Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Not a lot of people know that....

We often get calls from Transport Managers, some of them working for major names in industry, who seem to lack knowledge when it comes to axle weights. Only yesterday we were contacted by a someone who was puzzled that his gross weight limit could be less than the sum of his axle weight limits. We put him right but it's a common misunderstanding.

So for those in doubt, yes the total of your axle weight limits CAN be greater than your gross weight limit.

There are many others so hopefully we can put some people right with this blog entry.

We also get calls from people who seemed bemused that we can't influence gravity. After all, a weighing machine is only measuring the effect of gravity. We can't influence it, make it pull at an angle because the yard is on a slope or correct weight readings if the driver has one wheel up on the kerb. No axle weighing system can.

The most accurate axle weights will always be achieved if the vehicle is on flat level ground.

The flatness of the ground is  crucial for a dynamic axle weighbridge for instance. Only one axle is on the platform at a time; all the others are on the concrete either side. And the levels aren't affecting the axle weighbridge at all but the vehicle. And every vehicles suspension will react differently to changes in level.We go to great lengths to lay the approach concrete to a very high tolerance to ensure the best accuracy we can.
In-motion axle weighbridge
There's only ever one axle at a time on the axle weighbridge

Beware anyone who says you can just dig a pit anywhere, throw in a narrow plate and weigh axles.

Another question which comes up frequently is the tolerance that VOSA allow. Basically, there isn't one as any overload could attract a prosecution.

Commonly they will only issue a fixed penalty notice for an overload of 10% or more but they will look at it in context. What state is the vehicle in, are there any other faults, is the operator a regular offender, was the load dangerous for instance.

There was one haulier who, thinking the 'tolerance' was 5% regularly sent his vehicles onto the road 4% overloaded. It didn't take VOSA very long to realise what was going on and said haulier was prosecuted as a repeat offender incurring a hefty fine.

You and your vehicle don't even have to be there to be prosecuted. It has also been known for Trading Standards to visit Public Weighbridges and check back through weight tickets. One large waste haulier, now defunct, was found to have committed 133 overloading offences all of which were traced by weight tickets at Public Weighbridges. A sample of around 5 offences were taken to court and prosecuted.

As we know from the calls we get, axle weighing is often misunderstood but we're always happy to answer those questions for you. After all, our combined experience in this specialised field runs into hundreds of years now!

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