A winner in every weigh

Brisbane-based software specialist, Tramanco, demonstrated at the Brisbane Truck Show how its latest in-house developments enhance on-board weighing system functionality.

The CHEK-WAY ELIMINATOR is the original Smart On-Board Mass (OBM) system with an individual Smart-Amp for each connected vehicle in any combination up to eight channels or axle suspension groups.

Specifically designed for Australian conditions in 1982 and manufactured by Tramanco in Brisbane, the original SMART-AMP was first installed in commercial applications in 1984 as a complete replacement OBM system for fully imported systems, some of which still only have two channels such as a prime mover and a single semi-trailer.

Tramanco Managing Director, Roger Sack, says the business also went down the import path in the early 1980s but soon realised that the limitations of two channels did not suit Australian vehicles such as B-doubles, road trains, truck and dog trailer combinations and off-road multi-vehicle combinations.

“With most imported systems you once needed to buy and install up to four separate systems on a B-double or a truck and dog, and in most cases, you still do,” Roger says. “The original CHEK-WAY SMART-AMP resolved these problems because it was, and still is, software-based, not hardware-based.”

Its unique digital multiplexing communications signal, according to Roger, introduced the ability to recognise connected vehicles and solved the problem of having to recalibrate whenever trucks and trailers were interchanged.

“These unique software features are called AUTO-CAL and AUTO-ID and are part of the Transport Certification Australia’s (TCA) Type-A and Type-B approvals,” Roger says.
The new SMART-R AMP also keeps records in its own internal memory which saves a trip to a weighbridge each time vehicle combinations are interchanged.

“Finally, the road transport industry had its own on-board scale black box or, more correctly in this case, a GREEN BOX,” Roger says. “The demand for our SMART-R technology influenced further improvements in software and hardware, with each advance keeping to the basic principles of interoperability and backwards compatibility on which CHEK-WAY OBM systems are based.”

Tramanco exhibited at the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show.

Tramanco also customises applications of the CHEK-WAY OBM system for real-time use to suit any fleet’s freight task.

Tramanco long history of continuous improvements and market developments lead to CHEK-WAY OBM Systems being used for proof of concept of the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) tests undertaken in Brisbane in conjunction with the Department of Transport and Main Roads using A-doubles equipped with the CHEK-WAY OBM and Transtech Driven certified general packet radio service (GPRS) systems.

This combination received Queensland government written approval in 2010 as the CHEK-WAY OBM system met the requirements specified in the Queensland interim OBM implementation requirements – and still do.

This led to the successful implementation of A-doubles, and many other performance-based standards/higher mass limit combinations Australia-wide, with overseas countries following suit.

TCA became even more closely involved and introduced a rigorous type of approval requirement for OBM systems.

“This led to further developments and the introduction of the new CHEK-WAY SMART-R AMP whose advanced technology passed TCA Type-A approval in 2018 and TCA Type-B approval in 2019,” Roger says. “The SMART-R AMP is also future proofed as it embodies all of the functions and features of the current TCA requirements, and projected ones as well.”

Because Tramanco writes its own software programs in-house current CHEK-WAY systems can have their SMART-AMPs upgraded to SMART-R AMP Type-approved specification thanks to this inherent backwards compatibility.

Some other systems can be converted to CHEK-WAY by changing out their electronics. This enables an existing system to meet both TCA type A and Type B requirements at minimum cost.

Tramanco has specialised in the supply and installation of on-board weighing systems for heavy vehicles since 1975.