Optimizing log truck payload through improved weight control

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Virginia Tech


Trucking of forest products is a very important segment of the harvesting process and it is monitored relatively closely by external sources. Load weight is the focal point of the attention received by log hauling. The optimization of load weights is therefore very important to a logging operation's success and this can be achieved only through adequate gross vehicle weight control. Methods of load weight control are reviewed and possible applications discussed in this report. Studies were conducted to evaluate the adequacy of load weight control achieved utilizing two quite different methods. A reporting technique which provided loader operators with information about trends in the delivery weights of trucks which they loaded was used to heighten their awareness of problem areas in load weight distributions. This study was conducted at two southern paper mills with substantially different truck weight regulation environments. Two separate case studies were conducted on Virginia loggers utilizing on-board electronic truck scales.

Results of the loading study indicated that the passive treatment had affected the behavior of some of the producers studied. The behavioral changes observed generally improved the economic optimization of load delivery weights. The on-board scale studies indicated that the scale systems did perform well in the applications observed. However, the economic benefits associated with use of the scales were negligible for the two producers studied due to a reduction in delivery weights after installation of the scales.