Found it to be highly variable, new seals or old, thicker or thinner grease, how hard and angle of pull on the scale, etc, all will make a significant difference in the reading. Have seen a bunch that were done by that method, that quickly loosened up, lost preload, so don't use it. Most of the rigs we work on are 37" tire wheeling rigs, the last step in the preload process is to torque the inner nut to 35ft/lb, smaller tire, mostly street rigs, 25ft/lb.
Use whatever process you are comfortable with. We have found the torque method to be more repeatable/reliable, so that is what we do.
I back the pads up and then torque up, release, then re tighten, feel for play, minimal drag and no play and call it good. DO NOT USE the method outlined in the Max Ellery manual, your bearings will be toast in about twenty minutes!