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> The first thing I wanted to do with my Saab 96 was to establish a baseline weight. The cheapest scales used for racing are over $700,

You can do this for (almost) free if you go to the local dump. They usually charge you based on weight of what you dump by weighing your car on the way in and on the way out.

Just ask them what the reading is on the way out. If you bring a couple of pounds of garbage, it will cost a few dollars at most.

Or go to the metal scrapyard instead, and leave with a few dollars more than you came with! (and get weighed) .. and if you have a pickup truck, you get to see them use this cool magnet to suck your junk out of the bed ;)

When I would bring stuff to the dump, I would see people pick up all the metal items from the pile after they dump their trash. It would add weight to their car, so they were charged less, and then they could recycle the metals for even more money. I found it to be a brilliant system. Not entirely sure if it's fraud or not...

Theft followed by fraud I think. Edit: or maybe the fraud occurs at the weigh scales and the theft occurs at the exit gate? IANAL

I wonder how often people overdo this, and face some awkward questions when their weight is higher on the way out.

I mean, public weighbridges are a thing pretty much everywhere, whenever you have trucks bringing in any kind of goods they usually have to be weighted before and after. There's at least 3-4 public ones that you can turn up to and use without an appointment around me, it's £10-20 depending on the vehicle you're weighing.

Not as convenient as a dump, generally, but there are also regularly unattended weigh stations for trucks all over the place. The scales are always on. You can drive across those and you don’t even have to stop, just slow down. I have even driven over them while the weigh station was attended and the dude manning the booth did not care at all.

In Santa Clara near the airport there was (and probably still is) a paper and cardboard recycler. The scale is off a public street near some train tracks. At some point in college we noticed that the scale stayed on at night and the weight was clearly visible in the kiosk across the street. So me and my car buddies used to weigh our cars there for free at night!

they are still there!

Both (in and out) numbers are usually printed on the receipt, as the charge is per weight dumped (with some minimal fees; for our waste management station that includes 320 pounds).

In Australia most of the weighbridges at the tips are registered and will provide an official certificate for a few tens of dollars.

Also, Cat Scales: https://catscale.com/

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