most freighters.
        It is not on my trailer and the shipper will pick it up from here but before that happens I want to know what the freight will cost so that the buyer can pay me before the bike leaves here.

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        • #5
          If I recall correctly, you have a heavy beam over you garage door opening for heavy lifts.

          Hire an analogue/digital scale from your local hire firm - ask if it is certified as correct - that can be suspended from the beam and suspend the crate from the scale.

          I would bet that you shipper checks it against his scales anyway.

          Any error in your bath-room digital scales will be multiplied by the mechanical advantage of the bar you use with it.
          Last edited by oldtiffie; 09-12-2012, 02:19 AM.

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          • #6
            Thats why I was careful to take several readings and average them.

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            • #7
              The cost charged by the shipper will be for the weight on his scales.

              So there is a risk that if you charge the buyer less than the shipper charges you, you will be out of pocket - but if the reverse applies you may have to decide what to do with the excess amount you charged the buyer.

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              • #8
                I like the idea. Thanks for sharing it. If the weight is close, then that's enough for most purposes, like buying / renting a hoist.

                As for the question of over/under charging the buyer, I like the concept that if the buyer agrees to a price for shipping, then it does not matter what the real cost is. As an example, when I agree to pay $22 for an end mil, it does not matter what the seller's cost is. I've accepted the $22 price.

                Dan
                At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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                • #9
                  It is going by sea freight, not air, volume determines the cost, but the shipper still asks for a weight before issueing a quote.

                  I dont think I will bother with this topic any further. I posted this to show how easy it is to get a reasonable weight with the equipment a typical home shopper may have on hand.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                    It is going by sea freight, not air, volume determines the cost, but the shipper still asks for a weight before issueing a quote.

                    I dont think I will bother with this topic any further. I posted this to show how easy it is to get a reasonable weight with the equipment a typical home shopper may have on hand.
                    It would be interesting to find out how accurate the method is (if the shipper weighs it).

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                    • #11
                      well done AB. Ignore the noise, the post is appreciated
                      .

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                      • #12
                        Agreed, i thought this was quite an interesting topic.

                        Mr. Negative, (No matter the topic, always "spouts" off many times just to have something to blabber on about.)

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                        • #13
                          Reminds me of the farm boy showing us how to measure a longish length of stiff 2 inch rubber hose which had been neatly coiled and securily tied. He stood the coil on its edge, then slowly rolled it across the floor for exactly four and a half revs, since he eyeballed four and a half coils in the roll.

                          The floor was tiled in 1 foot squares, so it was only a matter of counting the number of tiles which required the four and a half revs of the untied coil, to duplicate it's length.

                          Thinking outside the box, makes for a keepable employee.

                          --G

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                          • #14
                            Yes, but did you check the certification slip issued with each of the relevant tiles and make the proper correction for its deviation from the one foot standard?

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                            • #15
                              why not try tjhis old English method developed by sir J Stevenson take the bike to pieces every nut bolt etc weigh them all individually then add them up and rebuild should take no longer than a month or so.It sounds bizarre but it will be the most accurate way er weigh er way. NaLISTAIR
                              Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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