Silo Inventory, Frequently Asked Questions

SiloWeigh tells you the contents of any silo, feed bin, tank or storage vessel as a continuous inventory value. Better than silo level measurement, SiloWeigh measures the actual weight of the vessel and contents to give a true picture of the amount on hand, and it costs less than the best level sensors.
For low cost vessel and silo weight display, you can’t beat the value of SiloWeigh Basic. Designed for farm feed bins and similar applications where a very basic display is adequate. SiloWeigh Basic uses L-Strain sensors with a simple weight indicator to show the current weight of the vessel contents, without all the extra features.
SiloWeigh II Pro pairs the L-Strain sensors with a touch-screen display, to measure silo level by weight. Capacity is 6 vessels displayed as bar-graphs or a trend-graph of each individual vessel. A special display shows weights of past deliveries to detect shortages.
SiloWeigh.Net pairs the L-Strain sensors with a computer-based display, giving capacity for 32 silos displayed as bar-graphs or a trend-graph of each individual silo. Any computer on the local network can view the silo or tank inventory using a web browser and a cloud-based database displays all the company’s vessels through the Internet.
Most silos on legs and skirted silos use the L-Strain silo weight sensor. However, SiloWeigh can use pressure sensors to measure liquid level, load cells for high accuracy and weldable gauges for special applications.SiloWeigh II can also use any 4-20 mA analog sensor, allowing you to gain more value by recording temperature or moisture values.
The L-Strain silo weight sensor compensates for the expansion of the underlying metal, making it extremely stable on steel legs and skirts as well as being applicable to aluminum and stainless steel silos.
SiloWeigh vessel inventory systems are self-install kits. You can do it yourself from scratch, and we provide the critical tools. Read on and see how simple it really is, or ask for our installation training presentation. If you wish, we can do it all for you; just call us.
Can SiloWeigh be installed on any type of silo leg? Is there any limit to the silo size or capacity? Will it wear out in a few years? How easy is SiloWeigh to install? This page answers these questions and others.

Frequently asked questions about SiloWeigh, and answers from our experts

Can SiloWeigh be installed on any type of silo leg?

Click to expand
Not all. The leg must be able to accommodate either L-Strain, Silex or weldable sensors.  The easiest leg for installation is of “H” or “I” beam  construction.  This section allows you to install the sensors in the center of the symmetrical section, where cancellation of side forces and temperature errors is best.  Install on popular “O” section legs by welding threaded mounting tabs onto the leg with the jig provided.  Our installation kits make this task easy and eliminate risk.  It is also possible to install sensors on rectangular, “L” angle, “S” section and agricultural channel type legs. Call us if you are unsure.
SiloWeigh will fit most legs but not all.  Ask us to be sure.
Is there any limit to the silo size or capacity?

Click to expand
No, the SiloWeigh gauges measure the stress in the metal.  Since the legs are sized to support the silo’s weight without collapsing, there will always be a measurable stress.  For highest output and best accuracy, however, do not install them on conservatively designed legs.  The heavy cross section reduces stress and the output signal as a result.  If possible, measure and calculate the cross section area of the leg.  Then divide the total load (of contents) by the number of legs and then by the cross section of one leg (or use our Stress Calculator).  If the resulting stress is greater than 1500 lb per square inch, there is adequate output.
There is no practical limit to size or capacity but calculate stress to be sure.
Will it wear out in a few years?

Click to expand
Not likely. Since SiloWeigh has no moving parts, the only reason for a breakdown is water leakage into one of the waterproof junction boxes.  The sensors are fully waterproof to IP67 and will withstand weather for many years.
SiloWeigh should last for many years when installed correctly.
How easy is SiloWeigh to install?  How long will it take?

Click to expand

The L-Strain or Silex sensors and our installation kits simplify the procedure.  Due to these things, anyone who can handle a drill can install the whole system.  If the installation is outdoors you will work better if the weather is good.  Try not to do it in the rain or in freezing temperatures.  Each silo should take about one man-day, as an example.  The electrical skills are minimal;  if you have wired a VCR or stereo system you can do it.  Our instructions are thoroughly tested and rewritten until all the likely problems have been eliminated.  Our phone help can give you peace of mind, however.  Call us on your cell phone right from the silo.
You should have no problem but we’re here if you get stuck.
Can I use SiloWeigh with my own weight indicator?

Click to expand
Yes, it can be done.  The sensors are electrically equivalent to load cells.  This is why we price it either with or without the indicator.  A full four leg SiloWeigh installation is equivalent to four regular 350 Ohm load cells, which can be handled by all but the most basic indicators.  If you are familiar with the indicator’s calibration procedure there should be no problem. 
However, all weight indicators require an empty scale or vessel for calibration, and this is rarely possible.  Our indicators solve this problem and also indicate the levels in the silos as vertical bars from empty to full.  They also change color at alarm levels, allowing anyone to see the status at a glance, and they have an advanced weather filter, which minimizes fluctuations due mainly to the sun on the structure.  These are major customer benefits.  Another warning – don’t calibrate a weight indicator in lb or kg.  Due to this the small graduation sizes will make the display appear to be drifting all the time.  Your smallest graduations should be 1/10 ton or 0.1 klb (thousands of pounds).
We recommend that our indicators be used for best customer satisfaction.
Can I use SiloWeigh to batch material out of my silo?

Click to expand
It sounds attractive, but consider the error that you may get.  SiloWeigh is not an accurate scale and could drift by an unacceptable amount during your feed period.  Unless you are using it to check overloading of trucks that are filled in no more than a few minutes, we wouldn’t recommend it.  An accuracy of 2% of full scale on a 100,000 lb silo is equal to an error of 2000 lb.  Over a few minutes the error should be much less than this, but how much less?  There’s no easy answer.
Don’t batch using SiloWeigh unless you can stand relatively large errors.
How often do I need to recalibrate my silo display?

Click to expand

Whenever you feel that it shows an error.  Normally this is quite a few years but there is no hard and fast rule.  You can check the zero weight setting by the ‘hammer on the silo’ method when it is nearly empty, estimating the weight from the level and checking against the reading.  When a delivery comes in, check the weight gain against the weigh tickets from the incoming trucks.  These things are easy and give you peace of mind.
Check your calibration as trucks make deliveries.
Can I use SiloWeigh on a skirted tank or silo?

Click to expand
It’s no more difficult than a legged vessel.  You will have to calculate the loading by dividing the total weight of contents by the cross sectional area of the skirt (take the circumference and multiply by the wall thickness). If the result is greater than 1500 lb per square inch, no problem.  Do not expect the stability of a leg installation, however.  You can download our Stress Calculator to verify the stress in any type of skirt or leg.
Similar to a leg installation, but slightly less accuracy.
I have a divided silo. Can I use SiloWeigh on this?

Click to expand
Yes, if you choose SiloWeigh II Pro or SiloWeigh.Net;  both have the special internal calculation to separate the two sides, and SiloWeigh.Net has the ability to handle unequal divisions, not just 50/50 split.  SiloWeigh is the ONLY system that can handle divided silos.
SiloWeigh II and .Net are the only weighing systems that can handle divided silos.

To find out more about the three models of SiloWeigh, Click here.

Inventory control used to be a nightmare.  Since we installed SiloWeigh.Net, it’s a breeze”.  Ray Young, Oldcastle Building Products, Ogden, UT. Installed 2017 with 2 local silos by cable, one of them a divided silo, one 200 ft away, one 1000 ft away and one at 1 mile, all connecting by radio link.