Portable Weighbridge System Reduces Exposure to Overloading for Balfour Beatty Fleet

Central Weighing, now part of Avery Weigh-Tronix, has supplied a cost-effective weighing solution to help Balfour Beatty avoid overloading on its fleet of 3000 light commercial vehicles and 1000 heavy commercial vehicles, which are located at numerous temporary sites across the UK.

Compliance with Road Safety Legislation

Balfour Beatty operates a large and diverse fleet of commercial vehicles in the UK ranging from small vans to 44 ton articulated combinations. The plant, tools, equipment, and materials carried vary widely depending on the project or contract being serviced. With such a wide variety of loads being transported, it is essential that the vehicles can be weighed accurately and efficiently to ensure safety and compliance with road transport legislation. Installing a weighbridge at each location was not financially feasible, so Central Weighing’s solution was implemented to supply ten portable dynamic weighbridges.

Adrian Wanford, Fleet Operations Manager at Balfour Beatty, commented: “We first invested in two Cheklode Freeweigh scales in 2011 as a more effective method for weighing our vehicles.  We quickly identified two key benefits of using these scales. Firstly, the speed of the weigh was exceptional, meaning we were able to weigh a 26 tonne truck in approximately 33 seconds.”

Exceptional Speed and Efficient Data Capture

“The second major benefit was the efficiency with which we could capture the weight data. Once the vehicles are weighed, the data is sent via Bluetooth to a control unit from which data can be downloaded in Excel spread sheet format. The data can then quickly be analysed to understand trends and more problematic vehicle applications. It is also incorporated into KPIs when reporting our vehicle weight compliance levels. This helps educate managers and drivers to ensure compliance with legislation.”

VOSA Report Highlights Issue of Overloading

Statistics released by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) in the “VOSA Effectiveness report 2011-12” showed that in that period, VOSA Enforcement officers check weighted 3239 Trucks on UK roads and found 60.6% of them overloaded. For light commercial vehicles, 87.3% of the 2090 weighed were overloaded.  A large number of these resulted in fixed penalty fines and prosecutions for drivers. Such incidents would also have had further implications for the organisations involved and their Goods Vehicle Operator’s licence.

Following the success of the first two Cheklode Freeweigh systems, Balfour Beatty has invested in a further eight in 2013.  Due to the ease with which the axle weighing scales can be transported around the UK, the addition of the new systems means the Field Compliance Engineers and other members of the regional Transport team can weigh more vehicles, more often.

Hitting Safety and Compliance Targets and Avoiding Fines

Adrian stated: “I have made it a target this year to weigh 3000 of our vehicles on unannounced site visits, so, effectively our internal compliance team will weigh every truck and large van in our fleet at least once in 2013.  I believe now, with the addition of the eight new Cheklode  Freeweigh systems, we have the infrastructure in place to do this.  This will make our fleet more efficient, but more importantly, it’s going to mean our trucks and vans are all safe.”