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Smart Scale helps prevent overweight violations due to snow and ice

HALIFAX, N.S. -- TruckWeight says its wireless on-board scale can help prevent fleets and owner/operators from accr...

HALIFAX, N.S. — TruckWeight says its wireless on-board scale can help prevent fleets and owner/operators from accruing costly weight penalties this winter due to snow and ice build-up.

The accumulation of snow and ice on the undercarriage or top of a truck trailer can add several thousand pounds of unwanted weight, reducing legal payloads and stressing equipment as well as increasing the risk of incurring overweight fines, the company warns.

“A one-inch layer of ice or wet snow weighs as much as five pounds per square foot,” says Peter Panagapko, president of TruckWeight. “Accumulated on the underside of a 53-foot trailer, that inch-thick sheet of ice or wet snow would amount to more than 2,000 pounds you didn’t know you were hauling. With all the cross-members and crevices on the vehicle’s undercarriage, there’s plenty of room for heavy ice, snow, and grime to build up.”

The company’s Smart Scale system is a wireless device that monitors the effects of snow loading.

“The scale helps them track changes in their gross and axle weights during the course of a trip in snowy, wet, or icy conditions,” he says. “It gives drivers precise weight information so they can talk to their dispatcher or customer about how to proceed if the vehicle approaches its legal limit, and it eliminates surprises at the scale house.”

The scale can be used on trucks, tractors and trailers with air suspensions. It includes a sensor with an integrated antenna, DOT fittings for the vehicle’s air line and a wireless handheld receiver. The sensor measures temperature and pressure changes in the air suspension and relays the data to the handheld receiver. A small computer in the receiver interprets the information and provides an axle weight and gross vehicle weight measurement that’s accurate to within 150 lbs. The system produces a reading every minute or once every three seconds when the truck is being loaded.

“The cost to equip a tractor and trailer with a Smart Scale is US$1,430 – about half the cost of a hardwired scale when you factor in installation costs and downtime,” Panagapko says.
“Overweight fines are too expensive to be considered a cost of doing business,” he adds. “When you’re trying to load to the point where you’re 100 per cent productive, the last thing you need is to head down the road with a ton of ice on the undercarriage. Smart Scale helps you make sure you’re carrying the most payload that’s legally allowed so you’re as productive as can be.”

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