A weighbridge plays a vital role in many aspects of road transportation and logistics from a legislative as well as an operational perspective and accuracy is critical.
However, given that many weighbridges are situated in rugged, harsh environments and the conditions they endure can be arduous, it is imperative that ongoing efforts are put into ensuring that their performance and reliability aren’t compromised and that breakdowns are avoided, or at least minimised.
Let’s take a look at how weighbridge breakdowns can be avoided.
First prize is obviously to prevent breakdowns from occurring in the first place as downtime can be frustrating and expensive - and the most cost-effective way of doing this is to commit to a regular preventative maintenance and service contract with either the manufacturer or with a recognised weighbridge service company. Ongoing inspection and maintenance by qualified personnel will ensure that the reliability, accuracy and importantly, legal compliance of the weighbridge aren’t being compromised in any way - and that the structure and the equipment are operating optimally at all times.
That said, responsibility for minimising the chances of a breakdown is also incumbent upon the operators - not just the maintenance team. Very clear operational processes and procedures need to be put in place and strictly adhered to - and ongoing refresher training should be undertaken to make sure that the weighbridge operators know and understand their responsibilities.
Avoiding weighbridge breakdowns isn’t only about regular maintenance and servicing however. There are many other factors that need to be taken into consideration if costly downtime is to be prevented.
Here’s a brief run-down on some of the key factors that can lead to weighbridge breakdowns:
- Moisture in the load cells
- Insufficient room for vehicles to enter/exit the weighbridge
- Access ramps that are too steep
- Corroded beams
- Inferior structural integrity of weighbridge components
- Accumulation of dirt or debris under the plate or around the load cells
- Water-logged pit
- Natural events such as lightning strikes, earth tremors, humidity etc
- Surges in electrical current
- Mishandling of equipment
- Damage to cables
Most, if not all, of these will be covered by a programme of regular inspection and maintenance but whilst weighbridges are designed to be robust and can withstand tough operating conditions, there will be occasions when things go wrong and repairs are required. A mobile test unit can be dispatched to identify and fix the problem so that downtime is minimised and the weighing equipment recalibrated as quickly as possible. And that brings into question another important point - and that is if a weighbridge is being used for trade purposes, it is imperative that the maintenance team that is carrying out the repairs is licensed to certify the weighing equipment as legal for trade use.
Many weighbridge service and maintenance plans can be tailor made to suit a customer’s individual requirements and/or installations and can range from a simple annual service and calibration to a site-wide contract.
According to AccuWeigh, the largest provider of weighbridge services in Australia, weighbridge service is about ensuring high weighing accuracy of the measuring equipment as well as ensuring optimum load cell life expectancy. AccuWeigh's highly trained service technicians are fully experienced in all facets of weighbridges including weighbridge installation, servicing, repairs, extensions , certifications and weighbridge relocations and with eight branches across Australia, help is never be far away. Contact them on 08 9259 5535 or visit their website, www.accuweigh.com.au for more information.