Friday, 14 March 2014

Portable weighpads - not always the best, cheapest option

Just about every enquiry we receive touches on the subject of portable weighpads. 


Whatever type of vehicle people want to weigh and in whatever circumstances they are often seen as a quick, simple and above all cheap method of weighing axles.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Portable weighpads are superb in some applications and we have many customers who use them very successfully. They are perfect for weighing 2-axle rigid vehicles especially where more than one depot needs a temporary weighing solution.

But other than that, their usefulness is quite limited.

Even when weighing 2-axle rigids, the ideal vehicle for them remember, someone needs to make sure the pads are charged up ready for use, they need to be kept under lock and key, after all they’re inherently portable and easy to carry, and someone needs to make sure area the weighing is being done on is flat and level and to supervise the weighing to ensure it is done correctly.

Portable axle pads weighing a larger vehicle 
All of this is multiplied the more axles you need to weigh. For a start there are more weighpads to be kept safe and charged up. And of course someone has to carry all of them  out to the weighing area and position them.

A customer recently purchased three sets of weighpads from us, against our best advice, to weigh large 3-axle rigid vehicles. Technically this is possible but it’s extremely hard work.

We received a call a couple of weeks after the pads had been delivered to say that there was a discrepancy of around 750kg between the weighpads and a local weighbridge. So we sent someone out to make sure the pads were in good order and being used correctly.

Unsurprisingly  it was method error that was causing the problem. Simply placing the pads on the floor in front of the axles, driving the vehicle up onto them and taking a reading is not enough when weighing a bigger vehicle.

It actually took three people almost an hour to get the vehicle weighed correctly and produce an accurate result. This was nothing to do with any deficiency with the weighpads which worked perfectly throughout but simply because it takes that much time, effort and manpower to do it correctly.

So, far from being a cheap, simple solution to the problem, to achieve an accurate weight takes plenty of time and manpower plus of course the cost of enough weighpads to support the whole vehicle in one go.
The cost of the correct axle weighbridge to weigh those vehicles incidentally would have been about the same as all those weighpads.



We’re happy to talk to anyone about portable weighpads and especially happy to point them in the direction of customers who have experience of using them both in the right and wrong circumstances.

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