Friday, 18 July 2014

Servicing Expensive? Not always

A question that comes up often is the cost of maintaining an axle weighing system.  We’ve just been advising one customer who had exactly that query before he placed his order.

It’s an important question because whilst buying the system is the biggest investment, there could be ongoing maintenance costs either for routine servicing or repairs.

Most systems need very little maintenance these days although some busier or dirtier applications might benefit regular servicing. That can prove to be a very worthwhile investment for some and there are axle weighbridges that are still in very good order after nearly 40 years of operation.

But some types of system are not best suited to such contracts. Our OnBoard Load Indicator is fitted to thousands of vehicles and sending engineers to do routine maintenance on them would be inefficient and costly.

The Axtec OnBoard Load indicator, like all systems of this type, monitors the vehicle suspension. And simply by using the vehicle the suspension will weaken over time. This can result in inaccurate readings being shown on the weight display. A minor adjustment is all that is needed but it would be expensive for a service engineer to visit every time this happened.

The cost of sending an engineer to check a system on only one vehicle might be prohibitive. But with a larger fleet of vehicles, the cost is only part of the issue.

Whilst in theory it might be possible to get 5, 10, 20 or more vehicles all back in the yard at the same time, in reality it’s rarely possible. Vehicles will be stuck on jobs, away for MOT’s, being repaired etc. But making multiple visits to catch up with missed vehicles for routine maintenance could be a costly and time consuming exercise.
Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator

We recognised that cost and inconvenience were important factors in owning this type of system many years ago. So all Axtec OnBoard Load Indicators allow customers to do their own routine calibrations.  It’s a simple procedure that takes just seconds. Which means customers not only save hugely on service costs but can do it at the time most convenient to them.

Missed  a vehicle because it was stuck on a job?  No problem, just catch up with it tomorrow.

But what about if the system breaks? Well, reliable as they are any electronic system can go wrong. But one reason for faults that we’ve removed is driver interference. There are no knobs, buttons or switches anywhere on the system. Nothing for the driver to fiddle with or break.

And no cries of ‘I don’t know how to use it!’ Drivers just have to look at it the same as every other guage in the vehicle.

Whilst we’re sure all your drivers are paragons of virtue, we know from experience of an early version of the system which had one knob for the drivers to operate, it was only ever that knob that got broken!

So making the axle weighing system driver proof and simple for customers’ to calibrate seemed to make sense and has certainly saved our customers an awful lot of money over the years.