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A Full Suite of On-Board Scales for Every Fleet

Learn about Air-Weigh’s full suite of on-board scales designed for every fleet.

Episode 173: We are at the Technology and Maintenance Council Annual Meeting in beautiful Orlando, Florida. The theme of the show is Electrifying Performance in Maintenance Management. In this episode, we talked with Air-Weigh, and learned about their new weight scales, and why they’re important for fleets.

My guest today is Michael Ferguson from Air-Weigh.  

Michael is a returning guest; you can learn about Air-Weigh and their onboard scales for commercial trucks and trailers by listening to episode 104

Air-Weigh logo. In this episode, learn about Air-Weigh’s full suite of on-board scales designed for every fleet.

Guest Website: Air-Weigh.com

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Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You are listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keeps trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per-mile.

We’re at the Technology and Maintenance Council in beautiful Orlando, Florida. It’s the annual meeting. The theme of the show is electrifying performance in maintenance management. My guest today, a returning guest is Michael Ferguson from Air Weigh. Michael was on Episode 104. So if you want to go back and learn about their onboard scales for commercial trucks and trailers, you can listen to Episode 104, links will be in the show notes. Michael, welcome to of The Heavy-Duty Parts Report this time we get to do it in person.

Michael Ferguson:

Yeah. Thank you for having me. I’m excited.

Jamie Irvine:

All right. All right. So what have you been sharing with fleets at TMC?

Michael Ferguson:

Well, we got a couple things. The main thing is we’ve released a brand new product it’s called Quick Weigh. So now we have a full suite of products all the way from our Load Max, which is the one that has all the inner connectivity you can integrate with onboard computers, which is what we talked about last time. But the Quick Weigh is an entry level scale. This is more for smaller fleets or owner operators. It allows them to get a tool that allows them to legalize their suspensions at a much more affordable cost. So now you can get a full digital scale mounted on the trailer and the truck for those suspensions. And it’ll give you those accurate weights, just like they’re used to with all the other Air Weigh scales, but at $250 or less. So it’s a great way for these smaller fleets or owner operators to get into a complete scale system, to legalize their loads.

Jamie Irvine:

So you now have this full range of products. Why was that so important to Air Weigh to get this entry level product into the marketplace?

Michael Ferguson:

Because we do have a lot of smaller fleets or owner operators where investing in a product where they may not use all of the features. Like maybe they don’t have an onboard computer that they want to integrate with. They don’t want to connect to a printer. They just need a basic way to get their weights. So we thought we, we need to provide that for them so they can get into an affordable scale system, still get all those weights, still be able to solve those problems and legalize, but at a price that they can afford

Jamie Irvine:

So this may seem like an obvious question for someone who operates a truck, they know what’s at stake, but for like maybe a repair technician or a parts technician, doesn’t really understand what’s at stake for a driver. If they’re not, like you say, if they’re not legalized.

Michael Ferguson:

Yeah. So if you think about it, especially in today’s world with trucks and trailers, they’re all being built lighter weight, everything’s coming lighter weight, they promote it. The trailers are using different materials, the tractor. So every time you go overweight, because you don’t know, if you don’t have a scale when you’re loading, you’re risking damaging that truck. So you could be damaging axles, the suspensions, the frame, because they’re not designed to be overloaded anymore. So every time you overload, that means that’s a chance that that truck and that trailer is gonna be spending a lot more time in the maintenance shop than where it should be, which is on the road.

Jamie Irvine:

Right. And if it’s not on the road, it’s not making money, especially if you’re an owner operator. I mean, this is not just your livelihood, this is your family involved here.

Michael Ferguson:

Yeah. So for us, it’s, you know, a lot of times it’s about we eliminate the out of route miles that you do is the hours of service by trying to find a scale because you don’t have an onboard one, but like you said, it’s still significantly about the maintenance and the safety. If you overload those trucks, they become unsafe and then you’re breaking them and then that’s gonna cost you money. Not just the time that you’re spending, trying to find a scale.

Jamie Irvine:

One of the things that is great at TMC is you have all of these task force and all these breakout sessions. One of them that I was a part of, I was listening to people talk very passionately about the risks to people operating commercial equipment. If they are not like, if they’re not compliant in some way, and there’s an accident and God forbid some one’s hurt, it opens them to huge liabilities. So this is really important for these owner operators.

Michael Ferguson:

Yeah. We actually have several customers that the reason they’ve invested in the scales is for that reason, it’s the liability reasons. And I won’t say who they are, but we did have a fleet that happened to. Got in an accident, unfortunately someone got severely injured. Then they had a huge liability issue on their hands. Now they put the scales on, they make sure every time one of those trucks drives down the road, it’s legal. That way they take that liability risk out of their hands.

Jamie Irvine:

Awesome. We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be right back.

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We’re back from our break. And before the break, we were excited to learn about a new product that Air Weigh has brought to the market for owner operators. We’re at TMC’s Annual Meeting. The theme is electrification of the trucking industry. How is electrification going to impact maintenance management in the future?

