Whilst vehicle weighing technology continues to advance to include portable vehicle scales like axle weigh pads, weighbridges remain relatively unchanged. They are still long, robust platforms deisnged for weighing large vehicles like lorries.
There remains, to this day, just two different forms of weighbridges. However, choosing between them can still be quite difficult. Should you go for a pit-mounted or a surface-mounted variety?
What is the difference?
The difference between the respective weighbridge systems is relatively simple. A pit-mounted weighbridge sits in a pit. All of the mechanisms, wiring and load cells reside underground, allowing the weighing surface to be completely level with the ground.
A surface-mounted weighbridge, by contrast, simply sits on top of the ground. It requires ramps for vehicles to drive on and off and is arguably the more common of the two.
Which is better?
Which vehicle weighing scales are better depends entirely on the circumstances of your business.
Pit-mounted weighing systems come with a number of benefits. There is a seamless transition between weighing and non-weighing road, removing any difficulties for vehicles to “get onto” the weighing platform.
Whilst a weighbridge will generally cause a bottleneck in operations, a pit mounted equivalent provides slightly more flexibility in a vehicle’s ability to turn, overtake etc. – allowing operational flexibility.
Finally, a pit-mounted weighbridge takes up less space, as there doesn’t need to be maintenance access around the outside of it or space taken up by ramps.
However, a pit-mount generally requires rigorous and vigilant maintenance to ensure its smooth operation and long term effectiveness. With incorrect care, the pit can easily fill with water, parts can malfunction and rust can begin to set in.
They are naturally more expensive than the surface-mount alternative, due to the additional labour of the pit groundwork and maintenance.
Surface-mounted weighbridges are a much more flexible option. They can be placed wherever they are needed (and moved afterwards if necessary). Whilst surface-mounted weighbridges generally require more room to accommodate maintenance access around the outside and loading/unloading ramps, they are a more affordable option for most businesses due to a lack of groundwork.
Surface-mounts are generally a better option for businesses due to simpler maintenance, flexibility and ease of installation.
Solent Scales are leading suppliers of this kind of weighing equipment and associated weighbridge software.
Our surface-mounts are specifically designed to be low profile and as flexible as possible. This type of weighbridge has a modular deck which allows for relatively easy deck expansion if needed.