The other dimension of weighing

Weighbridge and Axle Weighting system: Complete Guide for Illuminated Selection

3 July 2024

In many industries, vehicle weighing is an essential pillar for determining the weight of goods carried. It also makes it possible to respond to the regulatory aspect of the activity and to prevent overloads. Proper selection of equipment such as weighbridges and axle weights is of utmost importance. These devices play a fundamental role in the precise management of vehicle weight and loading. Weighbridges and axle weights have distinct designs and functions. This comprehensive guide aims to enlighten professionals and decision-makers in the process of acquiring these essential equipment. This manual provides an in-depth overview of the different technologies, capabilities, and specifications of weighbridges and axle weights. It allows a clear understanding of their features and benefits. Through a detailed analysis, we will address the key criteria to consider for a wise choice, adapted to the specific needs of each company.

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Weighbridge: Operation and Uses

The weighbridge is the oldest high-range measuring instrument. Initially its operation was mechanical using levers and knives. It has evolved significantly with the technological innovation of electronic weighing and load cells equipped with strain gauges.

Mainly used for the static weighing of vehicles, this heavy weight scale makes it possible to determine the weight of a truck and its loading. A weighbridge is designed to weigh entire vehicles in a single measurement. The platform of the truck scale is sized to accommodate trucks and semi-trailers of large sizes and heavy loads. The total weight of the vehicle and its goods is returned on an indicator and weighing management software. Peripherals, traffic light, barrier, weighing terminal, weight repeater, plate reading, access control and wheel guide can be associated with the truck scale.

The truck scale consists of a platform composed of modular sections. The modules can be made of steel with a larmed bearing surface, precast concrete or cast on site according to the models. The load cells are usually positioned in the corners of each module of the deck. It is these load cells that measure the weight on the weighbridge. The weight sensors can be analog or digital depending on the type of truck scale.

Weighbridges can be installed in pits or above ground. The available space and the nature of the soil are decisive for the choice of equipment. Installation in a pit at ground level is usually carried out when the ground surface is restricted. Mobile and aboveground weighbridges are commonly used in harsh environments or requiring the displacement of the scale. They are mainly exploited in different industries and in agriculture as part of commercial transactions and inventory management.


Selection Considerations

When selecting a weighbridge, several criteria must be considered. They are linked to your specific business needs and budget. Buying a scale to weigh trucks is an important investment that commits you in the long term.

Platform dimensions: The length and width of the platform must be sufficient to accommodate the vehicles you plan to weigh. It is essential to determine the minimum dimensions required for your activity.

Load Capacity: The capacity of the weighbridge must be selected based on the maximum expected weight of the vehicles you will weigh. It is preferable to provide a margin of safety in case of unforeseen expenses.

Accuracy: Accuracy is a key criterion for many applications that involve commercial transactions. It must comply with the requirements of your business and the regulations in force.

Siting area: The installation of a weighbridge requires a large floor area. Make sure you have enough space for safe installation and movement of vehicles.

Weighbridge type: The choice between a pit or above ground weighbridge depends on your environment, your needs and the ease of installation. A truck scale in a pit is less bulky, but requires more civil works. An above ground scale is easier to install but requires an access and exit ramp.

Construction materials: The weighbridge may be steel or steel structure and concrete deck. The environment, the volume of vehicles and the maintenance are elements to take into account when choosing a weighing scale truck adapted to your activity. The metal version is lighter to carry and can be moved to different locations. The steel and concrete deck version is more durable in time.

Maintenance and Periodic Verification Requirements:

Weighbridges require regular maintenance. These operations are crucial to ensure accurate weighing and durability of the truck scale. In the context of weighing operations in commercial transactions, weighbridges are subject to the Legal Metrology (ML) regulation of Non-automatic Weighing Instruments (IPFNA). This includes initial verification during installation with the green compliance sticker, annual periodic verification and periodic review every 2 years for instruments with a capacity greater than 5 tonnes.

Taking these elements into account, you will be able to select the appropriate weighbridge for your business needs. You will also have the opportunity to consider the total capital and operating budget including the purchase price of the equipment, installation, maintenance and periodic audits and reviews.

Axle weighing system : principles and applications

The technology of electronic weighing and weigher sensors with strain gauges allowed the developpement of axle weighing system. Initially to meet the regulatory aspect of the Highway Code in terms of overlard checks per axle, per axle group and on the total weight of vehicles.