Michael Ferguson:

Yeah, and that’s why TMC is so important because with new electric vehicles, new technology, you have to learn all of that information because it’s all interconnected. There’s sensors everywhere on those vehicles, including weight sensors, but those mechanics need to learn all that stuff. I mean, it’s complicated and there’s a lot to learn. So being a member of TMC and coming to shows like this is vital. So they learn that information and get it firsthand because the whole world is changing when you’re talking about electric vehicles and you know, they’re not gonna be hopping in there and working on an engine anymore. They’re gonna be figuring out how those batteries connect, how to get the life out of ’em, where everything is, how that interconnects with the onboard computers and sensors like us with scale systems. So all of that is changing and they need TMC and those sessions and those classes to make sure they learn how to operate those and work on those vehicles properly.

Jamie Irvine:

Right. And even as your products have become more complicated. And so some ways from a technological perspective, not that they’re hard to use, but just that there’s a lot of tech now behind products, like what you bring to the market, there’s this issue of diagnostics. And now you have all of this data about the vehicle, but almost it’s like, how do you you parse out that data into something that can be usable? And how do you diagnose the problem? So that’s where I’ve seen this theme for this annual meeting is just perfect timing for what’s going on in the industry and repair technicians. They need access to this good information so that they can handle the diagnostics. Is that what you’ve seen?

Michael Ferguson:

And the interconnectivity is so important because a mechanic now can download, like you said, all that information, and it’s all about predictive maintenance. You’d be able to get a much more precise report of exactly what’s going on in that vehicle. And then the mechanic can focus on that rather than just bringing a truck and trailer in the old days, give it a once through with everything and try to figure out what’s wrong with it. Now you can dial that in because of the interconnectivity. And that’s really what these electric vehicles are about, making it easier to do that.

Jamie Irvine:

So we’re here in Orlando, we’re at the show. What’s been one highlight of the show so far?

Michael Ferguson:

For us, I think, again, it comes back to the technology and the interconnectivity. So one of the highlights for us is every time we integrate with a partner, it just makes everything we’ve been talking about, easier for the mechanics and the fleet managers. So one of those is we just finished an integration with Hyundai called HT Link Sense. And so basically that’s just an open source trailer integration, telematics device that takes all the information from all the different sensors on the trailers. And then it provides it to another party where you can get that information in the back office. So we’ve partnered with them. So now they get the weight data along with cargo sensors, wheel end temperature, all the things that are important, especially for a mechanic to monitor brake pads, all of that stuff. So we integrate, now they can download those reports and see what’s happening with that trailer in real time, hugely valuable for a mechanic though, to be able to see that and what they can do with the weight information in that respect is they can see by truck number. Okay, this truck consistently was overweight. Okay. We need to check that for these problems that we know are associated weight, it just lets them dial into those problems based on the sensors and the information they get. So that’s exciting for us is that integration and the connectivity we get with our partners.

Jamie Irvine:

Right but if you, okay, so following that logic, though, if you also identified that a truck was running consistently underway, now there’s a revenue opportunity, right?

Michael Ferguson:

We have a customer right now. That’s a good point because we have a customer right now. That’s exactly what they’re doing. So we also integrate with Geo Tab and you can get back office reports. So what’s really cool about that is they get a report and he can look at and say like, Indianapolis truck number 33, wow. Truck number 33 was that month was averaging 72,000. Why are we leaving 8,000 pounds of payload every single time on that truck, they can go back to Indianapolis and say, what are we doing wrong? Why are we not efficient? How do we optimize this operation? So we can maximize those payloads so we can get revenue. And this fleet actually eliminated some assets because they were so inefficient that they started maximizing the payload. They didn’t need to use a couple of the vehicles anymore.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. We’re really going off script here, but now we’re touching into the issue of drivers, shortage, things like that. And this is going to have a direct impact on that. Right? Especially with that fleet, if they have less units, then now maybe they have enough drivers.

Michael Ferguson:

Yeah. And also it helps with the maintenance staff because there’s less vehicles in the maintenance shop because they’re much more a fit. They don’t have to worry about that. So it helps with all aspects of the fleet. For us, it’s all about optimizing your fleet, getting the most out of your assets and being as efficient as possible.

Jamie Irvine:

And utilization is a word that we keep hearing at this show. Absolutely. So for someone who’s listening, maybe sitting on the fence about becoming a member and by the way, membership isn’t company wide, it’s individual people become members of TMC. So if there’s someone listening right now and they’re thinking about being a member, what would you say to them? Why should they become a TMC member?

Michael Ferguson:

Because the information that you can get here is extremely valuable. The sessions they provide, the trainings they provide, they cover everything that you can imagine in the trucking industry. If you come here and you look down the list of the sessions they have, everything is covered and you can learn everything you ever wanted to learn about how to take care of a truck, how to use it, the new technology. And that’s really what it is, the new technology. If you’re not a member or you’re not part of this, then you’ve gotta go and try and find that. Here it’s laid out for you. You can pick and choose which one are the ones that you need to learn. What’s important to you. So it’s vital if you’re, especially if you’re in maintenance, to be a part of this. So you can get that information.

Jamie Irvine:

You’ve been listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And we’ve been speaking with Michael Ferguson from Air Weigh. To learn more about Air Weigh, visit air-weigh.com. Links are in the show notes for their website as well if you want to go back and listen to episode 104. Michael, great to see you in person. And thank you for being on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

Michael Ferguson:

Thank you very much. It was a pleasure to be here.

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