For fleet managers and HGV drivers, the issue of weight is a constant worry. But before you think you've stumbled on to a self-help diet article, rest assured we're not talking about over-indulging in too many pies over the festive season. The weight we're referring to is axle weight – aka "how heavy is that load you're carrying?" |
It's a question that's not so much asked, but demanded on the roadside weighbridges of every main road in the UK and Europe, and compliance with government requirements is a matter of law.
Increasingly, logistics companies are investing in portable weighpads in order to ensure their drivers don't run foul of the law. This kind of technology is particularly useful for operators who rely on lucrative back loads to increase profits. (Being able to weigh back loads before leaving for the return journey reduces the risk of carrying non-compliant weights.)
Portable weighpads (also known as portable wheel weighers) are a popular option for rigid, two axle vehicles and also for weighing groups of axles in larger vehicles, to negate the issue of weight transference. The main benefits are their versatility, ease of use and convenience. Despite their compact size, they're able to weigh large vehicles that far exceed the area of the pad.
The weighpads consist of a flat surface over which the truck drives in order to calculate its total weight. The technology employs a highly sensitive cell at the core of the pad, which records data then transmits it to a remote hand held receiver or terminal through a physical cable.
The cell is at the centre of the pad, with ramps on either side making it easy for the truck to be positioned correctly. To determine the accurate weight of the entire vehicle, each axle is measured individually and the terminal calculates the gross weight. Once the truck weight is subtracted, the correct weight of the cargo is determined.
Even though it does take some degree of physical energy to set up the weighpad, its usefulness for drivers picking up back loads usually outweighs (pardon the pun) the effort and costs involved. They are also popular with area transport managers who may want to undertake spot checks while visiting depots.
Other usages include:
• Farmers requiring exact weights of outgoing crop loads • Law enforcers doing random or spot checking • Aircraft operators checking for overloading cargo • Factories weighing incoming and outgoing raw materials
Setting up the pad is an easy task even for one person, and it only takes a few minutes to lay it down in an appropriate site and connect the terminal. Some brands fold down to store in a suitcase type of storage, so the cable, receiver and pads are kept together for ease of access.
Easy to Use and Easy to Like!
Thanks to the sophisticated technology employed by weighpads, their usage is becoming more and more mainstream. Their high level of accuracy, easy installation, portability and extreme convenience offer an affordable onboard weighing solution that's making life on the road just that little bit easier.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching loads and back loads with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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