How accurate are weighbridges

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:13
ThreadID: 107230 Views:3700 Replies:15 FollowUps:11
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Hi team,
I recently picked up an off road van and given weight certificate with Tare of 3060kg

The ATM is 3460kg allowing me a 400kg payload

I weighed everything that we put in the van, allowed for water in tanks, allowed for fuel for jerry cans and generator. I reckon I should have been on the mark but when I weighed it I was 3560 kg, 100 kg over

Can't fathom where I went wrong, wondering if it's the weighbridge?

Any thoughts?
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:16

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:16
Public weigh bridges are normally certified for accuracy.

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Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:26

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:26
Rusty you are expecting too much.
That’s a 3 percent difference between the given and your measured weights – that accuracy is not too bad for weighing devices of that type.
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Reply By: kevmac....(WA) - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:45

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:45
I have been operating a weighbridge for local council for last 10 years. Although we are not acertified public weighbridge, we get people here weighing cars , trucks, trailers caravans etc for registration purposes without any knockbacks. Ours weighs up to 60 tonne in 20kg steps & is recalibrated every 12 mths by law and hasnt failed that in 10 years. So in answer to your question, I highly doubt that " your " weighbridge is inaccurate by said 100kg
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Follow Up By: Rustynails59 - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:28

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:28
Thanks
It seems as though I need to find out what the manufacturer included in his Tare weight

I think there should be an industry standard here and will contact RVM Australia to get the current standard
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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:52

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:52
That "weight certificate"..was that from a weigh bridge or from the manufacturer.

Was that "certificate" before or after accessories where fitted.

Gas bottles, water tanks full?

Even the choice of wheel and tyre can give a variation of 100Kg if it has 4 road wheels and 2 spares.

If you are using bathroom scales....hell they are more likley to eb dodgy than a weigh bridge.

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Reply By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:55

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:55
I suspect the manufacturer has it weight BEFORE he puts in what he classes as extras like a battery, spare wheel etc.
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Reply By: The Explorer - Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:59

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 21:59
Hi

When you say "allowed for water in tanks, allowed for fuel for jerry cans and generator"...did you guess the weight of these when you came up with estimated total ? If you weighed everything else (clothes, food, equipment etc) apart for these then they can be the only source of the extra weight (assuming WB super accurate)...though ..have you checked for stowaways in a cupboard :)

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Follow Up By: Rustynails59 - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:31

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:31
Oh dear, I found 2 adult children, a cat and dog stowed away. Just can't get rid of them.??

Alas, not my luck, no stowaways found
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Reply By: Slow one - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 05:42

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 05:42
Certified weigh bridges are very accurate. They can suffer problems, but these normally show up as fairly substantial differences in readings. Things like the bridge will not zero itself or will read in the minus.

Things that cause it are the likes of a bad load cell, crook electronic card, wiring or something caught between the weigh frame and the surrounding structure.

As said, weights and measures bring in weights and test the bridge for accuracy.

Make sure you weigh everything. On a van that big, water will probably weigh 190 kg and gas 16 kg, so half your payload is gone already.

You may have to shed some weight or relocate it.
On the side, I just pulled 25kg out of my van to get under ATM. I had to transfer some of this weight to the vehicle as the things I pulled out were essentials.






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Reply By: BunderDog - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 06:09

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 06:09
What, may I ask do you hope to tow it with?
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Follow Up By: Rustynails59 - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:34

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:34
Hi there,
I have a 2012 toyota LC 200
Towing capacity 3500 kg
GCM ( car and van) 6850 kg capacity
I have had a GVM upgrade as I am well aware of weights issue, including tow ball weight in GVM calculation
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Follow Up By: BunderDog - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 11:25

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 11:25
IMHO sailing that close to the wind is an accident waiting to happen.
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Follow Up By: Rustynails59 - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 17:39

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 17:39
That's exactly why I got the van weighed as well as the car
So I know I am legal,
So I know I am insured
I think I have the correct tow vehicle as well
This is why we need to be fully aware of what the manufacturer is including in tare
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Follow Up By: BunderDog - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 18:09

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 18:09
Was the Tare Weight Certificate you got with the van a Certificate for your actual van or generic for your model. I ask this as the first thing on Vanguard's website is a "BE AWARE" notice regarding the tare weight of their vans.

