As a specialist vehicle bodybuilder to the waste and cleaning industries, Whale Tankers is well versed with working in conjunction with specialist system and component suppliers to deliver highly-design engineered and bespoke vehicle solutions.
Testimony to this approach is a new GullyWhale Plus MVC (medium volume combination) tanker that Whale has recently supplied to Tees Valley’s Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, and which has been equipped with a modified axle load cell system. Developed by Red Forge Limited – the UK’s leading specialist in on-vehicle weighing solutions – the system is designed to measure gross and net payload as a means of reducing the risk associated with vehicle overloading.
Specified to provide accurate vehicle weighing at low cost, the council elected to introduce the Red Forge Omniweigh system that features axle load predictions for this application. In addition to wanting to benefit from the combined technologies of Whale’s GullyWhale Plus MVC and the Omniweigh system, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council sought to partner with suppliers who have the proven capability to provide comprehensive whole-life vehicle aftercare.
Featured on the twin compartment, 1800 gallon capacity MVC tanker mounted on a Mercedes Axor 1824 4 x 2 rigid chassis, the 18 tonne gvw vehicle sees the Omniweigh system fitted under the rear tank tip pivot and front foot of the tank. Doing so means the system is active all the time, without the operator needing to tip the tank for the weighing system to work.
The MVC features cells that have been modified to fit this specific vehicle. Whereas a normal Omniweigh load cell is 12" long and has four mounting bolts, Red Forge has used an 18" long cell with five mounting bolts. Not only does this provide greater stability on the vehicle, it benefits from the same height increase as normal.
Whilst the Omniweigh system will not physically prevent the operator overloading the vehicle’s axles, it gives the driver a visual in-cab indication that he/she is approaching the maximum weight for each axle and/or whether this is exceeded.
As well as weighing the vehicle’s net payload and adding it to the tare to give GVW, the system also provides a front and rear axle weight prediction. The axle weight prediction is worked out by the weighing system’s software from the initial load cell system calibration. Normally the visual display shows the GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT and NET at the same time, but the driver can at any time press a button on the display to show the individual front and rear predicted axle weights for three seconds before reverting to GVW and NET.
As the gully emptying tank fills up, when either of the axles reaches 90% of their plated weight, the visual display in the cab will show a solid F (front) and /or R (rear), to indicate that either the front or rear axle has reached 90% of its plated weight. Although only a predicted axle weight, for best accuracy the vehicle should be parked on a flat level surface, as on multiple test vehicles the indicated axle load accuracy has proven to be far better than 5%.
The visual display will continue to show a solid F and/or R between 90% and 100% of the axle’s plated weight. Once either the front or rear axle has reached 100% of its plated weight or higher, then the solid F and/or R will change to a flashing F and/or R. When the vehicle reaches its GVW, the Omniweigh system will produce a switched electrical signal output that can be used to operate a warning light and an alarm.
Commenting on behalf of Whale Tankers, Managing Director, Mark Warmington said: "Whilst we work with many system suppliers, it is pleasing to have helped deliver what is a bespoke loadcell system for this particular customer. There is an increasing trend for end users to specify this type of technology and we feel it is a trend that will continue to gain momentum in the future."
Serving as a replacement vehicle, the GullyWhale Plus MVC will be deployed across the borough by Redcar and Cleveland Council’s strategic highway maintenance partners, Carillion – one of the UK’s leading support services and construction companies.