Thursday, 17 December 2015

It's nearly our birthday!

Axtec will celebrate 25 years in business in 2016.

That’s a quarter of a century of Axtec making and installing axle weighbridges. And inevitably a lot has changed since then.

Not only have some of our customers, and indeed old friends, come and gone but many companies who thought axle weighing was easy have done the same.

Throughout our 25 years we’ve learned an awful lot as well. We’ve spent much of the time and considerable sums of money on researching axle weighing. It’s led to a number of firsts.

The first and only weighbridge test vehicle specifically designed for calibrating axle weighbridges.
The first and only OnBoard Load Indicator that customers can calibrate themselves.

The first and only dynamic axle weighbridge which can be offered as a Public Weighbridge.

The first and only OnBoard Indicator which can show views from cameras.

The list goes on.

And because we know what does and doesn’t work, we’re not afraid to tell people that certain types of system won’t suit their needs. More than once we’ve walked away from a project when we haven’t got the right solution or the customer insists on the wrong solution.

Some, like the weighbridge test vehicle, we’ve discovered are essential for ensuring an axle weighbridge is installed and calibrated correctly. It’s not possible to get an accurate installation without it.

Others, like the dynamic weighbridge being Approved for Public use, mean that our customers can get a direct cash benefit by being able to charge other hauliers for using it. And thus adding to their bottom line.
A lot has changed since we introduced this in 1991!

The fact that so many companies have entered this field and then vanished again over the last 25 years shows that the investment in research was no wasted. Only when you to fully understand what is going on when weighing axles and applying that to customer’s needs can you make a product that is accurate and built to last.

And knowing what you are doing also means you know when to walk away from a job and when your product isn’t the right one.

Which means we’ve turned down plenty of opportunities over the last 25 years as well. All we want is a successful installation and a happy customer.

 Those companies no longer with us didn’t fully understand the complexities of what they were doing, probably made promises they couldn’t keep and paid for it in the end.

So, here’s to another 25 years of making and installing axle weighbridges and, of course, even more research.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Another interesting weighing execise

As mentioned a number of times in this blog, weighpads are frequently enquired about but rarely the right system for the job. 

Sometimes though they really are the best product for the job as long as the user is aware of what they can and cannot do.

Recently we were approached by a customer who had been trialing weighpads from other manufacturers and been disappointed with the results. The reliability of one product was an issue but what was concerning them most was the lack of accuracy.

We decided that the best way to assist would be to visit them and show them how to do it properly. Not only would this demonstrate the correct procedure for using weighpads but it would also illustrate how time consuming and labour intensive it can be to get an accurate weight.

Using our contacts with DVSA, arrangements were made to visit one of their enforcement sites so that we could ensure accurate weights on the perfectly flat concrete approaches but also so that we had a calibrated axle weighbridge for comparison purposes.
Portable Weighpads - ideal for some jobs when used correctly.

The whole exercise, weighing just one vehicle, took a whole morning with five people on site. As a minimum three people are needed; one to drive the vehicle and two to manoeuvre the weighpads,  but at least the exercise was done correctly and accurate, repeatable weights obtained.

One of the most interesting elements of the task was taking the weighpads off the perfectly flat concrete approaches and using them on an adjacent piece of ground with a slight incline. We did this as, having proved the pads were accurate in ideal conditions, it was useful to try them in a more typical working environment.

The difference in results was quite marked. Using the weighpads correctly on a perfectly flat concrete approach produced good results but using them on a piece of ground on an incline meant that weight distribution was changed and different axle weights recorded.

It was a very good method of not only demonstrating how accurate weighpads can be when used properly but also the limitations of them as a product.

This particular customer was delighted that we’d taken the trouble to demonstrate not only the pros but the cons of using weighpads and, now they are fully aware of what is involved in doing it right and what the pitfalls are of doing it wrong, an order is on its way to us.