Is there demand for caravan/trailer weighing service that comes to you

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 14:38
ThreadID: 104944 Views:2692 Replies:13 FollowUps:8
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I see quite often comments on this forum and other forums from people a bit nervous about GVM after doing some modifications to their vehicle and/or caravan and want to know what the axle loads and kerb weight actually is when the rig is loaded.

Some research has revealed there’s portable equipment out there that would allow one to visit one’s place of residence and carry out the weighing at one’s home. It is expensive gear though.

Naturally it would cost but it would save the caravan or 4x4 owners from searching for a public weighbridge and it can be done from the comfort of one’s home garage or driveway.

Just thinking out loud is all. Getting to the end of the road with my current job and just thinking about breaking out on my own with something different.
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Reply By: bluefella - Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 14:55

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 14:55
Thanks for the idea, just joking. I reckon if your prepared to travel it's a very good idea.
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Reply By: Lyn W3 - Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 15:19

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 15:19
I'd have to say that judging by three quarters of the Caravans I see coming through on the Bruce Highway is that the owners either don't care or don't want to know what they weigh and how much over they are.

Until the RTA start doing blitz's I don't think anything is going to change.

Same goes for overweight 4WD's as well.
AnswerID: 520684

Follow Up By: mountainman - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 20:42

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 20:42
TRUE THAT
sad thing is from the factory you either have a full load of passengers and their luggage and NO FUEL capacity... and theres your GVM...

or a fully kitted out wagon with 2people and no fuel..

don't even start on the over weight bastards in the drivers let alone passenger seats...

its not one type..
its the majority of us that do it..
vehicle wise...

well that's the manufacturers fault not suitable for the offroad market..
loaded with gear, fuel and kids..
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Reply By: Mick O - Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 15:21

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 15:21
Next time you’re going past a Traffic Authority weighbridge, if it’s not to busy and there are RTA vehicles present, ask if they’ll let you have a look at their Porta-weigh equipment. These are light enough to carry in the vehicles and they generally carry one or two sets moving them down the length of the truck weighing each axle in turn.

I knew an RTA inspector so he came past one day and weighed up the tuck truck for me in the driveway. Excellent pieces of equipment.

Be aware that the machines would have to be tested and certified in accordance with the rules and regs for each state. I don’t know how often or expensive that is but it would result in down time and cost. Without that certification, you run the risk of litigation should you provide inaccurate information to a client.

Like your thinking though.

Cheers Mick
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Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 16:03

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 16:03
Thanks Mick yeah I've seen a number of portable scale/plate devices on the net and there are some places local to me that both sell and calibrate them. Ballpark price for the equipment could be in excess of $10,000 and then like you said there is the calibration and any other regulatory costs that have to be borne as well.

Being able to recoup those costs and still charge a reasonable (i.e. not too expensive) call out fee may put the brakes on the idea...
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 18:19

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 18:19
In Victoria public weighbridges charge about $17-.
Running a few numbers quickly shows you would need to do a lot of weighing to recover the capital cost plus your operating costs, vehicle, insurance etc before you can even consider eating from the business.

As Mick says, like your thinking but the numbers are rather hard pressed to make a living.

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Reply By: olcoolone - Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 18:31

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 18:31
Just a few comments......

The cost of the equipment is quite expensive, you can only use it on dead flat ground, it has the be certified every 12 months and you have to have a license to use it.

The cost associated in running a business including insurance, vehicle costs and travelling would in my opinion make it uneconomical and expensive...... caravaner are tight arses in most cases and have all the time in the world..... you would have to base it on about $70+GST per hour working on a fully chargeable 40 hours per week minimum just to pull a below average wage.

Plus there are many licensed weigh bridges around who charge anywhere from $25 for a verbal weigh up to $70 for a certified weigh.

AnswerID: 520689

Reply By: Herbal - Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 19:00

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 19:00
First off, I have not read the other replies. I did glance over them.

If I understand your question. It is a business survey. I think it has merit.

If you have the means to fund it and the desire to see it through...Then I for one, think it has enough merit to investigate further.
AnswerID: 520691

Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 19:05

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 19:05
I have the means to fund it and the desire to see it through, but like others above have stated the R.O.I. is going to be slim, if not non-existent when you take into consideration other operational costs of a small business and what you can realistically expect people to pay. At 36 I've got plenty of time to think about these sorts of things still but I've also got to think about the mortgage and little mouths to feed, etcetera.