Axles weighing system, as the name suggests, is designed to weigh each axle of a vehicle individually. By adding the weight of each axle, we obtain the weight of the axle group or groups and the total weight. Originally, the axle weighing system worked in static weighing. This method was quite restrictive because the vehicle had to stop on the axle weighing system as many times as there were axles. After years of research, French company Captels will develop low-speed dynamic weighing technology with DIN-SCALE® algorithms. This major innovation has signigicantly improved the efficiency of axle weighing system.

Dynamics axles weighing systems are smaller and more flexible than weighing bridges sytem. They are used for measure the weight of moving vehicles as part of material entry and exit management and / or for the prevention and control of road overloads. The load on each axle of vehicle is calculated by a dynamic weighing algorithm. It automaticly returns the measurements of alxe weight, the total weight calculated, the distance between axles and the speed at which the vehicles passes. Weighing datas can be watch and save on a weighing indicator or on a weighing management software. based on its use, devices, traffic light, barrier, weighing station, weight repeater, plate reading, access control and wheel guide can be combined with the dynamic axle weighing system.

The heavy duty axle weights consist of a platform with a casing for fixed versions or two axle scales for semi-fixed or mobile versions. Structures can be made of welded steel or machined alumium. The load cells are positioned in the corners of the platforms so that the entire surface is weighing. Axles weighing system can be used embedded or aboveground with a raceway. Pit installation on a flat dedicated area is recommanded to achieve optimal measurement accuracy. Axles weighing system are generally used for applications taht require a moving from one area or site to another or when it is not possible to perform a pit installation with civil engineering. The implementation and use is simple et fast without forming. Dynamic axles weighing system are popular in the field of agriculture for the management of cereal stocks on farms. They are also very present in the various roadside inspection units and industries as part of regulatory requirements, internal control of entry and exit of materials and prevention of overlard of vehicles.

Heavy-duty axle weighing system

Key criteria for an effective choice

Load capacity and Accuracy: The load capacity of a truck axle weight must be adapted to the maximum axle weight of the vehicles you plan to weigh. Ensure that the accuracy of use in dynamic weighing mode meets your business requirements. It is essential to differentiate between the accuracy of the material when depositing static masses and the accuracy of use when the vehicle will be weighed in motion. The accuracy of use of a truck axle weight is related to the flatness of the ground on which the equipment will be installed and the speed of passage of trucks.

Installation and use: The installation configuration of a built-in or mobile above-ground axle weight depends on the working environment, the number of weights to be performed and its fixed or portable use. The embedded vehicle scale offers robustness and precision of use for long-lasting and regular use. It requires the realization of a civil engineering to integrate its casing in the soil. The mobile axle weight stands out for its flexibility and ease of installation on different areas or sites. These two configurations require a flat installation surface not exceeding 2% of longitudinal slope.

Dimensions and conception: The Dimensions of platform or mobile scales must be sufficient to accommodate tyres of different sizes and types. The conception must allow use without requirement, fast and easy for optimize the weighing of heavy vehicles.

Building materials: The construction of the axle weighing system can be in welded or machined aluminum steel. The steel versions are more robust for use in a difficult environnement and for high traffic. Lighter aluminium versions should be prioritized for mobile use.

Durability and maintenance: Durability should be preferred for use in harsh environments or for regular use. Choose vehicle scales made with durable materials and high-performance electronic components that require little maintenance.

Industrial and Legal Metrology:

Industrial Metrology is a voluntary approach of all companies wishing to ensure the validity and reliability of the results of its weighing. It focuses more on the quality and conformity of products in an industrial context. The requirements for process improvements and optimizations have made it possible to extend this approach to other business sectors.

Axles weighing system are generally used for internal checks with a calibration certificate. Calibration and periodic verification are criteria to ensure measurement quality. Theese guarantee traceability and connection to national and international standards.

The Legal Metrology focuses on compliance with the regulatory obligations imposed by the State for Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments (IPFNA) and Automatic Weighing Instruments (IPFA) in the context of overload control.

Apart from operations to establish infringements of the rules of the road with regard to axle load and total laden weight, the weighing of a vehicle in several operations is prohibited. You cannot carry out a commercial transaction with an axle weight.

