Automated weigh scales deliver convenience
EDMONTON, Alta. – Canadian company, Data Audit Industries (DAI) Truck Scales, is expanding into new regions with its program that’s aimed at simplifying the truck weighing process.
DAI currently has about 40 scales in Canada, from B.C. to Cornwall, Ont. and the company plans on entering the Quebec market within the next year or two. The company has also tapped into the U.S. market, with scales in Washington State, and Larry Mugford, DAI’s vice-president, says the company plans to add to its network there as well.
“We’ll be expanding a lot over the next while,” says Mugford.
DAI Scales specializes in the unmanned, 24-hour-a-day weighing of heavy-duty trucks. The fully-automated scales can be found at Petro-Canada and Esso cardlocks, as well as many other locations in Canada. Mugford says the user-friendly system is gaining a lot of support within the Canadian trucking industry.
The scales work like an automated teller machine (ATM) – fleets that sign up for an account can provide each driver with their own card and then the trucker simply has to swipe his membership card each time he wants to weigh his load. Fleet managers can track all weighings online at the company’s Web site, where they can also manage their account. The secure Internet site provides detailed information about each weighing, including the date, time, unit number, location and of course the overall gross and axle weights.
“It works just like a bank machine,” says Mugford.
The most appealing aspect of signing up for a DAI account, according to Mugford, is that the accuracy of the scales is guaranteed. If a driver receives a fine for running overweight after weighing in at a DAI scale, the company will investigate the claim and then, if the scale was incorrect, DAI will pay the fine itself.
“We’re like an insurance provider for trucks,” says Mugford. “We send out a government-certified weigh scale company and they go out and test the scale to see if there’s a problem with it or if the driver just weighed wrong.”
As with any technology, occasionally there are mistakes with the scales and DAI says it doesn’t mind paying its customers’ fines if the scale is to blame. Currently, DAI operates two systems. The DAI Truck Scales are unmanned, 24-hour-per-day scales dispersed throughout Canada’s five westernmost provinces. Then there’s the rapidly expanding Scale Link system, where DAI administers manned scales owned by other companies.
“Our customers can go in and present their card to get weighed” at manned scales participating in the Scale Link program, he says.
While the scales are currently located at many fuel stations, DAI hopes to add more scales to loading areas, to increase the convenience for truckers.
“We want to be in a loading area so trucks can load up and weigh, and if they have to, they can go back to the warehouse and take off a pallet or add a pallet,” says Mugford. “It beats having to drive 10 or 12 miles to the nearest scale.”
The system also ensures drivers weigh their loads more frequently, since the payment process is handled directly by the fleet and drivers don’t have to shell out any of their own money at the scale. It’s also easier for fleet managers to track who’s been weighing their loads regularly and which drivers have neglected to do so. DAI is also expanding its business to take over control of existing scales owned by fleets or shippers. DAI can integrate a customer’s scale into the system, allowing them to use DAI’s membership cards and online management program. For more information about DAI Scales, visit www.daiscale.com or call 888-838-5588.
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