Friday, 29 January 2016

Two more for the scrapheap!

We’ve received orders this week to remove and replace two more of a competitor’s axle weighbridges that weren’t up to the job.

After struggling to get them to remain within calibration or, in one case, to even get it close to being calibrated, the decision has been taken to remove them and replace them with Axtec systems.

Both of them had the same issue; a load cell mounting design which although ideal in many applications is far from suitable for an axle weighbridge installation. Nothing inherently wrong with the load cell or its mounting but it was never designed to be placed under a weighing platform that is being driven across by heavy goods vehicles.

Both weighing platforms were installed in areas where they would be heavily trafficked by non-weighing vehicles heading for the exit gate. The load cell mountings in those circumstances basically just wore out simply by having vehicles drive across the platform and as a dynamic axle weighbridge is supposed to have vehicles driven across it, it is clear that the load cell and mounting design were just not intended for that type of application.

Coupled with the fact that one of the systems had never had any high tolerance concrete approaches laid, it was hardly surprising that the system was virtually impossible to calibrate.

We recently installed a system in East Anglia and, as part of the training procedure, we showed the customer the effect of changing a single 0.5mm shim under one load cell. The change in weighing accuracy was dramatic and illustrated starkly how varying the level of the platform relative to the surrounding area could affect the result obtained.
Axtec's Civils team  will get the approach levels perfect

The same is true if the approach levels aren’t laid to the correct tolerance. Getting the levels wrong can seriously affect the accuracy of weighing and whereas correcting the height of the platform can be done using shims, correcting poor approach areas is much more difficult.

They basically need to be dug up and re-laid at some expense and disruption to the operation.
We realised many years ago how important the levels and height of the platform are. Which is why we have our own civil’s teams to make sure they approaches are right and design a platform that can have the shims changed in seconds if necessary.

Coupled with the fact that the Axtec platform has been purpose designed to have vehicles driven across it, at speed when not weighing, means that once installed it will provide many years of service.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Which axle weighing system is the right one for me?

The registration figures for vans would appear to have hit record levels in 2015 according to figures issued by the SMMT.

One notable trend is that buyers are increasingly opting for larger vehicles. Is that to improve productivity or down to a possible shortage of drivers?

Professional operators will always opt for the right tool for the job and many have the ability to specify larger vehicles if their job demands it. But all operators need to maximise loads to squeeze profitability out of their vehicles but in so doing they may run the risk of inadvertent overloading.

Ensuring you get the maximum load on your vehicle is essential but the penalties for exceeding weight limits can be quite severe. The fine is only part of the cost. Sending another vehicle and driver to a prohibited vehicle is very costly especially if you have to hire them in.

The late delivery of your products won’t endear you to your customer possibly leading to loss of business, and the affect on your reputation and your ‘O’ licence shouldn’t be underestimated.
Vans may not be on the ‘O’ licence but if you operate larger vehicles as well, any offences down to your van fleet will affect it.
Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator prevents van overloads

Keeping a close watch on your vehicle weights, including vans, is essential if you are trying to maximise payloads.

But no single type of axle weighing system will solve every problem.

For example, vehicles on multi-drop work could be weighed at the depot, but what happens when the load changes during the day? How does the driver know that when he’s made his first drop from the back of the vehicle, that the front axle hasn’t become overloaded?  What about vehicles which collect rather than, or as well as delivering?

That’s why we provide the full range of systems; dynamic, static, on-board and portable. We work with operators to find out if there is a problem to solve, lend or hire equipment to evaluate, and advise on the best technical solution. 

Regardless of fleet size, we can provide a full support service.

So if you’re trying to squeeze an extra pallet, case, box or anything else onto your vehicle but worried about overloading it, maybe we might be able to help?

Because the costs of getting it wrong could be enormous.