CASE STUDY
TOYOTA

ONE MORE TOYOTA FOR THE ROAD

Solution Overview

CUSTOMER: Toyota

LINE OF BUSINESS: Automobile Manufacturing

LOCATION: Multiple branches.

IN BUSINESS SINCE: 1937

AIR-WEIGH ON-BOARD SCALE USER SINCE: 2023

THE SITUATION

Every time Toyota loads new models onto a trailer to be hauled to a dealership, inches become important. Especially with respect to weight.

The more vehicles Toyota can load on a trailer, the more efficient overall operation of hauling models from factory to dealership. An extra vehicle can often be the difference between being under the legal weight limit or exceeding it.

“We had a driver about a month ago – someone who’s been doing it 25 years – got an overweight ticket by 500 pounds,” said Toyota operations supervisor Mike VanderPloeg. “And it was a matter of moving a vehicle 14 inches. That was all he had to do. But he’d never have known that prior to leaving the yard.”

Subtle adjustments can make a difference to the final weight of a vehicle load. As Toyota’s driver discovered, optimizing vehicle capacity with certainty is only possible with knowing weights in real-time at the time of loading. Accurate weights allow the driver a variety of potential adjustments that can be made during loading.

Toyota wanted to solve the problem. The answer? Air-Weigh on-board scale solutions.

THE ANSWER: AIR-WEIGH ON-BOARD SCALES

The newest on-board scale and digital PSI gauge, QuickWeigh®, proved easy to install and calibrate. Toyota started by retrofitting Freightliner tractor/trailers, with the focus on operations in the Portland and Long Beach locations. The drivers of the vehicles equipped with QuickWeigh® scales reported very high satisfaction. Cottrell is helping Toyota to deploy QuickWeigh® on-board scales on their newly ordered equipment, and the entire fleet will be outfitted in 2024.

The results:

  1. The bright, easy to read, digital real-time weight displays on the QuickWeigh® on-board scales allow drivers to make in-process adjustments at time of loading to optimize and legalize vehicle capacity. In some cases, adjusting a vehicle by a few inches, or switching two vehicles around, is enough to prevent overweight fines.
  2. The trailers can carry a maximum of nine vehicles, but on average Toyota has only hauled eight to avoid risking an overweight violation. With the QuickWeigh® scales showing the weight as the trailer is being loaded in real time, Toyota can maximize the full vehicle capacity of the trailer while remaining legal.
  3. While drivers love the phone-based app that can show them the weight reading, they also greatly appreciate the bright, easy to read digital gauge on the side of the trailer. This frees up drivers from having to reach inside their pockets and retrieve their phones.
  4. Toyota’s safety score is consistently excellent, without the complication of simple overweight violations.
  5. Drivers have complete peace of mind about weight requirements without having to travel to in-ground scales to be sure they are legal. Weight information is accurate and known with certainty.

WHAT THEY TOLD US ABOUT THE IMPACT OF AIR-WEIGH ON-BOARD SCALES

Quotes from Mike VanderPloeg, Operations Supervisor; and Carla Melgar, Freight Bill Authorization Administrator.

A Game-Changer:

“We’re pretty good at putting the loads together. But once we get this new equipment, it could make it a game-changer for us. I could give a load to three different drivers and they’ll probably load it pretty similar, but still in different ways. This will give us the opportunity to see what’s best.” – Mike VanderPloeg

Every Pound Counts:

“With EVs, the cars are getting heavier. With every electrification point of a vehicle, it’s 200 to 300 more pounds vs. a gas version. A hybrid is 200 to 300 pounds more than the gas car and a full EV is another 200 to 300 pounds. That makes these scales all the more critical.” – Mike VanderPloeg

Continuous Improvement:

“Here at Toyota, we’re very big on Kaizen. How can we get to continuous improvement? So we want to see what data comes out of it. Maybe this solves a problem down the road that we never really looked at, because we never looked at it from a weight perspective.” – Carla Melgar

No More Guesswork:

“It will take some of the guesswork out of it. The drivers know they made it through the scales the way they did it before. But they might not see that particular combination for six to eight months. They could unload one or two or three, and that could completely alter what’s on the truck. Now they don’t have to rely on experience or educated guesses. No matter how different the load is, they know the weight.” – Mike VanderPloeg

Quick and Easy:

“The process was quick. They were set up very quick. Air-Weigh made sure everything went well and that is great. We just want it to continue.” – Carla Melgar

NO MATTER HOW DIFFERENT THE LOAD IS, THEY KNOW THE WEIGHT.

It will take some of the guesswork out of it. The drivers know they made it through the scales the way they did it before. But they might not see that particular combination for six to eight months. They could unload one or two or three, and that could completely alter what’s on the truck. Now they don’t have to rely on experience or educated guesses. No matter how different the load is, they know the weight.

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