I don't even know what the certification and licensing costs would be >:(
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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 20:33

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 20:33
Road Warrior - You'd have to do surveys to find out what the market would be like and what people are willing to pay.
In my opinion, as someone who has been in business for himself all his life, there's not the money in what you propose, to make a decent return.

1. I'd guess few people would be prepared to pay any more than about $50 to get a vehicle/trailer/van weighed - particularly when there are a quite a number of weighbridges around.

2. Your biggest cost is the driving out to people properties - in time, and in vehicle running costs. The scales are now fairly cheap, you can buy pretty good Chinese sets for around $3000-$4000. However, you wouldn't want to drive any more than about 20-30kms to be able to keep your charges down. Thus, you're limited to a pretty smallish area of clients.

3. You might be able to make it a goer, if you supplied an additional service as well, such as maintenance or repair, to reduce the travelling cost to a minimum in relation to the job size. Try and find out what people might want most, when it comes to demand associated with vans, trailers and campers, and see if you can find a niche market there.

Cheers, Ron.

http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/portable-axle-weighing-scales.html
AnswerID: 520695

Reply By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 22:59

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 22:59
Hi all i have found the best and easy way is to just drop into your local tip and they will put it over the scales free of charge.
AnswerID: 520704

Reply By: myname - Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 06:58

Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 06:58
Wouldn't be viable as a commercial venture. There would have to be a minimum call-out fee. Remembering back to all the discussions about finding the cheapest place to buy the cheapest kit I would say the greater majority would not even contemplate paying just a measly call-out fee of $50. Let alone something to make it worthwhile like $100. Even the cheapest tradesman charges more than that.

And I bet that wouldn't even cover the cost of the equipment.
AnswerID: 520705

Reply By: mikehzz - Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 07:59

Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 07:59
As someone who runs their own business I can say with reasonable confidence that what you are proposing is not viable. You can't charge enough and I doubt you would get enough calls in your coverage area anyway. It may be viable as an add on service you provide as part of something else. It's frightening how much you have to turn over to make a profit these days. It keeps a lot of small business owners awake at night dreaming of escaping to the desert....
AnswerID: 520706

Follow Up By: KevinE - Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 08:22

Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 08:22
Fellow business owner here & agree with Mike!

Even as an add on to a business, it may not be worth it! Its a rather large capitol outlay for quite a small return.
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Reply By: The Landy - Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 08:13

Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 08:13
I think the question is – Is there a demand for this service?

I suspect not in isolation, if you did it as part of an overall package of say cleaning and servicing vans. There are already many public weighbridges that can be accessed for a nominal fee.

The intent is good, and I feel there are far too many rigs that are being driven with those involved not having any real clue as to the weight of them and whether they are compliant with GVM limitations. In fact, I suspect many don’t want to know…
AnswerID: 520707

Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 08:14

Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 08:14
Meant to say, but if you did it as a package of cleaning and servicing vans, it might work...
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 08:28

Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 08:28
"The intent is good, and I feel there are far too many rigs that are being driven with those involved not having any real clue as to the weight of them and whether they are compliant with GVM limitations. In fact, I suspect many don’t want to know…"

Yup! There was a thread on here recently where a guy was busted for exceeding GCM while the weight of his rig was still under the towing capacity of the tug; I don't think he had any idea why he was busted & I don't think he's Robinson Crusoe lol!
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Reply By: lancie49 - Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 08:40

Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 08:40
Is it viable ?
As others have said, from a 'local to you' perspective, probably not.
But look at it from a distance.
Could you pack the scales into your own vehicle and do a run up and down the highways on your own trips calling into caravan parks and the like offering your services to those in the park.
Rather than travel from your house to mine, perhaps 50klms away to do one job, why not find a park and perhaps do 5 jobs ?
Then move on to the next park...................

Why not ask your question to a large number of vanners at Caravaners Forum ?
AnswerID: 520711

Reply By: Road Warrior - Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 13:57

Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 13:57
Thanks for the responses and constructive input everyone. I will sit on this one for a while. Like a chook sitting on an egg. lol
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 18:29

Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 18:29
You better hurry up....... you know what happens to chooks and their eggs, there is always someone else who needs them more.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 23:44

Friday, Nov 01, 2013 at 23:44
In this day and age, there are public weigh bridges everywhere.

Every tip, every major transport depot, gravel yard and scrap metal dealer has a wegh bridge......hell most of these places you have to drive over it to get in and or out.

Most times they will not charge you to simply drive over and get a figure without a certificate.

Not a viable business prospect by a long way.

cheers
AnswerID: 520744

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