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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why Tru-Test?

Tru-Test designs, manufactures and markets the world's leading electronic livestock scale systems.

Our in-house research, design and development capability has created leading livestock management systems that are in use throughout Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North and South America.

Tru-Test manufactures to ISO9001 quality standard - the global seal of excellence in all facets of business, from research and design to customer service. When producers choose Tru-Test, they receive the backing of a company that designs, manufactures, distributes and fully supports their own products.

Tru-Test products have been designed specifically to withstand the rigours of harsh farming environments all over the world, from the hot dusty conditions of the Australian outback to the harsh wet and cold winter conditions of the South Island of New Zealand.

Tru-Test weigh scales and load bars are completely sealed units, built for durability and a long working life.

Tru-Test is committed to keeping products up to date with the latest practices and technologies. We offer farm management software and EID compatibility as an integral part of our range.

Q. Why should I weigh my animals?

Research shows that the human eye is 10-20% less accurate than a set of electronic scales. Weight changes can only be monitored effectively using weighing technology. More and more commercial farmers and producers are investing in Tru-Test scales, once only the domain of intensive stud breeders and dry stock farmers.

Q. My EID, FID or VID are not as expected?

The Auto-increment or Prefix feature may be enabled. Refer to the weigh scale user documentation to check these settings.

Q. What different types of fields are present?

The weigh scale provides the following types of fields to allow you to store different types of data:

Text fields

Text fields can be used to store numbers, letters, space, period etc. If you use text fields to store numbers, the weigh scale automatically recognises this and includes the numbers in statistics calculations.

Number fields

Number fields force you to enter numbers in a specified format with the correct number of digits. Although you can use text fields to store numbers, number fields have the following advantages:

  • Use less memory

    Force numbers to be entered with correct number of digits

  • Do not accept letter keys

    The last two points help to reduce data entry errors.

  • Option Fields

    Option fields allow you to select from a pre-defined list of options. Option fields are the fastest and easiest way to handle data that has a small number of pre-defined options. The weigh scale comes with small default option fields, such as the Breed field. You can edit these, and you can also set up your own custom option fields.

Q. Can I download to a computer?

Yes. Link3000 is a simple application for downloading and uploading the files and records from your Tru-Test 3000 weigh scale. The program will automatically search for the 3000 weigh scale on any free serial ports installed on a computer. Link3000 allows you to download files as a .csv (comma separated value) file which can be opened in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Works and other software programs that have an import feature. ID, weight and condition code(s) are downloaded. Link3000 also uploads files from your PC to the 3000 weigh scale.

Q. How many records can I enter?

The number of individual records that can be entered varies between each weigh scale and is shown below:

ID3000 can store 10,000 individual records

JR3000 can store 10,000 individual records

SR3000 can store 20,000 individual records

XR3000 can store 50,000 individual records

Q. What statistics can be viewed?

Statistics of Weight records - average, count, total, min and max.

Statistics of Draft by weight - average, count, total, min and max in each draft range.

Statistics in Gain mode - average, count, total, min and max.

Statistics in Gain Draft mode - average, count, total, min and max.

Statistics on Carcass weight - average, count, total, min and max.

Statistics on Values - average, count, total, min and max.

Q. How do I set up a custom field?

Custom fields allow you to select from a list of pre-defined options when entering data. Instead of having to type names using the keypad, you simply select from the list. A good example is the Breed custom field, which provides a list of breeds:

  • Angus
  • Charolais
  • Crossbreed
  • Fresian
  • Hereford

You can change the name of the Breed field to something else, and you can edit the items in the list. Note that once set up, you can use custom fields in life data or file data. They are not file specific. Before you enter the list items, you select the field that is going to be the custom field. This is done in the Life Data or File Data setup screen as follows.

  • In the Life Data or File Data Setup screen, move the cursor to the Type column for the field you want to use
  • Press ENTER and select Custom from the list of field types
  • If required, move the cursor to the Label column and change the name of the field.
  • Press ENTER to return to the Weighing Screen Setup.
Q. How do I make the bars on the histogram bigger?

Change the interval so that there are fewer bars and they will get bigger. We can also change the minimum weight to increase the size of the bars. Simply use the directional arrows to scroll between options within the histogram screen to change its size.

Q. What does a histogram show?

A histogram is constructed from a frequency table. The intervals are shown on the X-axis and the number of scores in each interval is represented by the height of a rectangle located above the interval. The shapes of histograms will vary depending on the choice of the size of the intervals. A bar graph is much like a histogram, differing in that the columns are separated from each other by a small distance. The histogram feature of the XR3000 gives a pictorial vision of the weight distribution within a file.

