How a Weighbridge Work

Recycle Truck Weighbridge - SWIA QLD

How do weighbridges work? In this article, we’ll tell you as well as answering other questions like what is a weighbridge? and how to operate a weighbridge.

How Do Weighbridges Work?

Want to know how a weighbridge works? In this section, we’ll provide you with all the information you’ll ever need when asking yourself how do weighbridges work?

Weighbridges are a robust platform mounted on load cells (also known as load sensors) used to calculate the weight of vehicles.

Uses of a Weighbridge

Trade Application

By calculating the gross weight and subtracting the tare (weight of an empty vehicle) from the gross weight, you can accurately calculate the weight of a vehicle’s load for monetary trading of goods or services.

Additional Applications

Reliably knowing the gross weight of your vehicles allows you to make sure they are loaded to max carrying capacity for responsibly safe and efficient transport, avoiding overloading fines, litigation and most importantly, reducing risk to all road users (Chain of Responsible – aka COR).

Through the weighing of trucks, weighbridges can also be an invaluable tool for determining quantities of stored product. For example, material stockpiles on a quarry or silos on a farm or grain exchange are common applications where a weighbridge is used to effectively manage stored product.

What Is A Weighbridge?

But what is a weighbridge, we hear you ask. A weighbridge is also known as a truck scale and helps determine the weight of the load a truck might be carrying at any given time. A weighbridge is made up of:

  • A robust platform (concrete or steel)
  • A suitably designed, stable and level foundation (often made of concrete)
  • A weight terminal indicator and cables
  • Load cells (sometimes referred to as load sensors)
  • All of this works together to convert the applied load of a vehicle to an electrical signal and calculates the weight of the applied load to display on your weight terminal indicator.

    This is particularly useful for industrial applications like transportation, logistics, mining, quarrying and freight to determine the exchange value of goods or service. This use case is referred to as a ‘trade application’ and certain requirements of the weighing equipment need to be met for a legally compliant system.

    It also gives the truck driver an accurate reading of the weight so they can determine which roads, bridges and highways they are able to use while transporting their freight to avoid oversized loads and ensuring that the vehicle carrying the load is safe to transport.

    This ensures the fair trading of goods and services, increasing transportation and efficiency by reducing oversized loads where possible.

    In turn, this reduces transportation risks for vehicles, road infrastructure and most importantly, the people directly and indirectly involved in these logistical movements.

    Remember that it is actually illegal for both individuals and businesses to use overloaded vehicles. Doing so can be unsafe, not only for yourself and your passengers, but other people on the road.

    To ensure you have not overloaded your vehicle – whether you’re on a family holiday across the country, or transporting deliveries to and fro – it’s always best to check your load capacity by taking advantage of one of the numerous weighbridges in Australia.

    How to Operate a Weighbridge

    Now that you know the answer to how a weighbridge works and what a weighbridge is, you can discover how to operate a weighbridge.

    A weighbridge works by driving the truck on to the bridge, with all wheels on the bridge to establish a first weight. If the first weight is a loaded truck, we call this the gross weight, or if a truck is empty we call this the tare weight. Depending on the loaded or unloaded first weight we empty or fill the truck and drive over the weighbridge again to determine the second weight. Simply subtract the tare weight from the gross weight to determine the net weight of the load.

    Some weighbridge systems will allow you to store the tare weight of an empty vehicle so that the weighing process can be streamlined to only one gross measurement at the time of transacting with the system.

    These figures appear on digital displays to ensure the operator can accurately record the weights shown, which is done either manually, printed and/or captured in weight management software to allow for comprehensive reporting and invoicing applications.

    Do you need qualifications to know how to operate a weighbridge correctly?

    Technically, you do not need to have any special qualifications to know how to operate a weighbridge. Although weighbridge operation is typically very intuitive, there are many different applications for weighbridges, resulting in different types of systems to meet all kinds of different needs. As such, basic education and training is important, and to ensure weighing fundamentals are observed to achieve accurate results.

    So, while some applications of weighbridges and knowing how to operate a weighbridge effectively and safely is intuitive, we highly recommend having prior experience or training.

    To find out more about how to operate a weighbridge or how a weighbridge works, contact the experts at SWIA today.