In January 2017, the company fitted 28 Avery Weigh-Tronix Forklift Truck Scales to a fleet of new Still forklifts at their central Hub in Birmingham. The scales allow Palletline Forklift operators to lift and weigh loads in one go. This streamlined process gives the operator the information needed to ensure safe positioning of the load on the upper or lower deck of the trailer.
The key objective is to ensure Palletline adhere to the RHA guidance that states no items over 400kg should be loaded on the top deck of a double deck trailer, as it could lead to uneven or unbalanced loads. Ray Engley MSoE MIRTE, Head of Technical Services at The Road Haulage Association comments: “The Road Haulage Association has published a guide to loading HGVs, called Safe and Secure, which is available online. This gives clear guidance that pallets weighing more than 400kg should not be loaded onto the top deck of a double-deck trailer unless there are bespoke securing measures. Our guidance is in line with safe practice and DVSA’s enforcement.”
Before investing in the forklift weighing system, Palletline would either use customer declared weights on packages, which are often guesstimates, or make repeat visits to a floor scale to check the weight of goods. Through several trials and investigations this was the only system Palletline could find which gave an accurate weight during operation at the lowest tolerance.
Richard Gutsell, Head of Hub Operations and Network Service Quality at Palletline comments: “Our old system of using a floor scale was time consuming. We had to bring the freight to the scale, stop to weigh it and then pick it up again. The new system allows us to weigh and lift in one step, while also keeping a running total of all weights.”
The forklift scales are mounted directly on the front of the forklift truck carriage, with a weight indicator in the cab of the truck. This arrangement allows the driver to clearly, easily and safely operate the scale system without interrupting their normal routine. Driverscan now lift, weigh, move and record a pallet in one operation, without additional steps.
Avery Weigh-Tronix fork lift scales are built with the tough warehouse and material handling environment in mind. The design features two metal plates coupled together with Weigh Bar weight sensors, which means no springs, hydraulics or flexures that can be easily damaged. Furthermore, the system monitors the orientation of the scale and maintains accurate weight readings even if the forklift truck is on unlevel ground, the mast is tilted, or the pallet load is off centre.
In addition to safe positioning of loads, the system allows Palletline to load vehicles to maximum capacity while staying compliant with GVW and axle weight requirements. As well as being a criminal offence which can attract fines and prosecution, unsafe loading can have a detrimental impact on the roadworthiness of vehicles – from braking systems to increased instability and wear and tear. With a network of over 6,000 vehicles, the potential cost of unsafe loading is huge.
Gutsell continues: “Our comprehensive focus on safety is integral to all we do. Our drivers are trained to the highest standards in the safe loading and unloading of freight and the new equipment from Avery Weigh-Tronix helps to make the process simpler and more accurate.”