Q. What are the advantages of a database structure?

There are a number of advantages that a database structure offers:

  • Visual and electronic tag numbers can be entered and linked together
  • All IDs can be used interchangeably
  • Distinction between life data which is only recorded once and file data which is regularly recorded over the life of the animal
  • Database structure provides new opportunities to sort and group animals
  • Perhaps two of the most important aspects are that of cross referencing and filtering
  • The first refers to cross referencing. With the database function, animals can be identified using more than one identification method. Prior to the 3000 series weigh scale range, identification of animals was primarily based on either a FID or an EID. Recognising animals via other identification methods was very difficult
  • The 3000 series weigh scale has a cross referencing feature which enables the user to identify their stock using any number of identification methods including FID, EID, LID. The key feature is the fact that any one of these identification methods can be entered to identify the animal
  • The second refers to the filter function. The filter function allows you to specify the sub-set of life data records that will appear when you press or . This is useful when you want to enter new life data for a select group of animals. For example, you can set the filter so that you see only those animals of a particular breed
  • The database structure allows the farmer to base management decisions on more accurate and timely information.
Q. What happens if I forget to turn my weigh scale off?

The weigh scale has an automatic switch-off mechanism which ensures the battery is not wasted. The weigh scale will turn off after 15 minutes without use.

Q. How do I know that a weight has been recorded?

Once a weight has been recorded, the weigh scale displays a 'Weight Recorded' prompt on the weigh scale screen. In addition, when weighing and the record button is pressed prior to a stable weight being present, a 'beep' will sound once stable and the weight has been recorded.

Q. When can I enter lifetime data fields?

Any lifetime fields that repeat on the weigh screen can be changed at anytime during the weighing process. This allows the farmer to pre-enter all the data they are going to be recording without waiting for the first animal to step onto the platform.

Q. Can I weigh a group of animals at once?

Yes, several animals can be weighed at once and the number of animals weighed can be recorded along with the group weight. Reports can be printed showing statistics for group weights and calculated average animal weights.

Q. Can I automatically record weights?

Yes, the 3000 series weigh scales allows for hands free weighing and recording once a stable weight has been reached.

Q. What is the Carcass function?

Allows users to view the carcass weight of an animal. This is determined by a carcass percentage entered by the users. Users can draft on carcass weight. A full range, count, total, average, min, max, of carcass statistics are available.

Q. What's the function of the schedule and value options?

The value feature allows the monetary value of an animals weight to be displayed in the Data and Statistics screens. This is based on either live weight or carcass weight. 3 different schedules can be used to establish the variance between 3 different meat companies or 3 different carcass grades.

Q. What are the Alpha keys used for?

The alpha keys can be used for tags (ABC123), file names (HEIFERS), or condition codes (Y6M - yes, 6 months pregnant).

Q. Is the Weight Gain function easy to set-up?

Yes. When Weight Gain is turned on 3 options are presented to the user:

  1. All Files � The most recent weight recorded in any file
  2. All Files � The next weight recorded after a date you specify
  3. Specific File � The weight in a file you specify.
Q. What are the 2 serial ports for?

The serial ports allow connectivity with external devices such as printers, electronic identification (EID) readers and automatic drafting equipment. The serial ports also allow for the updating of software and allow information to be used in any number of third-party software.

Q. What does the ESCAPE key do?

The ESCAPE key will get the user out of the info key and back to where they were before, or out of the screen you are in and back to the Weigh screen. The ESCAPE key can also be used to cancel entry of data.

Q. What are the differences between Life data and File data?

Life data is the general data about an animal, such as date of birth, ID or breed that normally stays the same throughout the life of the animal.

The life data for all animals is stored in a single database, called the Lifetime Animal Database (Life Data for short). Life data doesn't need to be entered at each weighing session. Life data is entered once and then called up from the database when needed. File data is the data you collect during weighing sessions on an ongoing basis. For example, the animal's weight, condition, and treatments given on a particular day.

Up to 200 data files can be stored in the XR3000. Files can be identified by File Number, File Name, Date, Time, or a combination of these.

Q. What does the BACK key do?

The BACK key backs the user out of screens one at a time. The BACK key is also used to delete the last character entered when entering data into an item.

Q. What does the ENTER key do?

The ENTER key is used to enter data into an item. When the flashing box is on an option item, the ENTER key brings up the list of options which can be selected. When the flashing box is on a function item, such as the "Press ENTER to record" function that appears in the Weigh Screen, pressing enter will execute that function.

Q. What do the arrow keys do?

The four arrow keys, up, down, left and right are located above the numbers on the right hand side of the keyboard. Their function is nearly always to move the flashing box around the various items. In edit mode, the arrow keys move a small cursor within the item.

Q. What does the SETUP key do?

Takes users directly into the SETUP screen. This screen is where all the user settings are located i.e. this is where all the weigh scales functions can be turned on and off. Users can get to it from any other screen by pressing the SETUP key.

Q. What type of battery is used and how long will it last?

The battery is a NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride), this is a 'green' battery and is environmentally friendly with no heavy metals. The battery run time with 2 load bars connected is 12 hours minimum, with the backlighting on it is 9 hours minimum.

Q. Will the 3000 weigh scale tell me how much charge the battery has left?

Yes. By pressing the Battery soft key in the SETUP screen the weigh scale will tell the user how much charge is available by displaying how many hours are left to run and what level percentage the battery is charged. The hours left will depend on what the weigh scale is connected to i.e. nothing, load bars or a computer, (it works on the amount of current drain). The weigh scale will warn progressively when there is 1 hour, 15 minutes and 1 minute of charge left. This will be through a pop-up menu. The weigh scale also has an automatic turn off function after 15 minutes to extend battery life.

