Maximising payload is one of the fleet manager's primary functions. The term payload is defined as "the part of a vehicle's load from which revenue is derived", so it follows that the more streamlined transport operations are, the healthier the profits will be when weighed up against the costs. Today the transport industry is ever evolving, with new technology changing the landscape for haulage companies not just in terms of super fast and efficient connectivity, but also in the way hauliers carry out their jobs. |
Saving Time and Staying Compliant
One way in which some haulage companies are fine-tuning their operations is the practice of installing onboard weighing systems in their fleet vehicles. Fitting weighing equipment to a lorry not only affords the driver instant access to important information about his or her load, it also aids in more accurate stock control and ensures compliance with government axle weight legislation.
There are a number of different onboard weighing systems on the market, including the bottom of the range ones that simply monitor vehicle suspension – which are very simple to fit, although they don’t actually weigh loads but are effective enough to ensure compliance – right up to highly accurate load cell systems. (Portable weighpads are another useful innovation becoming popular with fleet managers.)
Load Cell Systems
More and more transport and haulage companies are ensuring that their new vehicles are fitted with load cells (particularly tipping vehicles), as they provide a very effective method of weighing onboard loads. Being able to accurately measure payload can make a big difference to vehicles that make multiple daily trips – often reducing the number of trips by being able to take weight up to the legal limit, without fear of being fined for non-compliance at a roadside stop. The most up-to-date load cells can now split the front and back axle readings, meaning a load isn't inadvertently overloaded on a per axle weight either.
One of the most useful innovations in late-model load cell fittings is their trade approval for use as a mobile weighbridge, which means that a driver can issue an invoice on the spot based on the data. This is particularly useful for haulage companies whose drivers deliver raw product from one load to a number of different customers.
Benefits of Onboard Axle Weighing
Onboard load cells can be factory-fitted to new vehicles or fitted to older models by an authorised dealer. They are suited to the majority of two-axle rigid trucks, normal vans, and articulated and multi-axle vehicles. As well as the basic system there are plenty of optional extras to enhance efficiency, including printers, external terminals and personalised vehicle ID.
As well as the practical benefits of being able to monitor on-board weight, its reasonable cost also makes for a sound economic decision in terms of payoff. Once fitted, it is easy to maintain, simply requiring a regular recalibration. This can easily be done by the driver (a calibration box is included).
The onboard system is also extremely user-friendly, with the digital display highlighting gross load, front and rear axle load weight on separate lines. There are no manual controls at all, and overloading is highlighted by default so no further calculations are needed.
The Weigh of the Future
While it's not likely that government roadside weighbridges will be out of business any time soon in the UK, onboard weighbridge solutions are certainly looking to be the way of the future – making life on the road, and in the fleet manager's office, much more efficient, convenient and profitable.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Related Articles -