Thursday, 8 December 2016

Enforcement DEFINITELY not a 9 to 5 job.

Operating goods vehicles is rarely a 9 to 5 job. 

Overnight deliveries are very much part of the job and in some industries essential and some parts of the economy would shut down if it were not for night time deliveries.

Some in the industry though believe that enforcement only takes place during the hours of daylight and that operating at night keeps them safe from prosecution.

We know though that is far from the truth.

We were chatting to a white van man the other day who told us a tale of being stopped with an overload. One of the enormous number of vans which the statistics tell us are overloaded on the roads every day.

This guy was delivering sundries to takeaway restaurants and does so when their customers are open which of course is during the evening. He was incredulous that the weighbridge site was open so late, as was his boss.

His boss was also incredulous about the amount of product that had to be removed to get the vehicle legal. Almost 50% of the goods on the vehicle according to the driver.

Even allowing for a little exaggeration, it seems that the van was seriously overloaded.

In a competitive market, letting a customer down can be disastrous.

Axtec OnBoard protecting vans from overloads.
With a van check weighed at a location more than an hour from base, a driver now missing deliveries due to the hold up plus having to find another van and driver to take the excess load, the cost of sorting the problem out was enormous.

For many van operators overloading is accidental. For those trying to remain legal but who might make an honest mistake, a system like the Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator would help solve that problem.

However, given the amount of weight removed from the vehicle described above it’s hard not to conclude that the overloading was deliberate and probably a regular occurrence. And maybe the company thought that operating at night would be safe with little chance of getting stopped.

Just like some transport operators though, the enforcement authorities also work anti social hours and the risk of getting caught late at night very much exists.

Friday, 18 November 2016

It's good to just help out sometimes

We undertook a weighing exercise for a customer recently, with the help of those good people from DVSA, who had concerns about possibly overloading a doubledeck trailer.

Being based in a leafy part of the country it might be thought that an operator can pass under the radar of the authorities but that’s not the case when a long distance trunking operation is involved.

Quite naturally, the business has to run efficiently using the minimum number of vehicles but maximising the carrying capacity on every trip.

But that runs the risk of overloading so they needed to find an accurate, calibrated axle weighbridge to make sure they were running legally laden. With no local weighbridges around, and certainly none open during their operating hours, they approached us for help.

Once again it's an example of how there is a need for publicly available axle weighing systems around the UK. Axle weighing systems that are open when the transport industry needs them, frequently anything but what are considered normal working hours.
Could an Axtec help increase your profits?

There is a market out there for this sort of facility just waiting for enterprising operators to install their own dynamic axle weighbridges and charge other operators using it.

We invested our money into this by offering a system for hauliers check their axle and gross weights for a charge of only £6 per vehicle. And it now generates between £6-£10,000.00 income a year.

The purchase price of an installation might be £18-£20,000.00 but an income of £6,000.00  per year would pay for it in very short order. And the cost can be spread over a number of years too so no large upfront investment might be needed.

A well designed axle weighing system would have a life expectancy of 30 years or more so plenty of time to recoup the cost and thereafter generate income which goes straight onto your bottom line.

It's not only charging for using the axle weighbridge that could up your profits though. What if an overload is discovered? You could charge for a forklift to remove the excess and for its storage.  Or maybe even use one of your own vehicles to deliver the extra load. All at a price of course.

And rather than us have to arrange access to a DVSA weighbridge, we'd be quite happy referring those customers who need to weigh axles to your site instead.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Changing rules?

One of the results of Brexit maybe that the rules governing goods vehicles could potentially change. 

Whilst not all EU rules are applied in every country, most member states have incorporated a good many of them into their own legislation.

Whilst some of what was decreed in Brussels might be removed, there doesn’t seem a lot to be gained going back to legislation that harks back to the 60’s. Roads, vehicles and technology have changed immensely over the years.

Plus the fact that rewriting the rules would be immensely complicated and probably take years, it seems a reasonable assumption that most of what currently applies will continue to do so.

National governments though have always been able to set their own internal rules when it comes to weights. The UK limit of 44 tonnes is lower than that applied in Ireland for instance.

