Friday, 16 January 2015

Getting the right tool for the job...

If the latest DVSA figures are correct, overloading is still the top offence committed by operators of Light Commercial Vehicles.

It may seem a minor offence but an overloaded vehicle is very unstable and very dangerous. Putting too much weight on a van effects all the major components on the vehicle - steering, brakes, suspension, tyres, clutch  - which must have an effect on the performance.

And if the performance of the vehicle doesn’t concern you surely the excessive fuel and repair bills caused by overloading would?

What is sometimes overlooked is that even though it was only an overload on a light commercial vehicle, the penalties for overloading them are the same as for heavier vehicles. And whilst they are not on the ‘O’ licence, any offences caused by light vehicles will affect your application or any renewal.

We know from our own experience, we run service vans for instance, that light commercial vehicles are very easy to overload. As we are the sole provider of service to the national network of DVSA axle weighbridges and thus come into contact with them on a daily basis, it would be highly embarrassing if any of our vehicles were found to be overloaded.

So we have fitted the vans out with the Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator.
OnBoard Load Indicators - right for your LCV's?

Axtec OnBoard shows front, rear and gross weights on a colour display all of the time. No knobs, buttons or switches for the driver to fiddle with or break and thanks to its unique customer calibration facility keeps maintenance visits to a minimum and service costs low.
But an onboard load indicator may not be the most cost effective solution.

Only yesterday we were approached by a company about the Axtec OnBoard. Running 14 vehicles from two depots the system would certainly do a job for him and protect his vehicles from overloading out on the road. But after talking it through with him it became apparent that there was a less costly option.

As he was taking full loads from his depots to jobs and returning empty apart from  some small amounts of scrap, a static single axle weighbridge in each yard would offer him greater benefits.

The Static Single weighs any 2-axle rigid vehicle and this customer is running 14 vans. The cost of installing a Static-Single at both his depots is less expensive than equipping every van with an OnBoard Indicator.

Another benefit is that he wouldn’t need to equip every new van he bought with a system. Once the Static-Single is installed, it’ll last for years and even if his fleet grows to include larger vehicles, the system is designed to cater for anything up to and including 18 tonners.

It was only by investigating what he did, how his operation worked, where his fleet is based and what is plans for the future might be that we were able to specify the correct solution for his needs even though it is only light commercials he’s using.