When you are looking for a weighbridge for sale, it is important to remember than weighbridges are a significant capital investment and play an integral role in how efficiently a site operates. For this reason, it is worthwhile taking time to understand how they work, what the key features are and the differences between the various designs.
There are many different types of weighbridge available, each of which is designed for optimum performance in a specific setting. Various factors need to be considered when choosing a weighbridge for a particular application (such as physical site conditions, environment, usage and budget) so you may find the following information helpful when it comes to decision-making.
Above ground weighbridges (also known as surface-mounted)
- Most commonly installed weighbridges in Australia
- Foundation work is minimised
- Suitable for temporary sites or where portability is required
- Accessed by ramps at each end (choice between steel or concrete ramps)
- Larger footprint required
Pit or semi-pit mounted weighbridges (also known as fully inground or semi inground weighbridges)
- Axles are flush with the road surface
- Suitable for smaller sites as they require less surface area
- Construction of foundations and other civil work may make these a more expensive option
- However, existing pits can often be used for new weighbridge installations thereby reducing costs
- Side-access servicing may be possible
- Height constraints of the deck/vehicles need to be taken into consideration
- Suitable for weighing truck and trailers separately
- Also suitable for weighing individual axle groups
- Available in various deck combinations
- Lightweight construction enables easy portability
- Ideal for temporary sites or short-term projects
- Specialised construction for railway carriages as well as road vehicles
- Ideal for weighing single axle groups as well as split-weighing for regulatory compliance
Another important factor to consider when choosing a weighbridge is whether a steel or concrete deck would be more appropriate?
Advantages and drawbacks of steel and concrete weighbridge decks
- If treated properly (e.g. shot-blasted and galvanised), steel is extremely hardwearing. In wet, humid and potentially corrosive conditions however, a concrete deck may give better traction and offer greater longevity and performance in tough conditions.
- Steel decks can be quicker, easier and cheaper to install and are easier to relocate.
- Concrete requires additional time to pour and cure.
- Concrete decks may require additional reinforcement.
- Good design is paramount as weighbridges need to offer maximum strength and safety.
- The quality of the steel and the finishing processes in the construction of a steel deck is crucial.
It’s also important to work out whether you will be better off with analogue load cells or with digital cells – both of which are common solutions.
The design of the weighbridge will be a key determinant in your choice of loadcell and you will need to be mindful of the environmental conditions, such as if the load cells are going to be subjected to harsh conditions, wet environments and/or, physically demanding conditions e.g. shock loading, excessive twisting or torque).
The best load cells are constructed from stainless steel and are protected against a build-up of dirt, dust or water under the deck through a verified IP68 environment rating.
Digital load cells are highly accurate and can be pre-linearised for easy installation and calibration. As a rule, digital cells deliver better data handling opportunities but they may also be more costly and require more complicated repairs.
There are a number of optional accessories for weighbridges too and you should talk to a reputable weighbridge manufacturer to work out the most economical and practical solution for your site.
- Remote indicators
- Software packages for seamless integration with your existing business systems
- Traffic control systems such as entry and exit barriers
- Electronic identification systems
- Photoelectric sensors
- Security and fraud protection
- Automation options (including driver-control stations)
- Ticket printers
- CCTV video surveillance cameras
- Construction extras like walkways, stairs, mounting posts
Weighbridges play a key role in the productive and efficient operation of many different types of sites, but they are substantial investments and it is crucial to choose the design and the type that best suits the application. An experienced weighbridge and product inspection equipment supplier like AccuWeigh will happily undertake a site visit before making carefully considered recommendations to ensure that you get a quality product at the right price.
For professional advice on any aspect of weighbridge design, maintenance, calibration or repair, you should call them on 08 9259 5535 or get in touch through www.accuweigh.com.au. They are Australia’s largest supplier of weighbridges, weighing equipment and product inspection equipment and have a strong reputation for product innovation and excellence, backed by highly trained and experienced service teams.