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A major US provider of timber and wooden products can now weigh rail vehicles to a high degree of accuracy thanks to Weighline, a rail weighing solution from Avery Weigh-Tronix.

Dynamic Rail Scale Weighs In-motion 

From their regional depot, the company ships green and kiln dried lumber by rail to locations all over the United States.  To avoid overloading and optimize shipped loads, the company installed the Weighline rail scale system and TSR4000 advanced rail weighing indicator, enabling them to dynamically weigh each car on the line before it leaves the facility.

The ability to weigh loads in motion (up to 10mph) ensures that the company can keep operations flowing smoothly by capturing valuable weight data without having to stop and weigh each car statically.  As well as the time efficiencies offered on a day-to-day basis, they benefitted from an extremely fast installation time. The simple yet effective Weighline rail scale takes only a few hours to install on existing ties and ballast, reducing downtime and eliminating the need for extensive groundwork and foundation construction that result in long, costly installations.


Weight Indicator inks to Back Office Systems 

The TSR4000 is an advanced instrument that features ultra-fast signal processing with the ability to process up to sixteen independent weight readings at once.  The weights collected by the scale and indicator are then transferred to a back office system where they can be stored and analyzed to provide business critical data. Reports can be linked to individual rail car, load and destination IDs to help monitor deliveries to and from customers. Having an exact car weight also allows the company to maximize the load on each car without running the risk of overloading, enabling them to optimize the weight of each load and reduce shipping costs.


Avoiding Overloading and Improving Billing Accuracy 

As well as avoiding costly overloading fines and improving billing and shipping accuracy, checking the gross weight of each car can be vital for health and safety. Overweight vehicles cost more to run and cause more wear on the wheels, axles, bogies and track, while underweight or imbalanced vehicles can damage cars, wagons and rail infrastructure and can ultimately contribute to derailments.


Fast Return on Investment 

Ross Campbell, Rail Systems Engineer at Avery Weigh-Tronix, commented, “With 30-40 rail cars leaving the site each week, the system provides massive potential to avoid rail overweight charges and substantially increase the amount of wood on outbound cars. The system allows our customer to load an additional 1 to 2 Measured Board Foot (MBF) of wood per car. After only a year in operation, the rail weighing system has paid for itself several times over in freight savings, while the system accuracy and repeatability rivals that of a legal-for-trade scale.

Maximizing the amount of lumber on rail cars without overloading the car is vital to their operations, ensuring that they can offer customers the lowest transportation costs.”