Ambulance Service Dramatically Reduces Weight Time and Improves Response Vehicle Performance

To maximise Ambulance-vehicle handling performance, driving stability, and compliance with road overloading regulations, the UK’s North East Ambulance Service needed a quick, easy to use axle-weighing solution to ensure optimum axle-weight distribution for its fleet of vehicles.

A large number of the fleets are specially modified from a normal car or van, into some form of Ambulance vehicle. The majority of these vehicles are used as a Rapid Response car (RRV), Accident and Emergency vehicle (A&E), or Patient Transport Service minibus (PTS).

The normal route of identifying any vehicle’s weight is typically from the manufacturer’s handbook. As most Ambulance vehicles are specially built by a vehicle  converter, adding seats, cabinetry, and many other items during the conversion process, this dramatically affects final vehicle gross weight as well as axle load.

This makes the manufacturer’s figures given against the base vehicle, of limited use.

A common method to subsequently identify vehicle weight is by use of a local Public Weighing Station; this may not be situated in a convenient location so can be a very time consuming option, especially when considering additional queuing time.

North East Ambulance Service required a more flexible option and identified Portable Axle Weighing Pads from Avery Weigh-Tronix and Central Weighing Ltd as the ideal solution.

Says N Hopper, Assistant Operational Support Manager (Fleet): “We have invested in Portable Weigh Pads to check vehicle weights easily and quickly. This can be by total weight, axle weight, or by individual wheel if needed. The weigh pads are robust, light, operator friendly and they are rechargeable, so no need for a mains supply when using them.

Being ‘portable’ we also use them to identify the weight of anything that will fit on the platforms, not just vehicles. This gives much greater flexibility, allows us to comply with road loading regulations, and ultimately keeps our fleet operating at optimum performance.

An excellent piece of equipment.”