Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Looking to maximise payload? A case study below.

Food to go supplier Adelie Foods has installed Axtec’s OnBoard Load Indicator across its fleet of 200 multi-temperature, refrigerated-body Mercedes Sprinters.

The maintenance-free system, which requires no training for Adelie Foods’ drivers, has been specified primarily, ‘to maximise payload potential across the fleet’. Axtec OnBoard Load Indicators will virtually eliminate accidental overloading, while maximising vehicle efficiency and ensuring vehicles remain within axle- and gross-weight limits.
By installing Axtec’s OnBoard Load Indicator, Adelie stands to maximise payload potential, making significant savings through improved fuel economy, and reduced wear-and-tear on safety critical vehicle components such as brakes, clutch, steering and suspension.
Adelie Foods - Maximising payload with Axtec OnBoard

Sean Glover, Head of Distribution at Adelie Foods said, “We deliver Food-to-Go to a broad range of clients in a variety of locations, and with most of our multi-drop deliveries taking place in a very short space of time – before 11am – we need to be as efficient as possible to ensure best possible customer service.
“The Axtec system gives our drivers a safe and simple means to see the fullest possible load information,” he said, “so they do not have to worry about accidental overloading, while ensuring each delivery is utilised to its maximum potential.”
The Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator gives drivers clear visual and audible warnings of potential or actual overload situations which may arise inadvertently as goods are progressively loaded or unloaded – even when the vehicle is still within its legal gross limit.
Axtec can fit the OnBoard Load Indicator in around two hours. The system is also maintenance-free, with the only routine upkeep involving resets which can be carried out by the customer, eliminating expensive routine service visits.
The Axtec system is activated when the ignition is switched on and it cannot be disabled or tampered with. It delivers information in the form of a vehicle infographic using a traffic light system – green, amber and red – as an overload situation approaches. An audible warning is also provided to alert the driver to a potential problem.

The Adelie Foods fleet deliver more than 3m freshly prepared sandwiches and snacks in 1,400 varieties to sites across the UK, from its network of five distribution centres. With around 3,500 daily deliveries of chilled, frozen and ambient temperature foods, and 98% of deliveries made before 11am, the company rely on accurate planning and vehicle efficiency.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

What's the Cost of Weighing System Calibrations?

A question that gets asked time after time is, how much is the calibration cost? Especially in regards to the Axtec OnBoard System.


It’s an important consideration if you have a large number of vans in your fleet. Having to pay for a routine calibration once or twice a year could prove to be a costly exercise.

But with Axtec OnBoard, there is no need for an expensive service engineer to visit.

A unique feature of the system means that checking the calibration can be done by the customer on site and at no expense.

It’s a task that normally takes seconds and requires no specialist tools or training.
Axtec OnBoard - With Customer Calibration Facility

Imagine the irritation of an engineer turning up on site, being there a matter of minutes to be followed by a significant bill for the work.

A hidden cost of course is the inconvenience.

Having to keep vans in the yard awaiting a visit by a service engineer means they aren’t on the road doing the job you bought them for.

And who can afford that?

And what if the van is away from the depot or can’t be calibrated for some other reason?
Does the engineer have to make another expensive visit?

Because Axtec OnBoard can be reset by the customer, the routine maintenance cost is eliminated. And you can keep the vans out on the road working and earning their keep. And calibrate them when it bests suits you.

If a van is out and about, you can catch up with it another day.

Nothing can be guaranteed to never break. But because Axtec OnBoard has no manual controls, there is nothing for a driver to fiddle with or break.

And there’s no junction box on the chassis vulnerable to moisture ingress.

And if there is little to break, maintenance costs are kept to a minimum.


So, if you don’t use Axtec OnBoard, how much does it cost to maintain your onboard systems? 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The best thing they ever bought?

It’s always nice to hear from an existing customer about how one of our systems is helping them make a profit.