In the UK there are already trials of longer artic trailers underway. These could be of huge benefit to operators who carry light but bulky materials although they come with their own potential problems; not all distribution centres can readily cope with bigger vehicles.
Axtec Dynamic will weigh any size of vehicle

Whatever changes there may be to size or weight, all Axtec systems are already able to cope.

The Axtec Dynamic Axle Weighbridge will weigh any current or projected road going vehicle regardless of size. One of the reasons the system is so extensively used is that whatever you are weighing the procedure is the same. 

Whether it’s a car derived van or one of the longer trailers currently being trialed, they can all be weighed on the Axtec Dynamic.

Similarly, Axtec OnBoard, which will fit to any 2-axle rigid and most multi-axle rigids is programmed specifically for the vehicle it is being fitted to which means that any changes in vehicle size or weight will have no effect on how it works.

All Axtec systems are effectively future proof then. So whatever the post-Brexit world throws up in terms of weight legislation, there will be an Axtec system able to ready to deal with it.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

And the cost of having your van stopped is...

Estimated at £4,000.00 per day.

That's the figure estimated by DVSA as published in their Guidance notes. You can access these notes by clicking this link. 

The DVSA stops more than 15,000 vans a year. And of those stopped, almost 84% of them were found to be overloaded. In fact, overloading was the single biggest fault found with vans by some considerable margin.

Unlike Large Goods Vehicles, that is anything over 3,500kg gross weight, vans can be operated by anyone. No special licence or training is required and yet there are estimated to be around 3.6 million of them on our roads.

Many of them are obviously making deliveries, supermarket home delivery vans and parcel delivery vans but often they are seen as a mobile toolbox.
Axtec OnBoard - prevents van overloads

In those cases the driver of the van is employed as something else – a service engineer or installation engineer – and little thought is given to the van they drive with the emphasis being on how many physical tools or equipment they can get in the back rather than the weight of it.

The design weight of the van though must not be exceeded. The design gross weight includes the van, the driver and any passengers, fuel, the load and anything else that happens to be in the van.

And these days, most drivers and passengers will be kitted out with safety boots, hard hats, hi-viz jackets etc all of which add weight to the vehicle.

The cost of having a van stopped is far in excess of any fine that may be applied. Finding another van and driver and then sending them possibly miles to the prohibited vehicle is very costly.

Or how about the time and effort that might need to go into preparing a case and attending court?

And with your van prohibited you’re not getting to the job. That delivery isn’t being made. The vital piece of equipment isn’t being serviced. Your customer is being let down.

The bad will that a late delivery or missed service call generates could cost your company considerably.

Overloading a van is something that is costly and needs to be avoided so Axtec offer a range of systems to prevent it with prices starting under £1,000.00

So which could you afford more?

I would guess it’s certainly not the £4,000.00 the DVSA estimate it could be costing you.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Another interesting conversation about weighpads

So that’s the RWM show over for another year.

And as with every exhibition it threw up some interesting conversations.

One that stuck in our minds is a conversation we’ve had many times over the years. It was from a company who originally contacted us about three years ago. At the time they felt that they were best served by some portable weighpads which they bought from a competitor.  Not a view we shared as we felt a more permanent solution would be a better option.

Unfortunately, as with many others in the past, they found out the hard, and expensive way, that weighpads weren’t really up to the job they wanted to do. Their weighpads spent more time away being repaired, recalibrated or awaiting parts than actually doing what they had been bought for.

Often seen as a cheap option, and there are plenty of very cheap ones on the market, - hand portable, no special installation work, simply park each axle on the one at a time – they seem the perfect solution for weighing axles.

Weighpads are ideal for many applications and we have plenty of customers who use them very successfully.
Portable weighpads - great for some jobs but not for all!

But for long term, heavy duty use by non-skilled personnel they are rarely the best or most cost effective option. Especially if they are cheap ones of which there are many on the interet.

Driver training and spot checks out on site are perfect examples of where weighpads score. When used by a responsible manager who is going to look after them, make sure the batteries are charged and ensure they are used correctly, they can provide very good results.

