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Truck Scales: What Are the Different Types of Weighbridges?

Not every truck scale is the same. To learn about the different types of weighbridges and their functions continue reading!

Most people in the haulage industry know what a weighbridge is. Known as truck scales in the US, we call them weighbridges here in Australia, but they are the same thing.

It may not seem like the most fascinating subject, but ensuring that loads are correctly weighed is actually very important for our economy. A huge volume of goods is traded on the basis of measurements such as weight. The value of such goods is approximately $750 billion per year in Australia.

If you need to move heavy goods around as part of your business operations, a weighbridge is an important tool that you need to have at your disposal. But with many different types available, you might be feeling confused. Read on to find out more about the various weighbridges available and how they could benefit your company.

What Are Truck Scales?

Truck scales do exactly what they say on the tin – they function as weighing scales for trucks. The truck is weighed when empty, then loaded with goods, and then weighed again.

This enables a calculation to be performed to work out the mass of the load for transportation. Most truck scales now come with sophisticated software that not only performs this calculation but also stores the data too. In many circumstances, the exact weight of a load indicates its exact value for commercial purposes

Truck scales are constructed using steel or concrete. They are useful in a wide range of industries where it’s necessary to measure the mass of heavy loads, for example, logging, construction, and mining.

Different Types of Truck Scales

There are several different types of truck scales available on the market. If you are looking to install one on your business premises, there are various factors that you need to consider.

You should think about the space you have available on your site, the amount of excavation and site preparation required and of course the cost. Let’s dive in and consider your options now.

Pit Weighbridges

Pit weighbridges are also known as in-ground weighbridges. As the name implies, they are fitted into a pit. The installation is often managed so that the device becomes part of the driveway or hardstand area of the site.

In-ground truck scales are best suited to sites with little available space. Generally, they do not need ramps for trucks to drive on and off as they can be driven onto directly from the ground, in any direction. They also do not need much clearance around the device for cleaning and maintenance.

it’s worth noting though that the construction of an in-ground truck scale will require excavation work and this may be extensive. It’s also important to ensure that drainage around the site is effective to prevent problems with waterlogging and rust.

Above-Ground Weighbridges

Weighbridges or truck scales constructed above ground are the easiest to install and tend to be the most affordable. This is mainly due to the fact that no excavation work is required to set them up on your site.

They are usually constructed out of steel frames and are easier to maintain than pit truck scales, as all of their components are easy to access, being above ground.

However, a major consideration with above-ground weighbridges is the space required. Ramps of up to five meters long are needed to enable trucks to drive safely on and off the device. There is also a wider space clearance needed around the device for maintenance and safety purposes.

Portable Truck Scales

Some companies operate in a context where it is more convenient to move the weighbridge rather than the vehicles themselves. In these cases, a portable weighbridge should be considered.

It is possible to attach or mount portable truck scales to larger trucks or trailers, meaning they can be transported to remote locations. They are also helpful in projects where there are multiple loading locations. This type of weighbridge is a popular choice in the logging and construction industries.

Portable weighbridges have many benefits, including the ability to transport them to service sites for maintenance. Their use is also likely to bring benefits in fuel consumption as you can weigh your whole fleet in one place, rather than having to drive all your trucks to a location with a weighbridge.

Weigh In-Motion Weighbridges

A further type of truck scale you may wish to consider is a weigh in-motion weighbridge. These devices can record the weight of both trucks and trailers whilst they are in motion.

This can mean a more efficient process, as heavy goods vehicles do not need to stop for the weighing to take place. Trucks simply drive over the platform at a steady pace and their mass is accurately measured.

What Are the Benefits of Truck Scales?

There are many benefits of using truck scales to accurately record the weight of loads that your vehicle is carrying. There are significant safety risks in transporting overloaded vehicles, along with financial and legal implications.

Companies can face stringent fines for overloading vehicles. All operators of heavy goods vehicles should ensure that they are familiar with their country’s regulations. In Australia, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator governs these rules.

The use of truck scales can help your operatives to ensure that all loads are compliant with the rules. This will mean you avoid the financial implications of fines, along with potential reputational damage. It’s important to note that there are separate regulations for waste disposal in most states, so you should make sure you are familiar with this area of the law too.

Last but by no means least, there are safety implications of driving loads over the permitted weight or which are incorrectly distributed. It’s important to ensure that operatives load trucks safely. This can prevent accidents and injuries.

Choosing a Truck Scale for Your Premises

Now we’ve explored the various different types of truck scale available on the market, you should have a better idea of which variety will suit your business needs best.

There’s no doubt that a weighbridge is a critical tool for any heavy goods industry and can bring many benefits to your company. For more information and to help you choose a model for your site, check out our weighbridge buying guide now!