Taking these criteria into account, you will be able to choose the axle weight that corresponds to your company’s requirements. You will also be able to assess the overall capital and operating budget, including the cost of acquiring the equipment, its installation and periodic verification, which is not mandatory but recommended.

Comparison of the two methods

Static weighing on a weighbridge:

Mode of operation: Static weighing means that the vehicle is stationary on the weighbridge platform. The vehicle must be completely stationary during the measurement.

Load Capacity: Weighbridges are designed to withstand very heavy loads. However, the total load capacity is lower compared to the axle weighing method.

Accuracy: This method is generally more accurate because the weight is measured in static without the influence of movement.

Time: The process takes longer as each vehicle must stop completely to be weighed.

Price: The cost of installing and purchasing a weighbridge can be relatively high depending on its configuration. For quality equipment, the price range ranges from 20,000$ to 40,000$.

Truck weighbridge

Dynamic weighing with a axle weighing system:

Mode of operation: dynamic weighing is used to mesure the weight of moving vehicles. The vehicle passes on the axle weighing system at a limited speed of 1 mph to 5 mph.

Load Capacity: Axle weights can handle heavier total loads. This method of weighing by cumulating axle load measurements increases its capacity tenfold in order to calculate the total weight. This makes them particularly suitable for very heavy trucks.

Accuracy: This method may be less accurate than static weighing due to vehicle movement and the risk of load transfer between axles. Recent technologies have significantly improved the accuracy of dynamic axle weights.

Time: The process is faster because the vehicle does not have to stop completely.

Price: In general, the purchase and installation of a dynamic axle weight is lower than that of a weighbridge. They are often easier to install and require less civil engineering.. They are often easier to install and require less civil engineering. Depending on the criteria and devices selected, the price range for durable material is between 6,000$ and 15,000$.


Applications and preferences for use

Preferred situations in favour of the weighbridge:

Commercial transactions: It provides an accurate weight measurement necessary for a fair billing of the actual weight of the goods transported.

Raw materials management: It promotes the control of incoming and outgoing flows of materials for precise inventory management.

Regulatory requirements: It helps to comply with regulations and legal obligations.

Examples of use cases:

Cereal and wine cooperatives: The inputs of cereals and grape harvests require monitoring of the weight of incoming and outgoing materials to ensure traceability and fair remuneration of co-operators.

Oil & Gas Industry: Incoming and outgoing resources are weighed to optimize production management and customer deliveries.

Waste Treatment and Recycling: The costs of waste treatment and the recovery of recycled resources are calculated from the weight weighed.

Preferable situations to the advantage of dynamic axle weighing sytem:

Prevention and control of overload: It perfectly meets the requirements for the prevention of road risks and the recognition of traffic violations in terms of axle load and total load weight.

Intern control: It facilitates the control of material inputs and outputs in various contexts. It is an effective alternative when there is no commercial transaction.

Vehicles of varying size or weight: it adapts to vehicles of differents size and weight. It offers a flexible solution for continuously moving measurements without no interruption of flow.

Exemple of employement:

Road transport: Transport operators and road authorities can use this equipment in order to avoid and detect heavy truck overload.

Farm and vineyard: The harvest period is decisive because it can call into question the work of a year. The flexibility and speed of this method is paramount.

Civil engineering: Site deconstruction and soil remediation sites require the use of this type of mobile system in order to trace, control the flow of trucks, outgoing materials and prevent overloading.

Dynamix axle weighing system

The choice between the weighbridge and axle weighing system closely depends on the specific applications and requirements of each use context. This complet guide has highlighting the essential differences and specific applications of these two weighing methods. The weighbridge is distinguished by its precise static measurements in the context of commercial transactions and regulatory obligations. The dynamic axle weighing system offers an alternative solution for scenarios focused on the prevention of road overloads and internal control. Its flexibility and efficiency are particularly useful in high traffic environments.

The selection between these two technologies should not be taken lightly. It must be aligned with the specific needs of your business. You must take into account all the selection criteria as well as your budget constraints. It is important to note that each method has its distinct advantages and optimal applications. Therefore, a thorough understanding of these aspects is key to making an informed and effective choice.

We strongly encourage professionals and decision makers to consult with vehicle weighing experts and consider all available options. A thorough analysis of your specific needs, combined with the expertise of specialists, will guide you to the most suitable weighing solution in order to optimize the operational efficiency of your company.

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