This research quantified the benefits of using scales in the forest to improve the payload efficiency of log trucks.
The research was published in the Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 35(4) of 2011, and was titled “Improving Log Truck Efficiency by Using In-Woods Scales”. The authors were Ryan Reddish, Shawn Baker and Dale Greene. The research examined any form of in-forest weighing, which included on-truck scales and mobile platform scales placed on level ground.
The research evaluated data from 47,953 truckloads of timber across nine Southern USA states. The mean tare, net and gross weights of all trucks was evaluated for comparative purposes. The results showed that trucks using scales had tare weights of only 49 kg (108 lb) more than trucks not using scales, but had net payloads of 816 kg (1,799 lb) more than trucks without scales. Payload variation for trucks using scales was 38% lower than trucks not using scales.
A financial analysis showed that log haulage costs when using scales was $ 7.44 per ton, versus $ 7.74 per ton when not using scales. Using scales in the forest resulted in a 4 % cost saving per tonne. These savings were predicted to increase if fuel prices increased.
Please access the journal article for a more complete account of the research.