Monday, 30 August 2021

Are you coming to the CV Show

A little later than usual but it’s finally the time of year everyone who is anyone in transport heads to the NEC for the CV Show. 

Axtec are an ever present at the show having exhibited in all its formats since day one and this year we’ll be on stand 5G42 in hall 5. After skipping a year in 2020 for obvious reasons everyone is excited to be back in Birmingham catching up with old friends and meeting new ones and we were never going to pass up the opportunity to once again set our stall up at the NEC. 

Whilst buying everything on-line has become normal for all of us these days, buying highly technical equipment really needs help and advice from an expert; someone who knows their product inside out. And where best to meet specialists in the transport industry than its premier industry event? 
See you on stand 5G42 next week!


So apart from exhibitors who have to be there, what will bring people back to the NEC? 

Transport technology has come an awful long way since the first show in 1991 so it’s a great way to pick up new ideas, find out what the latest thinking is and find new solutions to old problems. And some things just cannot be gleaned from the internet. 

For instance, Axtec have picked up an awful lot of maintenance work in recent months. But looking on the internet for a new service provider may not be the best option. 

Only by talking to someone face to face can the full requirements for equipment calibration, approach levels, platform height adjustment etc can be discussed and potential issues identified. 

Not every detail about a product or its installation and calibration requirements be listed on the internet and a huge factor is the existing customer work environment. 

Taking a day out of a busy schedule to visit the NEC is never a wasted day. Talking face to face to an expert about a highly technical installation may well be the most productive thing to do that day. 

So make a note of the dates – August 31st, September 1st and 2nd and we’ll see you there.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Getting the best advice on axle weighing is vital.

 Axle weighing is a unique branch of the weighing industry. Many of the accepted rules around obtaining accurate weights don’t apply.

An employee who recently joined us from another weighing discipline said he’d had to ‘throw away’ just about everything he’d learnt about weighing in the past. And learn all about the technicalities and peculiarities of axle weighing.

And it’s a form of weighing that so many people think is easy to do. But in trying to do it, they make some horrendous mistakes.

Correctly installed Axtec Dynamic System

For instance, we go to great lengths to ensure the approach concrete is laid to the correct tolerance.

So when a customer asked us to check out an axle weighbridge installed by someone on the brow of a hill, it didn’t take long to prove why it was inaccurate.

Another cheap system we recently encountered needed to have the weight indicator sent overseas every time it developed a fault! Weeks of downtime was the result.

Both of these installations have now been replaced with a highly accurate Axtec system with correct concrete approaches which, if they should ever fail, can be fixed on site by an engineer fully trained and equipped to deal with axle weighing.

Getting it wrong can not only be costly to correct but could also mean falling foul of the law.

Another recent customer had attempted a cheap repair on his system using a foreign made indicator and was horrified to learn that the system was now no longer legal for Trade weighing.

For months he had been using the system for invoicing at risk of falling foul of Weights & Measures legislation.

At worst, it could have closed his business down.

All Axtec’s senior employees have been engaged exclusively in axle weighing for many years, over 40 years some of them.

We have learnt, and are still learning, about how to weigh axles accurately. And we certainly have far more knowledge than anyone else about this unique field.

So if you want to make sure you get the system installed correctly, maintained correctly and be fully compliant with the necessary legislation, we would be pleased to offer the benefit of our experience.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

A very interesting comment....


Keeping in touch with existing and potential customers is proving to be just as important and informative during the Covid-19 crisis as during more “normal” times.


Finding out customers plans for the future, and there will be a future, is extremely helpful for our forward planning so that in the coming months, when a semblance of normality returns,  we will best be able to help our customers.

One conversation with a customer threw up an interesting observation.
Axtec OnBoard Axle Load Indicator


He called to check how our plans were progressing regarding installing his system. The sooner the better according to him as he felt his drivers saw the current crisis as a good excuse to try and, in his words “get away with murder.”

What was concerning him was the number of vehicles he saw leaving his site which he was convinced were overloaded.

And currently he has no means of checking them.

Working in an industry that relies heavily on sub-contractors, a large number of which are currently not operating, his own staff were having to pick up the extra workload and this was leading to additional weight being put on vehicles.

Very difficult to be too critical of the drivers as they are just trying to do their best in very trying circumstances.

But it is well known that overloading has an adverse effect on many major parts of a vehicle, but what is less widely known is that if a vehicle found to be overloaded is involved in an accident, the insurance may be invalidated.

There are other hidden costs too – overloading wears out tyres, clutches, steering and braking components before their time – meaning an increase in maintenance costs.

And an overloaded vehicle uses more fuel too, one of the major costs of running any transport operation.

As for our customer, plans are well in hand to get his system installed quickly but just as importantly safely for both his staff and ours.

So that he can be confident his drivers are doing their job legally, not risking his O-licence and keeping his maintenance and running costs down.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Staying home can be time well spent.


Spending less time out on the road and more time working from home provides an opportunity to take stock and discover long lost items.

One thing we’ve discovered is a batch of old photographs showing systems, installations and indeed some people from the earliest days of Axtec.

The accompanying picture shows axle weighbridge serial number 30001, the very first axle weighbridge we ever manufactured, ready for installation.

Axtec Dynamic Serial number 30001 from 1991
Many of the design features of that first machine were so good that we still incorporate them today; the corner pockets and load cell mounting positions for instance.

Not everything about that system was perfect though, but from the lower reaches of this learning curve we have now accumulated more knowledge about the specialist field of axle weighing than anyone else.

Learning how vulnerable the load cell junction box is when located in the weighbridge pit, how vital the approach levels are and how important it is to have our own purpose designed test equipment and were all crucial lessons along the way.

