Axle weighing company Axtec sales director Derek Hack (pictured) told CM he is alarmed at the lack of accuracy from some weighbridges installed at the premises of major fleet operators.
Hack said axle weight figures recorded by some hauliers are way off because of poorly designed in-house vehicle weighbridges or surrounding surfaces that are uneven. Axtec, which is based in Runcorn, discovered the problem during some of the free-of-charge checks it offers operators, using its unique axle weighbridge test vehicle.
Hack said: “An axle weighbridge needs perfectly flat concrete approaches to provide accurate readings. However, we found some company weighbridges had been installed with no high tolerance approaches at all.
“We also discovered problems with load cell mountings and shim plates made out of mild steel that rusts rather than the superior quality stainless steel, as well as shoddy installation.
“Using 1-tonne block weights, a system should weigh to within 20kg. But the real test is when weighing artics dynamically. They should be within 100kg per axle, but the ones we tested were all between 1,500kg and 3,500kg out. So, operators could be sending out overloaded vehicles when their axle weighbridge has told them they are legal.”
Axtec, which tests and calibrates official weighbridge systems for the DVSA, carried out its most recent operator visits in January and February and suspects the problem is rife throughout the industry.
Hack added: “It’s understandable for an operator who has paid up to £12,000 on a weighbridge to want to bury his head in the sand if it is not producing the correct figures.”
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