stockingfull wrote: but it's not mechanically-generated and has the exact weight I ordered on it (i.e., 12,000 lbs), which obviously cannot be the exact amount I've received.
There's no law that says it has to be mechanically generated and it really doesn't matter. Bottom line is if you have a honest coalman you're going to get what you're paying for give or take few hundred pounds. Is that 12,000 pounds the net? Does the weightslip include the tare and gross? I don't know what the laws are in New York regarding weightslips or if they different from those in Pennsylvania but I wouldn't be surprised if they were quite similar.
In Pennsylvania you can only sell it by weight from a certified scale which is checked by the state about once every 6 months. The person doing the weighing needs to be a certified Weightmaster, this is not a big deal to get this certification. The Weightmaster issues you a numbered
weightslip that has to contain the following information:
- Address of the scale
- License number on the truck/trailer
- Size of coal
- Dealers name and address
- Name and address of the customer
- Weigtmasters signature and lic. number
There's four copies, a yellow one for the office, a pink copy that has to be kept at the scale for what I think is 3 years, the dealer gets a blue copy and the customer gets the original white copy either printed or written in ink. The only thing the weighmaster would fudge for me that they allowed and they fought the state to allow was the full name and address of the customer that was getting the coal, instead it was just last name and town. A lot of brekers might have their own customers and giving the address away to them would be like giving the farm away.
Those scales although quite large are suprisingly very accurate, I used to be weighmaster myself and you could easily get within 100 pounds with mechanical one. Most of the scales now are a digital readout. Any coalman that has been doing this for any amount of time is going to be able to fill his truck within 100 pounds over 6 or 7 ton load. Generally you most likely are getting more than what you are paying for, that was the case with me. I usually went out of there over a hundred pounds or better. They round it down for easy bookkeeping, this is after all the same industry that invented the "short ton".
Here's copy of one of my old weightslips, names have been changed to protect the innocent.
I understand that wetting reduces dust but am I supposed to pay for the water?
Yes you are.
I'm not sure exactly what the law is but when you're buying any product like this (dirt,snad,gravel) there is an allowance for water. Having said that its not much, probably about 200Lb.s or a little more over 7 tons for nut coal. That will be more with the smaller sizes like rice. There is really no other way to do it, you couldn't accurately determine what the moisture content is, even if they had a way the price would just go up to compensate.
You can ask your dealer about getting dry coal, they may have access to it if their supplier has stock piles but even that will most likely have some moisture in it especially the rice or buck coal. Usually takes a week or two for the nut to dry out . Should be noted anyone I have ever delivered unwashed dry coal too has only requested it once.
And how do I know how much I've really received in the absence of a weight ticket?
You can take a measurement to get a gauge, should be around 40 cubic feet per ton but that will change depending on the source and more importantly the size. I usually use this picture to illustrate it, this is buck coal on here. If it was nut you'd barely be able to see it, if it was stove you wouldn't see it at all.
(I would think it should be weigh, load, weigh, wet, deliver, in that order.
When you first go into the breaker you have to weigh in so they know your light weight, you fill up and then you weigh again to get the net. The reason the coal is not washed afterwards is because the water is used to clean it one last time prior to going in the truck, while on the topic this last cleaning probably removes more debris, dirt and dust than anything the water is going to add up to. It's usually going into the truck as hfast as any chute so it gives the guy loading the truck a chance to pick out any large objects that shouldn't be there, wood, plataic etc. Unused blasting caps.. lol found one of those once.
A mechanically written slip is not going to insure you are getting an honest deal. The guy delivering the coal knows almost exactly what is on there regardless of what the scale says. To get a bad slip from the breaker both the weightmaster and the guy with the truck would need to be in on it. In that case the mechanical slip becomes irrelevant because they could simply pull on the scale, get the weight then drop some off on the way out...
If anything I 'd be concerned about what happens to a honest load that left the breaker before it gets to your house. Just like when you buy any other product in bulk whether it's oil, gas or whatever you have to depend on the honesty of the person selling it to you. It doesn't matter how many safeguards or whatever they put in place, if someone wants to rip you off they are going to do it, at least until they caught.