But even then they have a limited lifespan, typically five years whereas a fixed system can last for 30 years or more.

We’re happy to discuss and demonstrate weighpads with anyone who is interested in them. Even offer short term trials to determine if they are the right tool for the job.

But we’ve got a long and growing list of customers who have tried them, usually after getting poor advice, and found them to be wanting.

And that customer from the show – we’re off to see him in a few days to discuss a more permanent, less fragile solution for his needs.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Three days and counting....

Next week, everybody who is anybody in the waste industry will descend on the NEC for the RWM exhibition.

Between 13th and 15th September, it's the place to be if you have any involvement in waste and recycling.

Axtec are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and we’re proud to have attended every CIWM show in all its formats since day one. This year you’ll find us on stand 5P151 so come and have a chat.

The RWM is an internationally recognised industry event, the only one of its kind in fact,  a great event and as usual will be brimming with new ideas for the waste processor.

Whether you are processing or producing waste there will be new innovations and ideas throughout all the halls and it’s not to be missed. Meeting up with existing clients is an essential part of the show. Some of the projects we are involved in are very long term so keeping abreast of progress and bringing them up to speed with the latest in axle weighing technology is vital.

Some of the equipment on show, ours included, needs a ‘hands on’ approach to buy. Seeing the equipment in a working environment can be vital. Will it fit to my vans? Can it weigh multi-axle bulkers? How will it fit into my operation? Will it fit at all??

There’s only so much that can be learnt by downloading a brochure from the web and talking to people face to face, arranging site visits and post show meetings is essential when buying axle weighing systems.
Look out for us on stand 5P151 at RWM

Axle weighing is extensively used in the waste industry today and offer a number of advantages. Traditional plate weighbridges still have a role to play, but advances in technology now mean an axle weigher can be a better option.

Need to save space? A dynamic axle weighbridge doesn’t up anything like as much room as a surface mounted weighbridge.
Making sure your caged tippers are legal out on the road? An OnBoard Load Indicator will do that for you.

Doing spot checks or driver training? Maybe some portable weighpads would offer a solution.

So if you need new ideas for your waste operation, the RWM at the NEC 13th, 14th, 15th April September is the place to be.

And if it’s axle weighing you want to chat about, we'll be on stand 5P151. So feel free to come along and say hello.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Weighing Waste? See you at the RWM!

Only three weeks until the biggest exhibition for the waste and recycling industry takes place at the NEC.

And once again we’re delighted to be at the RWM, stand 5P151 from 13-15 September if you’d like to come and chat.

There isn’t much waste handled these days that isn’t weighed at some stage and if it’s bulk weighing or material that needs weighing on the vehicle, we’ve probably dealt with it before.

No one system can serve every requirement though which is why the RWM is such a good opportunity to chat about your requirements. The right system for keeping caged tippers legal probably won’t be the right system for monitoring throughput at a recycling centre.

And our customers include both those applications and more.

If you have an issue with keeping collection vehicles legal when out on the road, then the Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator will monitor weights throughout the round.

If it’s maximising loads on bulk vehicles taking waste for processing or monitoring throughput for statistical purposes, then the Axtec Dynamic Axle Weighbridge will provide the information you need.

But both of those systems are capable of much more than just weighing axles.

Axtec OnBoard can output detailed information to a tracking device – individual axle weights, gross weights, overload alarms – which may then be reported back to base.

The Dynamic Axle Weighbridge can be Stamped as a Public Weighbridge, the only one of its type which can, which means you can offer it to other hauliers and legally charge them for the use of it thus adding a revenue stream to your operation.
Latest Touch Screen Technology on show at RWM

This is the same system that is the choice of the government body DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency) for its national network of vehicle weight enforcement weighbridges and is certified as the most accurate system of its type in the world.

Both these systems make use of the latest touch screen and wireless technology making them simple to use, reliable and difficult to break. Vital when working in the harsh world of recycling.

The RWM is an excellent opportunity to discuss the latest thinking and technology in recycling and we’ll be there with the latest products in our range.

So if your shopping list includes vehicle weighing equipment come and see us, stand 5P151 remember, and let’s talk.