Weighbridges are platforms that are used to determine the weight of heavy-duty trucks, trailers, buses and other large vehicles. They are suitable for weighing vehicles in transit as they ferry goods in and out of production or distribution centres. According to the Australian National Measurement Institute (NMI), at least $750 billion worth of goods and utilities in the country are traded based on measurements such as weight.
In order to promote accuracy in measurements, you cannot have a one size fits all weighbridge system. With varying circumstances, budgets and industries, you need to find weighbridges that are best suited for your specific application. Weighbridges in use today can be classified according to their modes of operation, type of construction, purpose and many more. This article takes a closer look into the three main types of weighbridges used in Australia as listed below
Above-ground weighbridges are the easiest to deploy and the most affordable. This is because they do not need any excavation or major civil works in their set up. They are typically made of steel frames, which provide the rigidity and strength necessary to support heavy vehicles. Moreover, it is easy to maintain this type of weighbridge because all of its components are above the ground.
However, above-ground weighbridges require considerably more space than other weighbridges. These systems require incorporating ramps that are at least 3 to 5 meters long so that the trucks can climb on and off the weighbridge safely. They also need ample allowance on the sides of the weighbridge for the safety of the truck and ground operators.
In-Ground and Pit Weighbridges
In-ground weighbridges have several applications. They are all built into the ground and include designs such as Pit, Semi-pit, flush and in-ground weighbridges among others. Many in-ground weighbridges are designed to lie on the same level as the ground surrounding the platform, while others are built below the surface.
In-ground weighbridges are best for locations with limited space because they don’t require ramps. Lying flush with the ground surrounding the platform eliminates the need for ramps. Moreover, the trucks are free to approach the platform from any direction.
The construction of in-ground weighbridges requires varying degrees of excavation and civil works depending on the depth of the pit and bedrock composition. It is advisable to use this solution in sites that have space limitations as well as affordable excavation rates.
Portable weighbridges are used in special cases where it may be easier to move the weighbridge rather than the vehicles to be weighed. This is common for remote regions or projects with multiple loading locations such as in the logging and mining industries. Portable weighbridges can be attached or mounted on to larger trucks or trailers.
With a portable weighbridge, you can weigh your entire fleet of trucks at your distribution or production site. If you have a large fleet, you can save a significant amount of fuel by weighing your trucks on-site rather than driving to the weighbridge. Moreover, portable weighbridges are easy to maintain because they can be driven directly into a relevant service centre.
If you are in the market for a weighbridge, there are several additional factors to consider such as your regional standards and permission processes. Moreover, the quality of your weighbridge is dependent on the credibility and expertise of your suppliers. It is advisable to select a supplier that offers attractive support services such as calibration and breakdown assessment. Your supplier should also be able to furnish you with accessories such as remote scale displays and ticket printers among others.