Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Weighing containers? A dynamic weighbridge can help.

Container weighing has been in the news lately.

The International Maritime Organisation have amended their Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) convention so that from 1 July 2016 all containers being loaded onto ship must be weighed.
The amendment is designed to prevent accidents when containers fall overboard due to the centre of gravity being too high. But it’s also been known for a stack of containers to collapse due to incorrect loading or even for a ship to break in two.

The consequences don’t bear thinking about so the new amendment makes perfect sense.
With the need to weigh containers comes the requirement to invest in equipment. But which is the best method and how much will it cost though?

There are numerous ways to weigh a container; some loaders at the ports have built in weighing devices and if the tare weight is known, the weight of each individual item can be measured as it is put into the container. The latter method preferred when a container is made up at the port itself with items from numerous shippers.

Another quick and easy method is to weigh the truck using a dynamic weighbridge. We weigh many container trucks on their way to the port on the axle weighbridge in our yard.
It takes 40 seconds to weigh on a dynamic axle weighbridge

It takes about 40 seconds to obtain a weight from a dynamic axle weighbridge and to an accuracy of 0.5%. So even if the empty truck needs to be weighed first to get a tare weight, it’s not a long procedure.

Having invested in a dynamic axle weighbridge though there is scope to make money from it.

As the Axtec system is the only one of its type which can be Approved as a Public Weighbridge, other hauliers can be charged for using it. And the axle weighbridge thus becomes a source of income, between £6-£10,000.00 per annum in the case of our own system.

Which means, in this case at least, the investment needed to weigh containers pays for itself in about three years. And the accuracy is more than enough to satisfy the needs of the new regulations.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Where's the best place to buy an axle weighbridge?

Buying everything you need from one source is a great idea. 

We all go to, or in many cases these days, order online from a supermarket. And it makes perfect sense when you’re buying a standard product which is always the same week in, week out.

The manufacturers pride themselves that their baked beans or loaves of breads will be to the same high standard a very single time you buy one. And for them an outlet that stocks a large range of generic products is ideal.

But what if you want something a bit more specialised? Something made to order? Something that needs to fit your exact requirements?

In those cases you’re better off visiting a specialist. Someone who knows the product inside out and is used to making them to suit rather than churning out hundreds of the same for mass consumption.

There are some scale companies who work a bit like a supermarket. Showing every weighing product imaginable on their website and leaving the customer to decide what’s right for their needs. That can work fine if all you need is a bathroom or kitchen scale which will just come out of the box and work.
A correctly specified and installed axle weighbridge

But is that the best way to buy something that can be influenced by outside forces such as approach levels or vehicles suspension? That needs to be properly operated and needs specialist installation?

Is it such a good idea to just buy something from an online ‘supermarket’ without getting the specialist knowledge needed to ensure you get the best from your purchase?

Unfortunately, we have come across many sub-standard installations where customers have been persuaded that buying an axle weighbridge is as straight forward as buying a tin of beans. Poor or often no advice is given and thus poor results are obtained.

Most customers wouldn’t dream of buying a piece of highly technical equipment from a company which wasn’t a specialist in the field but there will always be some people who are tempted by the apparently low up front price available from a ‘supermarket’.

The results in the long term though are usually more costly than having invested time and money in sourcing an axle weighbridge from a specialist who will not only ensure that you buy the right system for your needs but make sure it is installed and operated correctly as well.

A supermarket, despite being excellent at many things, just isn’t geared up to offer that level of service.