Records sent to the Department of Agriculture show that Justin Alexander, a technician with Travis Scale in Liberal, installed a new scale at a large Archer Daniels Midland grain facility in Copeland last year.
"Calibrated span and tested," Alexander wrote in a report dated Aug. 14, 2012. "Adjusted positions and sections as needed. Scale tested good. Placed in service."
ADM used the scale for a month, weighing truckloads of grain and paying customers accordingly.
On Sept. 19, 2012, Loren Minnich, an inspector with the Department of Agriculture's Division of Weights and Measures, came out to check the new installation. His diagnosis: when he placed 25,000 pounds on different sections of the scale, there was an 80-pound discrepancy between the sections, which is 20 pounds more than the state law allows. Minnich declared the scale "out of tolerance."
Another state inspector, Keith Lassiter, visited the scale on Sept. 25, 2012, and rejected it as well. Lassiter's report said the scale didn't meet the specifications outlined by a national organization's handbook. There was no penalty for the errors, but the inspectors tagged the scale with a note explaining it would be taken out of service if not corrected within 10 days.
Read more of this story at The Topeka Capital-Journal's website.