Although the concept of a weighbridge is a fairly simple one, the practical aspects of installation and the technology involved are far from straightforward.
Weighbridges have to be fit-for-purpose and highly accurate in order to fulfil their function of providing precise measurements over and over again, often in harsh environments. Therefore, when it comes to buying one, it’s vital to ensure that all you comprehensively covered all bases.
There are many different types of weighbridge including above-ground foundations, semi-pit foundations, fully in ground foundations, relocatable foundations, fully portable steel construction and multiple deck combinations – and the type you choose will depend on a combination of many different factors.
So, if buying a new weighbridge is on your radar, then these five factors may be helpful as you work out what’s best for your particular application.
Vehicle sizes and weights
When choosing a weighbridge, it’s essential to factor in the maximum vehicle size that the installation needs to accommodate. Weighbridges that use a single deck are best for weighing vehicles up to standard semi-trailer size (generally 18 – 20 metres long), whereas a multi-deck or twin-deck weighbridge are suited to situations where longer trucks and trailers need to be weighed.
The size and gradient of the site, the turning circle of the vehicles (if required) plus its proximity to other buildings, existing roads or structures will largely dictate what type of weighbridge you choose. Many weighbridges are in-motion installations which don’t require vehicles to stop, but if space is limited, a customer may be forced to choose a single-ended weighbridge.
The environmental conditions are also an important consideration, as factors such as flooding, lightning and high winds all need to be factored into the eventual choice of weighbridge.
Concrete platform weighbridges are popular but they may not be allowed on leased land or in environmentally sensitive locations, so this is another factor that needs to be taken into consideration when buying a weighbridge.
Also, many suppliers only supply off-the-shelf products, so it’s advantageous to find a weighbridge supplier that can custom-design a weighbridge that suits the exact site conditions and layout of your particular installation.
What will it be used for?
If the weighbridge is to be used for buying and selling products (i.e. capturing legal weights), then it will need to be trade approved by a licensed scale technician. Will it take high traffic and heavy vehicle payloads? Will there be a need for traffic control measures? Does the weighbridge software need to be customised for your individual needs, operated remotely or integrated with your existing systems? You’ll need to answer all of these questions about the purpose of the weighbridge before making a decision.
Budget is a consideration when deciding on what type of weighbridge to install, and it’s best to get a full costing from a reputable weighbridge supplier before signing any contract. Different types of weighbridge carry different costs. For example, concrete platforms are generally more economical whilst in-ground installations can be more expensive due to the cost of excavation and construction – so it’s best to get expert advice.
The choice of supplier is just as important as the choice of weighbridge. After-sales support is critical – and because weighbridges are precision instruments, it is imperative that you have peace-of-mind that you’ve purchased a reliable product and that you have full back-up in case you ever require repairs, maintenance or technical advice.
One supplier with a reputation for quality products and service is AccuWeigh, Australia’s largest supplier of weighbridges, weighing scales and product inspection equipment – and with a portfolio of over 1000 weighbridges throughout Australasia, we have the experience and expertise to identify your weighbridge needs and provide you with the best solution. Contact us today.