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Sunday 24th September 2017

Public Weighbridge Operation

Operators of public weighing equipment have responsibilities to ensure that they can perform their duties competently and honestly. No one may operate public weighing equipment unless he/she holds a certificate from a Chief Trading Standards Officer.

Operators must show that they can:

a) operate the weighbridge satisfactorily
b) complete any weighbridge tickets and associated documentation satisfactorily
c) understand basic terms associated with the operation of a weighbridge
d) understand their duties as a weighbridge operator
e) understand potential frauds which may unknowingly be assisted by a weighbridge operator
f) understand how the accuracy of the weighbridge may be affected
g) perform simple arithmetic.

Good Weighing Practice

Regular checks are made to ensure there is clearance between the plate and its surrounding frame.

Regular checks are made to ensure the weighbridge is properly balanced when unloaded and the indicator shows zero.

The Weighbridge Operator must know how to balance the weighing machine. The balance of a weighbridge will be affected by the accumulation of dirt etc. on or around the plate. This is regularly cleaned to avoid any excessive build-up.

Beneath the plate, levers or load cells can be affected by the build-up of dirt (sand) and this is cleared as necessary.

The most common cause of ‘balance’ error is due to rain on the plate. During periods of rain, balance is checked and adjusted more frequently and again as the plate dries.

Good practice requires operators to note on the weighing certificate if any parts of a vehicle are missing.

Weighing Procedures

Vehicles are weighed without passengers or driver. If this is not possible or if the personnel refuse to leave the vehicle, a note is be made to this effect with details of the number of persons on the vehicle. This note is made on the ticket and on any other record.

Where practical, the Weighbridge Operator will check the load for himself and if this is not possible, the ticket will indicate the load as stated by the driver.

The Operator always checks any vehicle registration number for himself rather than relying on the driver.

The Weighbridge Operator ensures a clear view of the plate and ensures the vehicle being weighed is positioned on the plate.

It is illegal to undertake a double weighing where that weighing will be used for a trade transaction. e.g. a load of hay for sale elsewhere.

Drivers sometimes require a weighing to ensure they are not overloaded on individual axles. It is permissible to undertake weighings of individual axles but the ticket and records will clearly indicate what type of weighing was carried out and which axles were weighed. The ticket will be endorsed - “Weights found are not for trade purposes”.

Weighbridge Ticket

A Weighbridge Operator must give a statement in writing of the weight found to the person demanding the weighing or to his agent (this may be an arrangement made formally or informally but the statement should always go with the vehicle).

The weight found must be entered in the GROSS or TARE box on the weighbridge ticket as appropriate.

If the ticket is to be issued, the Weighbridge Operator must enter NOT WEIGHED or draw lines through the spaces provided for other entries. Operators MUST NOT enter in the tare box a weight STATED BY THE DRIVER, as only weights determined by the Weighbridge Operator should be inserted. Gross and tare weights should only be entered on the same ticket if ascertained on the same day.

If the driver intends to return after loading for a second weighing of the same vehicle to be recorded on the same ticket, the ticket should be retained until the second weighing is complete. A Weighbridge Operator must not give out a ticket that has any blank spaces.

The other particulars required on the ticket must always be completed.

Records

The Weighbridge Operator must ensure that a record of each weighing is made. These records must be kept for a least 2 years. If the duplicate of the weighbridge ticket is the only record of the weighing, it must also state:

The date and time of weighing

The registration number of the vehicle or other identifying mark (e.g.; chassis number)

The weight found

The nature of the load

If a Weighbridge Operator suspects any irregularities in a request for, or the use of, public weighbridge weighings, their local Trading Standards office should be informed.

The maximum penalty for fraud in connection with a public weighing is a fine of £5,000 or six months imprisonment, or both. The maximum penalty for recording a false weight is a fine of £5,000.

Road Traffic Act (Vehicle Overloading)

If, having weighed a vehicle, a Weighbridge Operator suspects the weights to be in excess of that permitted for the vehicle on the highway, they should draw the driver’s attention to the weight record. Further, the ticket should be marked ‘vehicle possibly overloaded’.

A weighbridge operator does not have authority to withhold the weighbridge ticket or prevent the vehicle leaving.

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