And Ford & Slater, one of DAF Trucks’ largest UK dealer groups, visited us at the CV Show to  tell us they had made annual savings of £19,000 since installing one of our dynamic weighbridges.

The had previously incurred the costs and time penalties when weighing off-site, and were prompted to invest in the system after learning the same equipment had been installed at Leyland Trucks in Lancashire – the UK assembly plant for right-hand-drive DAF vehicles.

Ford & Slater have been installing Axtec OnBoard for five years now and need to weigh vehicles for calibration purposes. Knowing that the Leyland assembly plant had been using an Axtec Dynamic for a number of years gave them the confidence to install their own.
Ford & Slater's Axtec Dynamic Axle Weighbridge

And added to the substantial saving made in time and costs of visiting local weighbridges, the install time of the system and delivery times to customers has also significantly improved.

The total installation cost which was under £20,000.00 has been virtually recouped in the first year of operation and thereafter the system is adding to the companies profits.

The Axtec Dynamic will weigh any current or projected road going vehicle in around 40 seconds and is the most accurate system of its type in the world.

Axtec took responsibility for the complete installation from planning the location to all the civil works and final commissioning and testing using our unique axle weighbridge calibration vehicle.

Axtec Dynamic was the right solution for Ford & Slater but there is a vast array of systems, software and peripherals in our range. As the UK’s only dedicated manufacturer specialising exclusively axle weighing systems we can offer impartial advice on the right system for your needs.


If there are any axle weighing issues we might be able to help with, just get in touch. And next year you could be telling us about an increase in YOUR profits.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Free advice on axle weighing? Just ask!

According to recent DfT figures, van miles traveled have increased 71% since 1996. And over the same period, the number of licensed vans has also grown by well over 70%.


Much of this is down to the way we do our shopping now – every item ordered on the internet has to be delivered somehow.

But some of the growth is down to some companies using vans for the same task they used to use smaller trucks.

You can drive a van on an ordinary car licence which means no expensive driver training is required. Other factors such as the absence of regulations covering the hours a van driver can do and road-worthiness testing all make a van an attractive proposition.

Sometimes though, the lack of ‘professionalism’ of the driver can lead to overloading issues. So too can the actual objective of trying to do with a smaller vehicle, which is less costly to operate, what used to be done with a larger one.

In many instances, an overload is caused by lack of knowledge. Ignorance about the carrying capacity or how placing too much at the front or rear can overload an individual axle can cause an operator to inadvertently break the law.

The handling capabilities of an overloaded vehicle can be severely affected. Stopping distances can increase, extra pressure is put on the tyres and suspension and fuel consumption will increase. 
Axtec Static Axle Weighbridge - but is it right for your task?

Expensive as those all are to a business, the consequences of an overloaded vehicle being involved in an accident could be catastrophic.

There are a range of solutions to prevent this inadvertent overloading, the best one dependent upon the application.

Vans on multi-drop work may benefit from an OnBoardIndicator in the cab constantly monitoring front and rear weights. An operator whose vehicles are basically mobile tool boxes might find a set of 

Portable Weighpadsfor doing spot checks or driver training useful. A permanent Axle Weighbridgewould be a good option where full loads are being delivered.


With a wide range of potential solutions, impartial advice is vital and at Axtec, that advice comes free of charge.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Some times good news travels slower than bad news

And sometimes good news is hard to find but there was plenty of good news for us at the CV Show last week.

We were delighted so many existing customers visited our stand all of whom had nothing but positive things to say about their experience of Axtec and its products.

Most of those customers had been buying our systems for a number of years so it was great to hear that even after an extended period they had no complaints about the products or service they were getting.

And most importantly were happy to continue buying.

Very much good news all round.

From the customer with hundreds Axtec OnBoard systems who visited us to appraise us of his future requirements to the Dynamic Axle Weighbridge customers who wanted to arrange meetings to discuss new installations at new premises.

