A recent campaign of roadside checks by Vosa (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) has shown that 80% of motorhomes stopped and weighed were over their legal weight limit in terms of either their gross vehicle weight or an individual axle weight.
This is becoming an increasing problem for owners as manufacturers add more features that can take motorhomes close to the gross permitted weight of the vehicle. This can mean that something as simple as putting a cycle or motorcycle carrier on the back of your motorhome can tip you over the edge on weight and put you at risk of a fixed penalty fine or even prosecution.
A fixed penalty can be up to £200 and there may also be points on the driver’s licence. The ultimate inconvenience is a prohibition on continuing your journey until the overload has been corrected. Doing that may be simply a matter of redistributing the load, but it can mean removing a fixture, such as a bike rack, leaving you with the problem of what to do with it and the bikes!
As the UK’s leading specialist in axle weighing, Cheshire firm Axle Weight Technology Limited (Axtec) can offer a solution with their On Board Axle Load Indicator.
Designed primarily for vans and trucks, the OBLI uses stainless steel load cells fitted to the axles of your motorhome that measure precisely the loads being applied onto them. It delivers this information to a screen inside your vehicle on which the gross vehicle and individual axle weights are displayed on a simple colour display. Green is safe, amber is approaching an overload and any overload is shown in flashing red.
Thousands of van and truck operators already use the system to stay within the law. Most are fitted when the vehicle is new, but the OBLI can be retro-fitted to all leading makes of motorhome.
After training, any competent mechanic can fit an OBLI in about four hours or you can use Axtec’s own services at their headquarters at Runcorn in Cheshire. The only requirement is that the fitter has access to a weighbridge to calibrate the system once installed and at Runcorn the company has a dynamic weighbridge that is the most accurate of its type in the world. They also have a mobile technician covering the south of England and an agent in Northern Ireland.
The cost of an OBLI is around £1,000 and fitting is likely to be about £400.