Friday, 12 December 2014

So why DO we lay high tolerance concrete approaches?

Sometimes a customer won’t listen to good advice or listen to the experience of another customer who also ignored that good advice! We’ve experience both in the last couple of weeks.

Manufacturing a highly accurate axle weighing machine with high accuracy load cells and weight indicator is only part of a successful installation. Our dynamic axle weighbridge is the most accurate of its type in the world but getting the installation correct is vital and just as important as making an accurate weighing machine.

Employing, training and equipping our own construction teams may seem an expensive luxury but they are an essential part of us being able to offer that most accurate axle weighbridge in the world. 

Without them, achieving any sort of accuracy would be virtually impossible and we have seen many come and go that have tried to so it without making sure they have first class installation team.

This was illustrated really well recently when we went to install a system into groundwork prepared by others; a well known construction company.

Despite having a drawing and free advice from us, the finished levels are so poor that the only way we could achieve any kind of accuracy was by having the axle weighing platform sitting very proud of its frame. It doesn’t look very professional and could be construed as a trip hazard but it’s a direct result of the approach levels being so poor. We will almost certainly have to dig it up and relay the approach slab correctly in the near future.

It’s because the levels are so important that we have our own construction teams. That way we take full responsibility for the installation and can achieve the high accuracy that we do.

When using an axle weigher, only one axle is on the platform at any one time. The others are on the concrete either side of it. And uneven concrete approaches will seriously affect how a compensating bogie distributes weight. Thus, the approach levels affect the vehicle suspension not the axle weighbridge itself.
High tolerance concrete is essential for accurate weighing

No amount of adjusting the axle weighbridge indicator will remove this effect. The levels have just got to be right and if that means digging up and relaying the approaches, then that’s what needs to be done.

But even explaining the reasons for it, and telling the story of this recent issue with a major construction company to our customer, he still seems set on trying to get a system installed on the cheap. Questioning whether it really is necessary to go to the expense of providing accurate concrete approaches.

A weighing machine only measures gravity. No one can influence it or change the way it works. It can only be measured. And if anyone tries to install an axle weighbridge ignoring one of the great forces of nature, then they are making an expensive mistake.

There is no cheap solution but despite all the evidence, it still doesn’t stop some people thinking they can defy gravity!