We had them all visit us on our stand together of course, with a whole raft of potential new clients.
There was much of interest at the NEC but so many clients made straight for our stand to talk through their axle weighing concerns.
Discussing Axle Weighing at the CV Show 2017

Some of those new contacts were looking for a replacement supplier after they’d had a previous poor experience, but most were looking for a solution to an overloading issue.

From operators of needing OnBoard Indicators to keep their vans legal whilst out on the road to major players in the logistics industry with distribution centres needing Dynamic Axle Weighbridges.

Bodybuilders, facilities providers, consultants, parcels companies – they all took time out of their busy schedules to visit our stand and discuss their vehicle weighing problems and requirements.

So now the CV Show is over for another year and the hard work really starts following up those enquiries over the months and in some cases years to turn them into new business.


And hopefully we’ll welcome those people back to our stand in the coming years to tell us about their own positive experience.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Some real world figures on overloading.

The statisticians tell us that around 80% of the vans on the road are overloaded. We’re not sure how large a sample that is based upon but it’s an alarming figure.


In the world of real vans, real weights and real drivers, one of our customers has established his own level of overloading and, whilst the sample figure is relatively low, the incidence of overloading is high.

As part of their drive to ensure they are operating legally, one of the major utility companies bought some portable weighpads from us last year. With a number of depots around the company, the Transport Manager wanted to have a weighing facility in his car to do on site spot checks and driver training.

The perfect application for weighpads incidentally.
Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator - preventing van overloads

During a recent exercise at one of his depots, he weighed 60 vehicles before they left for work. Alarmingly, he found 40 of them were overloaded. That’s two-thirds of them.

Some were only slightly over the legal limit but some were seriously overloaded, one or two approaching 300kg overweight. A significant figure on a 3.5t van and well within the area that could attract a prosecution.

The reasons were the usual ones given by drivers such as not clearing scrap from the van after a job, keeping ‘one-extra’  spare component in the back just in case etc. These are common, daily occurrences for many operators. All avoidable but all could possibly lead to a prohibition, prosecution, and a fine.

And with overloading adversely affecting the brakes, steering, clutch suspension, tyres, fuel consumption etc, all of which are not cheap, not to mention possibly invalidating the insurance in the event of an accident, overloading your vans is something to be avoided.


If overloading is something you would like to discuss a resolution to in detail, come and see us at CV Show next week where you’ll find us on stand 5A79.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Nothing like seeing it demonstrated

Having vast experience in axle weighing means that we know all about the see-saw effect.

But not everyone, including some that have been in transport a long time are aware of what can happen when the load is incorrectly positioned on the vehicle.

A training exercise for transport and depot managers at one of the major builders merchants produced an interesting reaction from those attending when we showed them what happened.

Placing a set of portable weighpads, correctly set up and on flat level ground, beneath the front axle of a 2-axle rigid we then got them to place a couple of pallets of bricks right behind the cab. With plenty of space left on the load bed our audience were genuinely surprised to learn that the vehicle was now illegal because the front axle was overloaded.

We then put some pallets behind the back axle. And again there was genuine surprise when everyone learnt that, even though the overall weight had increased, the vehicle was now legal.
Weighpads - great for driver and operator training.

The action of putting load behind the back axle had caused the front axle weight to decrease.
The see-saw effect nicely demonstrated.

The issue of load distribution is often overlooked even by those with a great deal of experience in managing a fleet of vehicles but it is high point loads that cause most damage to the road surface.

Which is why there is a national network of axle weighbridges to check not only gross weight, but individual axle weights as well.

A vehicle can be well within its maximum gross weight but could be operating illegally because the distribution of the load is incorrect.

This is often a problem for operators with diminishing loads. The vehicle leaves the yard perfectly legal but as weight is removed from the rear, it is vital that the driver redistributes the load or the front axle can become overloaded.

As we said, even those with great experience may not be aware of this and have to have it demonstrated to them.


If you think your staff could benefit from some free axle weight training, feel free to get in touch.