County Inspector Measures Up

Ron Lutz measures up as the county’s Weights and Measures Inspector

Story and photos by Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator

Ron Lutz carries the weight of the world on his shoulders – or at least the weight of the county – but for him, it’s a light load. Lutz is the Weights and Measures Inspector for the Seneca County Auditor’s Office, and he enjoys his job making sure that scales across the county are measuring accurately.

On Dec. 14, Lutz accompanied an Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Weights and Measures Inspector as he tested the vehicle scale at Republic Elevator. The inspectors were making sure that farmers delivering crops can be sure their loads are weighed accurately.


Seneca County Weights and Measures Inspector, Ron Lutz, stands near the vehicle scale at the Republic Elevator. Lutz certifies scales big and small across the county.

Lutz monitored the scale’s electronic equipment as the ODA inspector drove weights loaded on a cart – which happened to be built by Palfinger USA in Tiffin – across the scale. Weight was added incrementally, with the last test checking for accuracy at 160,000 pounds.

“We know that they are true weights,” Lutz said. “The scale is made up of four sections, and there are load cells under each section that record the weight.”

A cart holds 17,000 pounds of weight, ready to test the scale at the Republic Elevator.

The scales are permitted to have minimal deviations from perfection. For example, when the ODA inspector tested 17,000 pounds, the scales could have a 40-pound inaccuracy and still qualify for certification. The Republic Elevator scale readily passed inspection, so Lutz placed a certification sticker on the scale’s equipment, showing it was good to go for another year.

The ODA inspector spent the entire week testing vehicle scales in Seneca County.

“He tests all the scales in Northwest Ohio, and we get him for one week,” Lutz said.

When testing reveals a scale’s inaccuracies, an “out of tolerance” report is sent to the ODA, which contracts with a private scale company to address the problem.

“Maybe it needs a tweak, or maybe it needs actual physical repairs,” Lutz said.

Seneca County Weights and Measures Inspector, Ron Lutz, records a scale reading at Republic Elevator on Dec. 14. Lutz worked in conjunction with an Ohio Department of Agriculture inspector to test the elevator’s vehicle scale.

As the only Weights and Measures Inspector in the Seneca County Auditor’s Office, Lutz oversees certification of scales of all sizes across the county, but he mainly focuses on deli scales and gas pumps.

“We do deli scales the same way as vehicle scales. We build weights up on the scale,” Lutz said.

Lutz tests deli scales at large chain grocery stores like Kroger and at small community shops like Old Fort Country Market.

“Ralph’s Joy of Living and Bailiwicks sell coffee, so I test their scales,” Lutz said.

Lutz accepted the job as Seneca County Weights and Measures Inspector after he retired from his job with the state auditor ten years ago. He was surprised at the scope of the work.

“It involves more than I expected. There are a lot of scales and lot of gas pumps out there,” he said.

Lutz tests gas pumps with a five-gallon prover.

“It looks like a milk can with a gauge on top,” Lutz said. “I get five gallons from each dispenser. They can be off plus-or-minus 6 cubic inches, which is about 3 ounces”

While most of Lutz’s work is focused on food scales and gas pumps, he has a few unique duties throughout the year.

“I check the animal scales at the county fair so the kids are treated fairly after putting so much work in, and I check the wrestling scales for schools as a courtesy. We have the high schools and two universities here,” he said.

Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins often steps out of her office, dons mud boots, and joins Lutz in the field when ODA inspectors are in town testing vehicle scales. She is grateful to have Lutz on staff.


Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins stepped out of the office and into her boots to visit the Republic Elevator during state scale inspections on Dec. 14.

“Ron does a great job. We’re so blessed to have him as an inspector in our county,” Adkins said. “He works well with the public, as well as with business owners.”

Thanks to Lutz, consumers across Seneca County can rest assured they are getting their money’s worth when they purchase ham or potato salad by the pound or fill their cars up with gas. It could be said that Lutz is worth his weight in gold, and he could measure that worth perfectly.