As was learning that attention to what may appear minor details is actually crucial for ensuring accuracy and reliability.

One very important lesson was establishing that having in-house staff to design, write software, manufacture, install, calibrate and maintain are essential if quality and accuracy are to be maintained.
The result is that the Axtec Dynamic Axle Weighbridge is now the most accurate system of its type in the world.

And the only one which achieves the required standard to be offered as a public weighbridge – twice the accuracy requirement of a standard machine.

All Axtec products have benefited from extensive testing, experimentation and learning over many years with that vast fund of knowledge going into every Dynamic, Static, Portable or OnBoard system we manufacture.

The very latest product is the third generation Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator. Using state of the art technology to make it clearer, improve accuracy, reduce power consumption and offer far more features, it wouldn’t be the product it is without nearly thirty years of learning behind it.

Friday, 7 February 2020

What do Red Forge customers do now that company has ceased trading?


Well, Axtec, has stepped forward to offer a rescue package to existing Red Forge customers.


The incentive comprises a £500 trade-in for any Red Forge system upgraded to an Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator. Moreover, the new Axtec OnBoard Axle Load Indicator for 2020 offers enhanced reliability and even better accuracy than before.

The £500 trade-in offer applies to anyone with a Red Forge load indicator system and means that some customers may even find themselves financially better off.
Red Forge customers - get a £500 trade in on Axtec OnBoard

Axtec’s market leading OnBoard Load Indicator features a simple colour numeric and graphic interface, plus the cost-saving customer reset facility to help keep service costs down.

And why keep your vehicles in the yard waiting for an engineer to arrive when you can do the reset yourself at a time that suits you?

Weight data can be saved automatically and downloaded via USB for analysis.

Unlike other systems Axtec OnBoard rarely, if ever, needs a full calibration. Customers can perform a very simple system reset themselves, which goes a long way to keeping service costs to an absolute minimum.

All management functions are password protected, while no manual controls are accessible by the driver or crew, preventing tampering. Importantly, Axtec OnBoard requires no additional driver training.

Axtec OnBoard displays axle weights in an intuitive traffic light configuration; green for legal weights, amber as maximum limits are approached and flashing red to indicate an overload.

Outputs to tracking devices are provided as standard, while enhanced functionality allows for more detailed information to be obtained via telematics rather than simply overload alert.

And then there are the numerous camera connectivity options as well.

So Red Forge customers – why not take advantage of this unique trade in offer and upgrade your system?

You would have a high accuracy system that is future proofed and could save some money as well.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Do not automatically trust declared weights, invoices or delivery notes..


Such is the advice from DVSA in trying to prevent overloads.

They also make it clear that the operator holds the responsibility for overloading not the customer.

It is though perfectly acceptable to drive to check weigh on a local weighbridge and also to drive somewhere practical to remove any excess weight.

There may not be a suitable weighbridge locally, certainly readily available axle weighbridges for public use can be hard to find, and it may not always be practical to leave the yard to weigh.

A state-of-the-art solution is the Axtec OnBoard Axle Load Indicator.

Fitted on site usually in only a couple of hours, Axtec OnBoard shows all the axle weights and gross weight on a simple colour display.
Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator

Legal weights are shown in green, anything over 80% in amber and any overloads in flashing red.

Instant overload protection for your vehicle regardless of where it is being loaded.

No leaving the site, no weighbridge fees and no dispute as to whether the vehicle is overloaded or not.

Uniquely, Axtec OnBoard can be reset onsite by the customer.

So no expensive service routine visits, no keeping the vehicles in the yard waiting for an engineer to arrive and total control of how and when you keep the systems withing specification.

There are no manual controls for the driver to fiddle with or break and by connecting to a tracking device, real time information on any overloads can be made available.

And the latest version of Axtec OnBoard even offers a high accuracy version for those who need it.

Taking responsibility for ensuring your vehicles are not overloaded when loading at customers’ premises has never been simpler.

Keeping the vehicles safe by not overloading also has benefits in cost savings.

An overloaded vehicle will use more fuel and wear out the clutch, brakes steering and suspension quicker too.

So no need to rely on those declared weights, invoices or delivery notes anymore – Axtec OnBoard will tell you exactly what you weigh

Monday, 13 January 2020

Vehicles are getting heavier...


The drive for energy efficient vehicles means new emissions systems are needed and they always add to a vehicles weight.

But a new factor – electric vehicles - has recently come into the equation.

Quite simply batteries are the heaviest component of anything they are used in. And vehicles are no exception.

A big electric powered SUV will be considerably heavier than its diesel equivalent. A whopping 300 kilos heavier in the case of a recently launched electric SUV.

And that could raise issues for those firms running vehicle transporters.
Axtec Static Axle Weighbridge - ideal for weighing LCV's


How many of these new heavier cars can you get on the deck? And how do you distribute them to get the axle loads right?

And as anyone at DVSA will tell you, overloading can have serious consequences. In terms of the vehicle it affects all the major components, making it potentially unsafe to drive, but it also costs more in terms of additional fuel used.

Not only that it costs all of us as an overloaded vehicle will wear out the road surface far more quickly than a legally laden one.

For those operators delivering new vehicles on 3.5t flatbeds, checking the axle and gross weight before leaving the yard could become essential. And a regular requirement as the vehicle manufacturers have a habit of changing their designs.

The Axtec Static Single-Axle weighbridge is purpose designed for weighing 2-axle vehicles quickly and simply without the need for the driver to leave his cab.

It will weigh both axles of the vehicle in a matter of seconds showing axle and gross weights on a large external display with a ticket produced as well if required.

Simple to install and maintain and taking up virtually no room in the yard, the Axtec Static Single could be a solution for those professional and conscientious vehicle delivery operators who want to stay the right side of the law.