Driver-operated Weighbridges

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Posted in: , on 16. Dec. 2005 - 13:45

December 16, 2005

Driver-operated weighbridges ensure leading contractor does not ‘slip up’ during winter maintenance program

Twelve driver-operated Eurodeck weighbridges supplied by leading weighing specialists Weightron Bilanciai are playing an important role in keeping over 800 miles of roads and motorways in Yorkshire and Humberside free of ice and snow. During the winter months the economy of this huge area depends heavily on the road infrastructure continuing to operate relatively smoothly and, with many roads crossing some of the bleakest areas in Britain, ‘round the clock’ effective and efficient management of the gritting operation is vitally important.

The 9 metre, 40 tonne weighbridges have been installed at salt storage depots for CarillionWSP who work on behalf of the Highways Agency as Managing Agent Contractor (MAC) for what is known as Area 12. This area encompasses the motorways and trunk roads of Yorkshire and peripheral areas from Skipton to Scarborough, Grimsby to Kingston-upon-Hull and Woodall to Ashton-under-Lyne. Over 50 gritting lorries are used to keep the roads clear and almost 25,000 tonnes of salt is in storage across the region during the winter months. (Each precautionary grit uses up around 300 tonnes of salt). Winter maintenance is only part of CarillionWSP’s activities and over 350 staff and operatives ensure that they operate on the network 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Weightron Bilanciai were awarded the contract based on their technological expertise, product reliability and comprehensive service support. Originally CarillionWSP had considered using axle weighers but the weighbridges were chosen in order to provide a more accurate record of salt usage to ensure they fulfil their contractual obligations. Another important factor taken into account is that the design of the Weightron weighbridges, which are fitted with steel ramps at each end, allows them to be relocated relatively easily if requirements change.

The weighbridges use fully weld-sealed stainless steel rocker pin load cells which produce excellent performance and reliability. The base plate has an insulating disc which provides electrical isolation to minimise the effects of lightning strikes. A sealing ring prevents any debris entering the base and the single column of the load cell is specially designed to compensate for the normal non-linearity associated with column load cells. The full glass to metal cable entry seal and stainless bellows ensure full sealing to IP68 and the units can withstand extended periods underwater. The rocker pin concept provides an effective energy restoring system which ensures the weighbridge deck returns quickly to equilibrium after the vehicle has driven onto the weighbridge.

Each of the legal for trade approved weighbridges is fitted with the Weightron’s innovative Self800 driver- operated terminals. This unit, which provides a complete material handling management system, has been specifically designed to speed up vehicle weighing procedures, especially at unmanned sites.

Access is via a designated swipe card and this allows drivers to use the weighbridges at any time of the day or night. The terminal recognises individual vehicles registered in the system, including tare weights and registration details. The large touch control back-lit LCD display provides clear information which is easy to use by both vehicle and site operators.

The system can be used in two different modes of operation, single weighing and double weighing.

In the single weighing mode, when a card for a >known vehicle= is swiped, the terminal retrieves previously stored data relating to that vehicle=>s registration number and tare weight. Using this information, the terminal then issues a ticket showing the calculated net weight of material being collected (or delivered), thereby removing the need for a second weighing.

For vehicles not registered in the data base or to check the vehicle is empty when it arrives, the driver stops the vehicle on the weighbridge, swipes the card and the terminal records the inbound weight data. After loading or unloading has taken place, the driver returns to the weighbridge and having swiped the card again, the net weight of material is automatically calculated.

Comprehensive weight and vehicle data from each of the twelve sites is printed out and this is combined with other records obtained from the vehicle’s GPS tracking systems to provide comprehensive information on the distribution of salt.

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