Thursday, 30 July 2015

You’ve got to know what you’re doing with weighpads.

We had another interesting call the other day from a long standing customer. 

Having invested heavily in our OnBoard Axle Load Indicators to avoid overloading, he was naturally perturbed to be told by someone that the front axle on a 3-axle rigid was apparently overloaded even with the vehicle empty.

Keen to establish the facts we sent a trained engineer with a set of calibrated weighpads to ensure that all was well. Sure enough, we found nothing amiss with the OnBoard Indicator working well and displaying all of the axle weights accurately.

Certainly the front axle was heavy with a large crane mounted just behind the cab but even at full load it was still legal.

One interesting aspect was the amount of apparent overload; a tonne is quite a significant difference between what was being indicated and what the customer had been told the axle weighed. Given that considerable time and effort had been taken to design the vehicle prior to it being ordered it seemed unlikely that the calculations were out by such a wide margin.

Upon investigation we discovered that a third party had weighed the vehicle using a set of portable weighpads .This inevitably worried our customer as we had set his OnBoard Indicator up using a set of weighpads, standard procedure when we are calibrating a new system.

To set the customers mind at ease we arranged for the vehicle to be weighed at a calibrated enforcement axle weighbridge  and, sure enough the weights obtained there proved that the front axle wasn’t overloaded.
Portable weighpad. Is it being used correctly?

The conclusion we all drew was that the third party who had weighed the vehicle had done it incorrectly; not unusual if, as many people do, the weighpads are used incorrectly by simply placing them on the ground and parking an axle on them.

It’s more complex than that and you have to know what you are doing.

Having satisfied our customer that his OnBoard Indicator was correct and that we had correctly set it up using our weighpads we have now arranged for the other company to be trained in how to operate weighpads properly and avoid any future issues.

Regular visitors to this blog will know that the subject of weighpads and their potential pitfalls comes up quite often. Weighpads are an excellent tool that have many uses but they have to be used in the right circumstances and in the right way if they are to provide accurate information.

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