Does My Business Need a Weighbridge?
Depending on your business type, having a weighbridge is not only a beneficial measurement tool - it’s also a legal one with severe financial repercussions if ignored.
Authorities take overloading any type of vehicle extremely seriously, and any excess weight poses as a hazard on the road.
Investing in a weighbridge for your business can be hugely beneficial and reduce the threat of financial penalties.
Surprisingly, there are a number of factors to deciding whether a weighbridge is cost-effective for your business. Such as on- or off-site usage and the types of vehicles your business utilises.
Here are some things you should know before deciding if this machine is entirely useful for you.
Legislation & Compliance
Knowing your vehicles' weight and weight limit is essential to being fully compliant with current legislation.
Shockingly, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency UK (DVSA) pulled over 174,000 industrial vans & vehicles in 2015, and only 10% of these vehicles were road worthy.
Since this news, DVSA have begun enforcing harsh financial penalties on businesses who are not fully compliant.
The financial penalties for overloading a vehicle are measured by each axle point, and depending on the excess weight - usually each axle is a fine of £5000.
As some vehicles have up to 6 axle points, the fines can range up to £30,000. That’s excluding any court fees, transportation costs and additional insurance premiums.
So to avoid any of this, the weights and measures legislation act 1985 advises all business owners must understand the weight of their vehicles.
Using a weighbridge offers a reliable solution to your business in avoiding these harsh penalties and being fully compliant with current legislation.
Measuring On- or Off-Site
It’s essential to identify if your business would benefit from utilising a weighbridge on or off-site.
Your quantity and frequency of shipping can greatly impact the decision making process.
Today, 5.4 million businesses in the UK rely heavily on the frequent transport of products in large quantities.
Having a weighbridge on site is hugely beneficial to miners, quarries, recycling centres and other industrial type businesses.
This is because these types of organisations often transport goods close to vehicle capacity for financial efficiency, ensuring of course to not breach their vehicles maximum weight.
If your business does not ship products as excessively – or if your vehicles are not carrying large quantities, you may wish to consider a cheaper alternative.
Open to any business or individuals in need of recording their weight/load, public weighbridges are usually found in every UK town and cost an average of £10 (+VAT) per vehicle.
Prices can vary from different weighbridge models, some machines can handle a 20 tonnes limit – where as others can measure up to 50 tonnes.
However, depending on the frequency of shipping, your cost per delivery can add up every time you leave to get weighed. This would include fuel consumption and time delays for each journey.
In a year, your business could spend more on individually weighing your vehicles at a public weighbridge than buying your own machine outright.
One of the best reasons to consider a weighbridge is for a financial benefit on your business.
Your Type of Vehicle
Naturally, the weighbridge you choose should be best suited to the type of vehicle you are weighing.
For instance, a 40 tonne lorry on a 30 tonne weighbridge would damage the platform and load cells . Therefore, weighbridges must suit the type of industrial vehicle your business benefits from.
For businesses that do not use heavy motor vehicles like HGVs, a lighter weighbridge or even axle weighing pads could be utilised (for smaller vans or trucks).
Axle pads are individual weighing instruments for smaller vehicles; these machines target specific areas of the van/truck – normally allocated to the axle areas.
Whilst these machines are cheaper – due to their smaller size and weight capabilities, it’s important to remember the axle pads would not support lorry and large vehicle weights.
For more information on axle pads, visit our recent blog on “What to look for when buying Axle Weigh Pads”.
Weighbridges are a business investment that keep costs down and avoid penalties such as fines.
This allows you to run your vehicles as close to max capacity as possible, whilst remaining in full compliance with the current legislation.
Amazingly, over 70% of the vehicles pulled over were vans and heavy duty vehicles.
This is because a small number of businesses are attempting to avoid weighing their lorry’s and vans in order to avoid paying.
If caught, both the police and the DVSA have full power to stop your vehicle. If found overloaded, financial penalties could be issued which are set from the excess of weight your vehicle was found to have.
Excessively unbalanced axles on a vehicle are classed as a road hazard. This is a serious offence - your driver shall face charges of dangerous driving, and this usually includes a prison sentence.
Investing in a weighbridge and/or axle pads protects your business and your employee’s interest from bad practices.
You should now have a better idea if your business would benefit by investing in a weighbridge.
Solent Scales supplies a wide range of industrial weighing equipment, including weighbridges and axle weigh pads. We also provide hire services, and professional scale servicing, calibration, maintenence and repair to a diverse number of industries.