Thursday, 7 June 2018

Need to run efficiently when fuel prices are rising?


With fuel prices on the rise, it’s important to squeeze every last kilo onto every vehicle to maintain efficiency.

Underloading is inefficient but it’s what many operators do to try and stay legal.

But in trying to maximise loads operators risk overloading and all the problems that brings – a vehicle prohibited at the weighbridge, delivery slots missed, having to find another vehicle to take part of the load, the fine and the risk to the ‘O’ licence.

We have numerous instances of customers remaining legal and at the same time improving efficiency but two very good examples in very different industries are a brick carrier and a waste haulier.

Our brick carrier was concerned that storing material out of doors was causing them a problem. They had a computer loading program which theoretically advised how to load their vehicles but when it rained the weight of product got heavier and this was never factored into the calculation.

The result was that they were sending vehicles out underloaded, and thus running inefficiently, as a precaution.
Axtec Dynamic - Paid for itself in a matter of months.

However, studies showed that by checking the vehicles with an axle weighbridge they were able to load to maximum on every trip.

Remarkably, the investment in the axle weighing systems was recouped in a matter of months and thereafter they were adding to their profits.

The waste haulier had to pass a DVSA axle weighbridge on his way to the tip. Concerned about overloading he deliberately underloaded his 8-wheelers on every trip.

To improve efficiency he installed an Axtec Dynamic Axle Weighbridge and was astounded to learn that he could actually get around 30% more on each vehicle.

Again the system paid for itself in a matter of months and profit was added to his bottom line.

If you’re in the business of maximising your load on every trip then Axtec can help.

We’ll be glad to tell you what we can do and who we already do it for.

We think you’ll find it interesting.

Friday, 1 June 2018

What a year that was!


It was 1988 – the year that Microsoft launched Windows 2.1, the year Paddy Ashdown became leader of the Liberal Democrat Party and the year singer Adele was born.

It was also the year that one of our clients installed their axle weighbridge. Now thirty years later having given excellent service the system is due for an upgrade.

Nothing has broken. Everything works, it has benefited from regular servicing after all, but one of the posts has been hit a couple of times by vehicles and exposure to the elements down by the Thames for all those year’s means it’s beginning to look its age.

And of course technology has moved on considerably since then.

When we build an axle weighbridge we build it to last. And whilst the processing technology and size and number of components has changed beyond all recognition, some things such as the design of the platform are still just as good today.

The Axtec weighing platform is built for heavy duty use. We advise customers to install it right in the roadway so drivers don’t have to divert to use it. That way they have no excuse.

Axtec Weighbeam - hard wearing so put it right in the exit!


A design that puts the centre of the load cell directly beneath the edge of the platform means there is no tipping motion which significantly reduces wear on the load cell mountings. Those mountings themselves are hardened stainless steel and even the shims used to adjust the platform height are stainless steel. Ideal for a life in a pit subject to moisture.

And the whole platform has a 300% Safe Overload Rating before it fails – strong enough for even the toughest applications.

This installation is only one of a good number that are 30 years old or more and still in every day use ensuring vehicles are not overloaded or maximising payloads.

It costs more to manufacture the platform to that design but an axle weighbridge represents a considerable investment for some people so it pays to install one that is going to last.

And with an indicator upgrade, this one will last a good few years yet.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

What an event THAT was!

As a regular at manning exhibitions stands, and ever present at the CV Show, we know a good show when we see one.

And last week the CV Show at the NEC may just have been about the most successful we’ve experienced. Plenty of new enquiries to follow up and, very pleasingly, plenty of positive feedback from existing customers.

From customers with just one 3.5t van, through potential resale partners to the operators of the biggest fleets we once again had the full spread of conversations on the stand.
 
Axtec Stand at the CV Show - packed away for another year!
Fortunately we have such a breadth of systems and software that we are able to offer impartial advice on the correct system for the job.

Whilst a fixed axle weighbridge was right for those running full trucks from a DC, an onboard solution would be a far better solution for those on multi-drop work.

Others may offer only one type of system but it’s only by having a vast range, and vast experience of similar applications and industries, that we can offer impartial advice on the right tool for the job.

One or two customers were in the market for a  type of system that we don’t produce and, as our intention from day one was to only specialise exclusively in axle weighing, we explained clearly that we couldn’t help and passed them on to others who could.

Some of the applications we discussed were quite complex and will require site visits, in depth discussions about the best solution for the job and plenty of time and patience.

We know that an axle weighbridge can be a big investment and that we will no doubt still be talking to some of our new contacts when the show rolls around again next year.

So with so many interesting applications to discuss the time just flew by and before we knew it we were packing the stand away for another year.

But we’ll be back – and the dates for your diary in 2019 are 30 April, 1 & 2 May.

See you there.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Showtime!!


April is the time of year everyone who  is anyone in transport heads to the NEC for the CV Show.


Axtec have been supporting it in all its formats since day one and this year we’ll be on stand 5J102 in hall 5.

With just about everything available on the internet these days, are trade shows still relevant?

Surely buying everything these days is just a simple job of looking online, finding the cheapest price and clicking the order button?

Whilst that might be true of all manner of things, some products are more technical and require professional advice if they are to work at their best.

