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Excavator scales improve job quoting

Supplier: Trimble (including LOADRITE products)
18 March, 2013

Three Hitachi Z-axis 200 and 210s are excavating an ex-rail depot in an upmarket suburb of Auckland, New Zealand's largest city.

The project
The excavation is the first phase for the construction of a multi-storey office block and carpark. The material was being diverted to five dump sites depending trucks queues.

The problem

Material for excavation includes incinerator ash from a small power station, refuse from the depot including rail ties, metal cable, clay and soil. The range of material density meant truck weights, quotes and billing were difficult to estimate.

The variance in material density altered truck payload weights so trucks were often over or under-loaded. In some cases these variances could account for all the profit of a trip. The difference in material density also made the project difficult to quote.

The solution
Loadrite installed the X-2350 on board scales to the loading excavator in the first stage to ensure accurately loaded truck weights. Then a USB data module was added to capture all the loading reports for the manager, Brian Mahoney.

After working with a range of materials that vary in density, the data obtained by the LOADRITE X-2350 allowed Fixed Cost Civil Engineering to accurately quote the project regardless of the wide range of material for excavation.

In the cab, Henk (the excavator operator) has a remote 'Add' button on his joystick, so "I don’t need to touch the keypad" he says, "My finger hits the remote button nice and easy."

Next a wireless transmitter was installed in the cab to transmit information to a pole mounted printer. Truck drivers simply uplift a ticket from the printer that logs the truck weight, time and also directs the driver to where the material should be deposited.

"It’s pretty straight forward", says James Milne, one of the drivers, "It's good having the weight data, and it means that we are getting as much volume out of the site as possible, every load."

Streamlined workflow

"It gives me piece of mind," says Brian Mahoney. "Because we had materials with different density some trucks could be underloaded."

This under-loading could account for all the profit on that journey. The truck drivers could feel like you are ripping them off. The Loadrite system means that we load every truck to capacity, maximise profits and have certainty that operations are running well.

After the installation of the first Loadrite scales, Fixed Cost Civil has ordered the second system and are about to order their third.

"We can almost throw the book away," says Henk, "…all the information is available on the scales. Right now the Loadrite system provides all the data, and the book is used as a backup to verify accuracy. We have added a code to each of the trucks, it’s easier than using the registration plate."

All the trucks codes and dump site codes are loaded into the scales with a key inside the excavator cab. Henk is able to automatically log the truck weights via his Loadrite scales and easily direct the truck according to a phone call from the dump site.

"If they get too many trucks on one site, they can't cope," says Henk, "…so I just divert the next truck to a different dump."

To download this case study as a PDF click here