Retired construction worker creates truck scale

LYLE, Minn. — Dennis Whalen saw a need and created a product to fill the niche.

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Dennis Whalen, of Lyle, has developed the Whalen Truck Scale, ideally suited to farmers loading grain or livestock at the farm where they don't have a scale.

LYLE — Dennis Whalen saw a need and created a product to fill the niche.

Whalen grew up on a farm near Lyle, served in the Vietnam War and worked in the construction business for 25 years. When he retired, he started running the grain cart for a neighbor. They were having problems with underloading and overloading the semitrailer because of the variations in the test weight of corn, he said.

Fines for an overweight truck can run $1,000 to $3,000 and running underweight is costly, too.

So, Whalen created the Whalen Truck Scale to solve the problem.

The scale is mounted under a trailer and bolted to the trailer frame. It runs with a 12-volt direct current power supply that is hooked into the running lights of the trailer, and a 3/8-inch air line is hooked into the air bags of the trailer. The digital image display area is 2 inches high and 8 inches long, making it visible from 100 to 200 feet away. The digital numbers are red, making them easily visible at night from the seat of a tractor or combine cab, Whalen said. The scale has a 99,999-pound capacity.


Promotional materials say the scale has an accuracy rating of plus or minus 2.5 percent, but Whalen said if loaded evenly, the accuracy has been running at plus or minus 1 percent in their testing.

The Whalen Truck Scale has a water-proof and shock-proof enclosure. The American-made instruments are rated for a temperature range of 40 below to 140 degrees, Whalen said.

The truck scale is his first invention, and he learned a lot in the process of taking it from idea to marketable product. He started by contacting people he knew who did the type of instrument work required to make a scale, and they introduced him to Powermation, a St. Paul firm. He worked with Powermation to create the scale designed to work in the harsh environment underneath an air-ride or fixed-axle trailer. The process was filed with a lot of trial and error, Whalen said. He's been experimenting with the scale for a couple years.

He designed the product specifically for farmers who load off the farm and don't have a scale on the farm.

Whalen hasn't sold any scales yet, but he does have sales pending.

"There's a lot of interest in it," Whalen said.

He has demonstration models in use.

"I just installed one on a livestock trailer last fall. We're working with them, and that's working out very well," Whalen said.


He also is working to spread the word about the new product that is custom made for each client. Scales sell for $3,495.

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