It can be easy to forget that beneath the tough exterior of a weighbridge is a highly sensitive precision instrument which needs careful handling and regular maintenance to ensure it delivers optimum results.
Weighbridges fulfil a vital function and it is imperative that their accuracy and reliability aren't compromised in any way, therefore the operators or owners of a weighbridge have to take precautions to eliminate or at least, minimise, the possibility of a weighbridge breakdown.
This article looks at some of the leading causes of weighbridge breakdowns and presents solutions as to how to prevent them.
Structural integrity is compromised
For a weighbridge to deliver accurate, reliable results on a consistent basis, the structure has to stand up to the rigorous demands of heavy vehicle usage as well as withstand any harsh climatic conditions. If the strength or structural integrity of the weighbridge is compromised in any way, for example if the steel beams flex or bend excessively or if the span deflection exceeds allowable limits when loaded, then the performance and reliability of the weighbridge will be affected.
Rusting or corrosion of steel parts
If the steel frames or components of the weighbridge haven't been properly galvanised, they could be susceptible to corrosion which could negatively affect the integrity of the structure and ultimately, the accuracy of the readings. It's therefore imperative to ensure the quality of the workmanship and the quality of the materials when it comes to weighbridge construction.
Flooding and build-up of debris
Poor design can lead to issues with regards to flooding of pit-mounted weighbridges. Adequate drainage is essential to ensure that water drains away freely and doesn't damage the load cells. It's also essential that debris (such as sand, soil, mud and rubbish) isn't allowed to build up as this could also lead to weighbridge breakdowns - and also that harsh chemicals aren't used to clean dust, oil spillages, dirt etc from the deck of the weighbridge. Regular inspections and cleaning will usually clear up any build-up.
The highly sensitive load cells and instrumentation can be damaged by electrical currents, for example when electric welding is carried out on the weighbridge - so to prevent weighbridge breakdowns as a result of electrical interference, the rule is NOT to weld on the weighbridge. It's also imperative to have a stable, quality source of power for the weighbridge.
Problems can also occur when heavy vehicles drive too fast when they access or exit in motion weighbridges or if they use excessive braking. The load cells can be adversely impacted through sudden, harsh braking - so it's important to have speed restrictions or traffic management plans on the approaches and exits from the weighbridge.
Prevention is clearly far better than cure - and in order to prevent weighbridge breakdowns, a programme of regular inspection, maintenance and servicing is essential.
Load cells should also be checked regularly to ensure they are calibrated correctly and that the readings are accurate. It also goes without saying that partnering with an established weighbridge company with a reputation for the quality of their design, workmanship and products as well as for their comprehensive after-sales service is a must if weighbridge breakdowns are to be eliminated, or at least kept to a minimum.
Ultrahawke is Australia's largest weighbridge supplier - and we not only have an extensive range of weighbridges for sale, we've also stood behind the quality of our workmanship and our products for over 150 years. This ongoing focus on design, workmanship, quality and service has enabled us to build consumer confidence in our products and to maintain strong relationships with our clients.
Time is money and no company can afford to have an unreliable weighbridge or one that is constantly out of service. If you're looking for weighbridges for sale and want a manufacturer who is as committed to the prevention of weighbridge breakdowns as you are, contact the professionals at Ultrahawke on 03 9357 7470 or visit our website, www.ultrahawke.com.au.