SHERLINE Trailer Tongue Weight Scale

Scales can be ordered factory direct through or call (800) 541-0735 during business hours to order.

Simple scale makes trailering safer

The Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale was developed to make it easy to obtain tongue weight on non-commercial trailers for safe loading and proper trailer handling. Though not a part of the Sherline miniature machine tools line, it is a venture into a new area for us. The owner, Joe Martin, campaigns several racecars in vintage and SCCA racing and has much experience in towing trailers. Due to his own loading and towing experiences, he felt a product like this was much needed to make trailer setup easier.

Several magazines have done reviews on the scale and have all been very positive about its use. You may read about it in the October, 1995 issue of Trailer Life Magazine (see page 56). An article about trailering and use of the scale was featured in the January 1996 issue of Sports Car Magazine, the publication of the Sports Car Club of America. Another article was run in the August 1995 issue of Victory Lane, the publication of the Vintage Automobile Racing Association, and an article in Crusing Style Magazine out of Florida ran in May '96. (The articles refer to the scale under the original LoadMaster name.) Mike Luebben wrote an informative article for artists who trailer their displays and wares to art shows entitled Transportation Tales of Terror in the September 2006 issue of Sunshine Artist magazine. Copies of the articles can be obtained by calling Craig at Sherline at (760) 727-5857.

"I just purchased a trailer and I'm new to the entire process. The first time I used it, I found the tongue was significantly overloaded (300+ lbs!). Obviously I don't need it every trip, but as I add equipment on the trailer or even load competition supplies into the car on the trailer, it's handy to easily and quickly check the tongue weight. This is a product that will clearly be handy for years." óM.S., Santa Ana, CA

The scale is available in three weight ranges: 0-1000 lb (0-460 kg), 0-2000 lb (0-900 kg) and 0-5000 lb (0-2250 kg). Retail price for each is $135.00 and they are available from several sources including the McMaster-Carr tool catalog and through Draw-Tite trailer representatives. They can also be purchased factory direct and through some Sherline dealers. Sherline also offers a suspended "fish scale" version of the scale available for estimating the weight of loads that can be lifted from overhead. It is called the Sherline Suspended Hydraulic Scale. This will be a good item for small manufacturing businesses, utility companies or farm applications. Call us for the name of the dealer nearest you or for more information.

NEW FEATURE: All gages now read in both pounds and kilograms

All new gages shipped from the factory after 5/02 have a dual-scale gage that reads in pounds on the outside of the ring and the kilogram equivalent on the inside. This feature has been requested by many trailer users outside the USA and has now been incorporated into all the scales. The 0-1000 lb gage reads to 460 kg, the 0-2000 lb gage reads to 900 kg and the 0-5000 lb gage reads to 2250 kg.

Trailer disaster stories!

If you'd like to read about some things that happened or nearly happened to trailers that were improperly loaded, click on the headline above. Many of these stories come from the engineers of trailer manufacturers who told us some of the things their customers did wrong with their trailers.

Trailer Towing Guide

Published here are the complete instructions that come with the Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale. As a service to those who may want to learn more about safe trailering, we have made them available for your use. At the end of the instructions are two sections that might also be of interest to you. They may be referenced there or by going directly to them from here if you wish.

Click on the above image to view an 8-1/2 x 11" flyer about the trailer tongue scale. (.PDF file)

Safe Towing Checklist (.html version)

Trailer Loading and Balance Worksheet (.html version)

Precautions when using the scale

1. Do not pick up the scale by the black piston. Always handle and carry the scale by the red body or the gauge. The piston is held in place by friction with the O-ring in the cylinder only. Lifting by the piston can draw air into the system or, at worst the piston can come out entirely, spilling the hydraulic fluid. Air in the system will cause inconsistent  and unreliable readings.

2. Do not drop a load onto or off of the scale suddenly. Shock loading can cause the gauge needle to spin and not return to the original zero range. In this case the gauge must be replaced, it cannot be reset to zero.

3. If the scale has not been used for a long time, rotate the piston back and forth in the cylinder to free up the O-ring so it does not stick to the cylinder wall. (Again, do not pull up on it.)

4. Do not leave a heavy weight sitting on the scale for long periods of time. Take your reading and then remove the load from the scale.

5. Do not place any part of your body under a trailer or object that is resting only on the scale.

Magazine Articles on Towing

Scale Product Evaluation, Trailer Life Magazine, October, 1994 (When scale was still called LoadMaster)

Transportation Tales of Terror--How to avoid trailer-towing disaster, by Dave Luebben (Sunshine Artist Magazine, Sept. 2006)

Government and Other Web Sites Related to Towing

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Publication 243 FW 5:

D.O.T., NHTSA towing safety brochure DOT HS 809 433:


Model No.  Dual-ring Gage Ranges
LM-1000 0-1000 lb/0-460 kg
LM-2000 0-2000 lb/0-900 kg
LM-5000 0-5000 lb/0-2250 kg



4.5" (11.4 cm)

Height w/ extension

6.75" (17.1 cm)

Body diameter

3.25" (8.3 cm)

Max. width at gauge

7.0" (17.8 cm)

Actual weight

4.42 lb (2.0 kg)

Shipping weight

6 lb (2.72 kg)

Gauge diameter

2.75" (7 cm)

Gauge scale ranges

1. Outer Scale: 0-1000 lb = Numbers @ 200 lb, marks @ 20 lb increments (Inner Scale: 0-460 kg)
2. Outer Scale: 0-2000 lb = Numbers @ 400 lb, marks @ 50 lb increments (Inner Scale: 0-900 kg)
3. Outer Scale: 0-5000 lb = Numbers @ 1000 lb, marks @ 100 lb. increments (Inner Scale: 0-2250 kg)

Hydraulic Fluid installed at factory

Texaco Regal R&O 68 industrial (turbine) oil

NOTE: Virtually any motor oil, hydraulic fluid or hydraulic jack oil can be used to replace lost fluid or to refill.


@DPP (800)621-8334
Draw-Tite Trailers (888) 437-2984
McMaster-Carr Atlanta (404) 346-7000
McMaster-Carr Chicago (630) 833-0300
McMaster-Carr Cleveland (330) 995-5500
McMaster-Carr Los Angeles (562) 692-5911
McMaster-Carr New York City/Philadelphia (732) 329-3200

Scales can be ordered factory direct through or call (800) 541-0735 during business hours to order.

NOTICE OF NAME CHANGE! When first introduced, Sherline scales were marketed under the name of Load-Master. When it came to our attention that a another company had been using the Load-Master name on a line of heavy duty truck scales for many years and had registered the trademark we did not wish to cause any confusion and changed the name of our product to the corporate name of Sherline scales.

Call Sherline for information or to order.


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