The UK’s leading axle weighing specialist, Axtec, has won a major contract with Northern Ireland’s Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) to maintain and certify eight roadside weighbridges, located throughout the province.
The weighbridges are primarily used for enforcement of the law on overloading, but are also free to use for operators to help them ensure their compliance.
The five-year contract – worth up to £100,000 per year – will see Axtec perform periodic verification testing, certification and maintenance of each weighbridge using Axtec’s two unique Weighbridge Test Vehicles.
The only vehicles of their type anywhere, these trucks are fully equipped and specially designed for testing axle weighbridges. Each is crewed by a highly skilled and experienced Service Engineer. This team have just completed in three days the work that used to take three weeks, using four trucks and five people, delivering a significant reduction in downtime and cost. Axtec also installed new verification software to fully automate the test process, leading to further efficiency savings.
Runcorn-based Axtec originally supplied and installed the existing Dynamic Weighbridge Indicators for the DVA, through the company’s former NI service agent, Comtrol. Following the sale of Comtrol, Axtec emerged successful after bidding directly for the contract ahead of its start date of April 1st. The Axtec Dynamic Weighbridge provides individual axle weights and gross vehicle weight for a six-axle tractor and trailer combination in just 40 seconds, to an accuracy of +0.25% – the most accurate dynamic weighbridge in the world.
The DVA contract also includes specialist construction works to ensure that perfectly flat vehicle approach slabs are essential for accurate dynamic weighing. These must be flat and level to within +3 mm, and surveyed annually to ensure compliance. Axtec’s experienced surveyors use a digital level which is capable of measuring elevations to 0.001 mm. Any necessary remedial work can be carried out there and then, and the site resurveyed, minimising cost and downtime.
40 years after it was built, last year the approach slab at DVA’s Loughbrickland weighbridge was found to be beyond repair. Axtec undertook the complex project to construct a new slab, perfectly flat and level despite poor ground support. After ground investigation, piles were driven down seven metres into bedrock to support specially-designed ground beams, which in turn carry the new high-tolerance slab.
Working with local specialist firms Equilibrant, Larsen Piling and Devity, Axtec co-ordinated the complete project for the DVA, delivered on time in less than four months.
Axtec also maintains Great Britain’s network of approximately 50 Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) roadside enforcement weighbridges on a contract it has held for an unbroken 27 years. Over this time, Axtec has dramatically improved the efficiency of routine maintenance and calibration, while maintaining 99% uptime to comfortably exceed contractual targets.