A second hand weighbridge or a brand new one; this kind of question has been asked since companies have needed to invest in tools and machinery. Can you “make do” with a second hand one, is a brand new one a worthwhile investment? It’s a balancing act of long-term gain vs short-term goals.
If most businesses are honest with themselves, they would love to have a brand new weighbridge. A brand new weighbridge comes with assurances, a calibration certificate and support from manufacturer and supplier. We face similar problems in everyday life, should you buy that new car or should you just buy an old used one?
However, when faced with this kind of problem, you’re aware of the dangers. An old used car could break down, fail its MOT or need replacement parts, all of which will cost you money. In serious cases, it might cost you more than if you simply decided to invest in the brand new car originally.
So, whilst you may know how a car can fail you, you might not be aware of all the ways that a used weighbridge can cost your company more than originally intended. In the long run, investing in the quality new weighbridge from the beginning may be the better option.
Weighbridges have a limited life span, they cannot simply run forever. Most weighbridges will last between 5-10 years, depending on the construction and how well they have been maintained.
If a used weighbridge is getting to be towards the end of its lifespan, then you have to seriously question the value of the investment. A second hand steel weighbridge could have signs of severe rust, cracking and splitting which can be relatively easy to conceal with a lick of paint. The deck of a weighbridge could be dangerously thin through years of constant use.
Even if the second hand weighbridge appears to be in “brand new condition” there’s a good chance that it could cost more than you expect in future. Technology moves quickly and manufacturers are quick to drop support for their old products in favour of the new. An aging weighbridge is most likely using last generation load-cells which are now incredibly expensive to fix, service, and/or replace. Should your second hand weighbridge’s load cells fail, it’ll cost as much to replace them as you originally paid for the weighbridge.
In addition, when using a weighbridge for commercial purposes, there are codes and regulations that you and your second hand weighbridge will need to conform to. There’s no guarantee that the used weighbridge you purchase will be legally compliant with the latest legislation. Some manufacturers will even password protect their indicators so that only they can update or modify it to be compliant.
Moving and Installation
So, let’s assume everything is perfect about this second hand used weighbridge and you’re happy to proceed with your purchase. Since you’re not buying from a reputable retailer, there’s no one to assist you in arranging pick-up and delivery. You will need to organise a crane and transporter to move the bridge and, depending on the size and weight of it, you may need to organise a “movement order” to move the oversized and abnormal load – an additional cost.
Once you’ve got the bridge at your premises, you’ll need to get it EC verified. Even if this was done with the exact same bridge at the previous premises, it must be done at the new premises. This requires the hiring of a weighbridge test unit, calibrated test weights and a trading standards officer (or accredited company). Providing you intend to use the weighbridge for trading purposes.
Already you can see how buying a used weighbridge can cost the company much more than simply the advertised price. The vast majority of these risks are simply avoided by investing in the correct equipment to begin with. If you don’t think your business can invest in a weighbridge, but needs to still account for the weight of your vehicles, perhaps take a look at axle weigh pads; they’re smaller both in size and investment.