And that usually starts with a chat with a specialist – and where best to meet specialists in the transport industry than its premier industry event?
See you on stand 5J102 at the CV Show 24-26 April

Many show visitors come to see a specific product or supplier but it’s also a great way to pick up new ideas and find new solutions to old problems as well.

Technology in the transport industry does keep moving on after all.

We upgraded an axle weighbridge with some new software for one customer. He was having issues determining who was using the system and when but a brief chat about what he needed suggested that the Fleet Management Program would help.

Recording every tractor and trailer that weighed in date and time order with a report available whenever he wanted meant that he got exactly the information he needed.

And can now look out for efficiencies in his operation by knowing what his vehicles weighed and when.

Not every detail about a product or its options can be easily listed on a website.

Taking a day out of a busy schedule to visit the NEC may seem a wasted day but talking 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 – April 24th,25th and 26th and we’ll see you there.

Friday, 2 March 2018

It’s not all about avoiding overloading!


An axle weighbridge is sometimes seen purely as a means to avoid overloading. A high cost, capital investment that only has a role in preventing a problem.


There is another aspect to installing a system which is often far more important, especially among major logistics providers.

Often the default position when trying to avoid overloading is to underload the vehicles.
Which can mean that a fleet is not being run as efficiently as it could be. Utilising the full load on every vehicle though, means that every trip is at optimum efficiency and profits are maximised.
There are other spin off benefits too.
Maximise Payload & Profit with an Axtec Dynamic Weighbridge

By checking every vehicle for optimum loading on every trip, a picture builds up of how efficient the fleet is being used and points up opportunities to make even greater efficiencies.

Is every 44 tonner fully loaded? Would smaller, less costly vehicles be of benefit? Could some of the vehicles be downplated? And what sort of mix should the fleet be?

Without accurate axle weight information it can be very difficult to make decisions on what vehicles should be in the fleet and how best to utilise them.

Some computer loading programs can help with ensuring vehicles are fully loaded but it is vital that the information they work with is kept up to date. What happens if a pack size changes and no one updates the computer for instance?

More than one client has made startling discoveries about their vehicle loading since installing a high accuracy Axtec axle weighbridge. One found they were sending half empty double deck trailers out on some runs for instance. Now questions can be asked and efficiencies made.

Sometimes running a half empty vehicle is unavoidable. But maximising loads most of the time with an accurate axle weighbridge would certainly add to profits.

Friday, 9 February 2018

And the cost of routine maintenance is....


Any device for measuring loads will need checking possibly adjusting occasionally to bring it back into specification.


And with Axtec OnBoard the cost is nearly always nothing.

We have a customer who has many hundreds of our OnBoard Load Indicators installed at branches all over the country.

One of the branches queried the accuracy on a couple of their systems and wondered whether it might be beneficial to have them routinely checked by one of our engineers.

This is a service we gladly provide. But as with all service work, it comes at a cost.
Axtec OnBoard. Routine resetting costs nothing.

We calculated how much it would cost to do visit the site and do a routine reset twice a year and estimated it would be in the region of £250.00 per visit. There would be hidden costs as well in terms of keeping the vehicles in the yard ready for a service engineer’s visit.

However, the system is designed so that customers can do this simple reset themselves. At no cost and at a time to suit them.

Axtec OnBoard has no manual controls. Not only does this make it simple to use requiring no training but also means none of the settings or calibration can be changed. It is not possible to make the system display what you want thus potentially fooling drivers, loaders or the authorities.

What it does have though is a simple reset procedure which takes about twenty seconds to bring the system back within specification when the accuracy has drifted out.

Training someone to do it takes minutes, no special tools or technical knowledge is required and each vehicle can be reset in a matter of seconds.

And then that vehicle is back out on the road earning its keep.

No expensive service engineer to visit, no keeping the vehicles in the yard, no specialist tools or training.

So the cost of routine resetting Axtec OnBoard really is zero.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

How accurate is YOUR axle weighbridge?

We were asked to check the accuracy of a competitor’s axle weighbridge recently.


To the untrained eye it looked quite a neat installation. But testing it with our purpose designed calibration vehicle told a different story.

There are two aspects to getting an axle weighbridge calibrated correctly. One is to prove that it as a basic weighing machine. The other is to check that it does what it was designed to do – weigh axles accurately.

The system in question was reasonably accurate when we tested it with one tonne block weights. No error greater than 10kg up to 11,000kg and only marginally worse up to 12,000kg.

So far so average.

Axtec's Specialist Axle Weighbridge Test Vehicle
But when we weighed our test vehicle dynamically, as the system is supposed to operate, the error we found was startling.

Our test vehicle on the day grossed out at 38,680kg gross. But the axle weighbridge weighed it at 35,650kg.

More than three tonnes lighter.



That’s three tonnes more the client could have been putting on his trucks in ignorance.

Potentially three tonnes over the legal limit and almost certainly in line for a prosecution.

The concrete either side of the weighing platform is crucial for system accuracy. So we conducted a full levels survey again with startling results.

What looked like a nice level piece of concrete was in fact totally unsuitable for accurate weighing of articulated vehicles.

Unfortunately for the customer, the only option is to dig the system up and start all over again.

Getting an axle weighbridge calibrated correctly requires specialist equipment and Axtec are the only company to have invested in the right tool for the job.

And means we can offer the world’s most accurate dynamic axle weighbridge.

Can we help you check out your axle weighbridge maybe?


Get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.