Q. What are soft keys?

Soft keys are the row of six blue rectangular keys immediately below the display. These further simplify operation of the weigh scale. The soft key labels are shown on the bottom of the screen display. To execute their function you simply press the key below the display or you can move the flashing box to the screen label by using the arrow keys (for example to get Info about them).

Q. How do I display items on the Weigh Screen?

To display items on the weighing screen, simply press the setup key from the weigh screen. This will take you to the Weighing Screen Setup. If, for example, you wanted to place the weight gain feature on the screen, simply scroll to that option using the directional arrows, press enter, select the tick, then press enter again. To go to the weigh screen, press ESC.

Q. What does the '?' key do?

The '?' Key accesses the context sensitive info system, which tells you how to use the scale and weigh scale.
The built in help menu is accessed by pressing the '?'. To see information about a particular field or column on screen:

  1. Move the cursor to the field or column.
  2. Press '?'

The weigh scale displays a screen of information about the field you are working on.

Q. Is the weigh scale waterproof?

Yes. The weigh scale has been approved to an IP67 International Electro Technical Commission 'dust and waterproof' rating. With IP ratings the first numeral refers to the level of dust resistance and the second numeral refers to the level of water resistance. The 3000 range IP67 rating means that the weigh scale can be submerged in water to 1 m ( 3') for up to 30 minutes without any leakage.

Q. Is it EID compatible?

Tru-Test XR3000, SR3000, ID3000 and JR3000 weigh scales are all designed to work with most Electronic Identification (EID) readers. Simply scan the EID tag and the tag ID and weight are immediately sent to the weigh scale where they are recorded and displayed.

Q. Is it fast and accurate?

The Tru-Test livestock scale is the fastest and most accurate in the world. Tru-Test's revolutionary SUPERDAMP III algorithm is unsurpassed in the industry. The system takes hundreds of weight readings per second and "locks-on" to the animal's weight, regardless of animal movement. Tru-Test load bars and weigh scales work together to give you many years of accurate, trouble-free weighing.

Q. Is it easy to set up the load bars?

Load bars need to be installed on a firm level surface in your working facility (ideally a concrete pad). A rigid platform, crate or squeeze chute can then be installed on top of the load bars and then you are ready to weigh.

Q. Is a Tru-Test weigh scale easy to use?

A Tru-Test weigh scale has a simple, uncomplicated keypad and large well-spaced keys. The display is easy to read and a red "stable" light allows you to see immediately when the weight is correct and locked-on. All 3000 series weigh scales have built in help screens for easy access to information. Tru-Test weigh scales really couldn't be easier to use!

Q. What is a Tru-Test weighing system?

A Tru-Test weighing system consists of a set of load bars which contain weight sensing load cells and a weigh scale. The load bars are placed beneath a platform, crate or squeeze chute and can weigh all types of livestock including cattle, hogs, horses, sheep, goats and exotics. Load bars connect to the weigh scale via cables, and the weight measured by the load cells is sent to the weigh scale's digital display. Some systems may also include a laptop or computer so that data can be sent directly to Tru-Test's animal management software, Pinnacle. A system may also include an Electronic Identification (EID) reader for reading EID tags. The EID reader may be a portable stick reader or a fixed panel reader.

Q. Can I increase profits by weighing my sheep?

Electronic scales assist sheep farmers in increasing profitability in the following ways:

  • Improving reproductive performance ensuring that ewes reach target mating weights
  • Monitoring growth to ensure hoggets reach target mating weight
  • Ensuring stock buyers are giving you a fair price
  • Increasing the rate of genetic gain in a flock by selecting ewe hoggets objectively, using actual live weights and fleece weights
  • Ensuring you are not penalised for overweight wool bales
  • Checking samples of young stock prior to drenching to avoid over-dosing (resulting in drench wastage) and under-dosing (which may result in possible health problems).
Q. Can I increase profits by weighing my cattle?

Electronic scales assist cattle farmers in increasing profitability in the following ways:

  • Improving reproductive performance ensuring that heifers reach target mating weights
  • Improving first lactation production by ensuring heifers reach target calving weights. Well-grown heifers cope better with fierce competition when introduced to the milking herd
  • Maximising profits from bobby calves
  • Checking samples of heifers prior to drenching to avoid over-dosing (resulting in drench wastage) and under-dosing (resulting in drench resistance)
  • Calculating optimum supplementary feeding levels
  • Establishing the true breeding value of the cow. If a heavy cow produces the same quantity of milk as a lighter cow then she is less efficient because she will eat more grass to maintain her body weight
  • Monitoring weight loss in Autumn, weight gain prior to calving and Spring weaning weights
  • Paying contract feeders on a weight gain performance basis ensures that valuable heifers are not underfed
  • Using weight loss to identify health problems before they become chronic.

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