A set of scales designed to weigh heavy, bulky items is called a weighbridge. This heavy machinery, construction equipment uses an Electronic or Digital monitor to display the readings of the vehicle being weighed.
A weighbridge is ideal for weighing vehicles carrying a truckload of materials that can be considered only at the time of relocation from one site to another. Once the materials are emptied at the designated location, the vehicle can again be weighed to check for inconsistencies.
The accurate and reliable results from weighing of large vehicles such as rail containers and trucks make weighbridges a popular choice among industries that move supplies in bulk, such as, mining, electrical equipment, powder, iron and steel, liquid and household goods industries.
Types Of Weighbridges
Broadly, weighbridges can be classified into two types:
These weighbridges are available in single, twin, and multiple deck configuration, based on the length of the vehicles that require weighing.
As the name suggests, these weighbridges are located above the ground surface and require a lot of surface area. The entry ramp and the exit ramp each requires to be a minimum of 5 m in length. Also, the clear spaces on each side of the deck of the weighbridge need to spread over at least a metre.
However, the cost-effectiveness and minimum site preparation required for above-ground weighbridges make them a popular choice for weighing heavy vehicles.
As the name suggests, these weighbridges are built in the ground. In-ground weighbridges can be further divided into –
i. Semi Pit Weighbridges
These weighbridges are located at ground level and do not require ramps. This makes them a cost-effective solution for measuring large machinery and equipment vehicles.
The semi-pit weighbridges have sidewalls that are designed to perform as retaining walls and are located a metre away from the deck’s side. These weighbridges have standard and custom configuration options as well as single, double, and multi-deck options, designed to meet specific needs.
ii. Custom Semi-Pit Weighbridges
These weighbridges are ideal for locations that have limitations to the setting up of weighbridges such as existing buildings or bypass roads on one or both sides. Accommodating to the site restrictions, these weighbridges have the width of the side walls reduced on one or both sides.
In some places where the access is restricted to some load cells, access holes are installed in the sidewall adjacent to the location, or in the deck, to facilitate maintenance and servicing.
iii. Full In-Ground Weighbridges
With the smallest footprint, the fully in-ground weighbridge is the ideal choice for sites that have extreme levels of restriction on space.
However, due to their in-ground location, they require a lot of investment in site preparation, as well as excavation and then reinforcing. The weighing surface in this type of weighbridge is at level with the surrounding areas.
The load cells are only accessible through holes located in the deck or on the side of the deck. These weighbridges are expensive, owing to both the initial cost of construction as well as the cost of servicing and maintenance.
Mechanism Of A Weighbridge
For all the above types of weighbridges, the vehicle to be weighed is placed on the weighing scale. The weighing can be positioned above the ground or in the ground depending on the type of weighbridge.
The scale of the weighbridge is mounted on several load cells, which helps in weighing the vehicle. These load cells act as transducers and convert the force exerted into an electrical output that can be measured.
An electrical output is then displayed as readings on the attached digital or electronic monitor. The same procedure is repeated when the vehicle carrying the goods reaches the designated location, and the goods are unloaded.
A weighbridge is a piece of significant construction equipment in India with applications in a large number of industries. As a result, this construction equipment is available in a large number of options with varied specifications.
Depending on several parameters such as size, cost, access, ground conditions, portability options, purpose and intensity of use, one should invest in the model that suits them best for desired results.