South Gloucestershire Council fits its new spreader fleet with Red Forge weighing technology

Published:  03 February, 2012

Red Forge has fitted its Omniweigh On-Board Weighing system to a new fleet of 11 winter gritting vehicles being operated by South Gloucestershire Council. The new fleet has ECON gritting bodies on a 4x4 Volvo FMX chassis. During the specification process, the council consulted both the drivers and maintenance engineers in order to overcome any potential problems during operation. A key recommended factor was the ability to monitor the weight.

Red Forge's Omniweigh is a high accuracy loadcell based system that provides the driver with both gross vehicle weight and specific payload information. The system also axle load prediction, so that overload points can be monitored to within 2% accuracy. In this case, South Gloucestershire specified stainless steel loadcells, which are far above the standard rating in regard to resistance to corrosion from use in high, corrosive salt environments.

All Red Forge's loadcells are temperature compensated, which prevents any fluctuation in readings on cold mornings. This is an absolute “must” as far as a gritting fleet is concerned, as any variation could affect the legal running thanks to the slowly diminishing load. Red Forge supplied the loadcells to ECON who installed them during the mounting of the vehicle body. Wiring and calibration were then carried out at Red Forge's Midlands premises before delivery.

South Gloucestershire Council's Street Care team is now asking local schoolchildren to ‘name a gritter', and has offered to visit schools and help children understand the winter gritting operations, including how the weather forecasts are used to predict road conditions, and show children how to track gritter routes and find where their spreader has been used. The fleet is on-call 24/7 throughout the winter months.

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