July 29, 2022

ENSURE OPTIMAL ACCURACY THROUGH PREVENTATIVE WEIGHBRIDGE MAINTENANCE

Preventative maintenance of a weighbridge is of crucial importance to lengthen the lifetime of such equipment and to curb faults and expensive repairs. This responsibility lies with the depot manager that is daily on site in comparison to the few days a year that a scale technician spends on site.

As the depot manager will be more aware of issues with the weighbridge, he needs to pinpoint and report them to the maintenance company as soon as possible. The role of the weighbridge maintenance company should include two maintenance inspections per year and a follow up report on findings, recommendations and verifications. The first inspection must be done prior to the verifications in preparation for harvest and a second inspection must be done after harvest. It is also the responsibility of the maintenance company to issue verification certificates.

DAILY CHECKLIST FOR WEIGHBRIDGE SCALES

  • Variation test: Park a vehicle in three different places of the scale, usually in the beginning, in the middle and at the end, to ensure the readings are within at least 20 kg – 40 kg.
  • Eccentric test: Park a forklift on individual loadcells to determine that each cell is reactive and weighing correctly.
  • Inspect the surround of the scale to ensure that it is not loose, or binding with the scale.
  • Inspect the scales for water, debris and litter to ensure there are no binds. The scale should always move freely.
  • Check for rodents and vermin.

It is important not to weld on any scale as it will damage the electronic components. Vehicles should also be restricted from driving over the scale unnecessarily and drivers should respect the weighbridge as an expensive measurement tool.

A BASIC CHECKLIST FOR HOPPER SCALES

  • Inspect and ensure that the sleeves are clean and not torn.
  • Ensure that the hopper is free all around.
  • Mountings must be fastened correctly.
  • Ensure that flexures are level and not cracked or damaged.
  • The tie-rod must be fastened to the loadcell or loadcells.
  • Ensure that the feed and discharge gates are functional by using the manual air distribution screw on the valves.
  • Inspect the pneumatic system for leaks where the system may be losing air.
  • Clear the water trap and check the level of the oil on the service unit.

Article written by Marietta Cronje

Wayne van Vuuren
TECHNICAL MANAGER: MASSAMATIC