Be Aware notice on Vanguard website
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Follow Up By: Rustynails59 - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 19:26

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 19:26
It was for my specific van as indicated by chassis number - wasn't registered as I did that.
I can't remember the date as I don't have it with me ( we are in SA testing the van before a big trip) but I think it was the day before we picked up the van.
Vanguard are local to me so I was able to check the progress
It surprises me as the owner of vanguard is very specific about weights and payloads as I understand they have a case or had a case about weights with another client- the owner openly admitted that to me- he was aware I had done my research, done my due diligence, spoken to numerous manufacturers and concerned about weights, frame and seals.
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Follow Up By: Rustynails59 - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 19:28

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 19:28
By the way, how did hours know it was a vanguard can- did I mention that
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Follow Up By: Rustynails59 - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 19:29

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 19:29
Oh, ignore that's last comment- my profile picture gives it away
I didn't want to mention brands
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 06:46

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 06:46
Unless the weighbridge ticket delivered with the van was within a day of delivery then it was probably done when it was first towable before any "extras" were fitted and usually a bare van without bedding, soft coverings, gas bottles, spare wheels. Friends were in that exact situation last year, van even packed with the basic necessities was way over weight. The only way to get it back to the supposedly as built tare weight was to remove the mattress, gas bottles, curtains seat cushions, boot lid, rear bar etc etc.
The manufacturers response was they were all "extra's" even the innerspring mattress as foam was standard and the seat cushions and curtains etc made up for the fitted awning!
As others have said weighbridges by law have to be accurate especially if they are charging customers like transfer stations etc.
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Reply By: Iza B - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 07:32

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 07:32
As others have said, a certified weighbridge will be quite accurate and the weighbridge operator will be able to tell you to within XX Kilos. Many large weighbridges only weigh in 10 Kg increments.

I suggest your problem is much earlier. What it Tare configuration for your van? Were any customer options added after the tare was obtained? Manufacturers are motivated to tell you the best possible figures and without knowing the tare baseline, totalling in the bits and things you added is pretty vague.

I take it you did not weigh the van on the way home from the dealers/seller when you first picked it up?

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Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 07:40

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 07:40
It seems you need to return to the manufacturer to find out why their figures are wrong rather than hoping it is the weighbridge. Your real payload is apparently way too light for an off road van going on long trips. If it is true that they did not include basics like mattresses, spare wheels and awning in the TARE you have a worse problem. Depending on the certification of your chassis and suspension it may be possible for you to get an engineer's certificate to change the compliance plate to a higher ATM. Otherwise you appear to have a case for being sold a product that is "unfit for purpose." John
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 09:48

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 09:48
I work for a company which operates a number of certified weighbridges, that easily weigh in over 50 000T each year and 50 000T out. Quite a large amount of the material we receive has been dispatched from places with a weighbridge, hence we have a comparison of net weight loaded and unloaded.
These are typically 42 to 80T gross loads(single triaxles semis to double road trains and everything in between)
Differences of 200kg are possible and but are at the extreme end of what we observe in practise despite these weighbridges being certified each year. We don't worry about variances up to 200kg, unless we think it is consistent.
100kg is not unreasonable variance, especially you don't know at what stage of "completion" the manufacturer weighed the van (did it include bedding, the fridge etc).
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Reply By: toffytrailertrash - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:27

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:27
i might suggest that any off road van with a tare of 3000kgs when loaded even lightly for a trip will exceed their 3500kgs max towing for most of the vehicles in Australia except for the American imports of the like of Chev, Ford and Dodge. The weigh bridge is not out, the vans are just getting too heavy and our tow vehicles are not big enough.
Just another observation is that most of the Kedron, Bushtracker etc vans of around 20' plus that are being towed with a top load boat are far exceeding their max weight capacity.

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Follow Up By: Rustynails59 - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:36

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:36
Agree, have had a GVM upgrade so car GVM has increased from 3300 to 3800
But aware that doesn't alter GCM which in my case is 6850 kg (car and caravan combined)
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Reply By: Rustynails59 - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:38

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 10:38
Thanks to all those that have replied. This is truly the best forum out there
It seems as though I need to find out what the manufacturer included in his Tare weight

I think there should be an industry standard here and will contact RVM Australia to get the current standard and suggest changes

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Reply By: 944runner - Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 08:07

Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 08:07
Maybe I missed something in the conversation, but wouldn't it be easier to just take out everything you have added and go and get it weighed again? That way you know what it actually weighs, no more speculation.
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Follow Up By: Rustynails59 - Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 08:54

Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 08:54
That's what I will end up doing
Having said that, I have been given a certificate by the manufacturer
I should be
1. Advised what it in lures and what it doesn't
2. Be able to rely on it

It seems there is no standard for this- some include all fittings, others include bare shell

As weight is so important, I have raised this issue with RVMA to get the current standard
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