Weigh Boxes More Accurate than Portable Systems

AUSTRALIA - New research has found cattle weigh boxes were up to three times more accurate than portable platform weighing systems.
calendar icon 11 June 2012
clock icon 2 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

The research from the Northern Territory Depart of Resources also found that, in 95 per cent of cases, repeated weights on weigh box systems were within 4kg of each other, compared to 11kg for portable platform systems.

The research was undertaken as part of a larger project analysing factors affecting variations in the liveweight gain of steers on commercial cattle properties.

NT DoR Beef Cattle Research Officer, Sarah Rothery, who ran the project, said the research focused on the two most commonly used on-farm weighing systems, the weigh box and the less expensive portable platform.

“We knew this research would have significant industry relevance given the pressure on producers to supply cattle in specific weight ranges for markets such as the live export and feedlot sectors,” she said.

Ms Rothery said producers should be aware of factors that could influence the accuracy of their weighing system and follow some basic protocols to ensure the most accurate result possible.

This is particularly useful for producers targeting live export markets, as weighing accuracy is especially important in light of the strict 350kg weight restriction introduced for the Indonesian live export market in 2010.

Tips for improving cattle weighing accuracy on portable platforms

  • Check the scales with a known weight before starting;
  • Ensure load cells are sitting level in the base of the crush;
  • Remove dirt, rocks and manure that may build up beneath load cells – repeat throughout the weighing process;
  • Ensure the scales return to zero between animals;
  • Ensure animals are standing squarely on the platform and not stepping off;
  • Ensure animals are not leaning on the side of the crush;
  • Always use the same curfew (either full or empty) when reweighing mobs to calculate liveweight gain to avoid the gut fill effect.

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